Cover Image: The Drowning Woman

The Drowning Woman

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Member Reviews

Wow! This was so unexpected. We chose this as a book club read and we all ended up loving it (which barely happens!). The twists and surprising plot twists kept us on our toes. The switches that were so unexpected gave us so much to discuss and theorize about. This is a great, twisty read and I highly recommend it for future book club discussions.

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Lee Gulliver never thought she would be homeless. She never thought she would be running from her past and never thought she would be living out of her car. But she is and she has no idea how to get out of this mess. She is now on the west coast and keeping a low profile. She has to move around most nights to be safe and to stay out of trouble. At her newest location, she settles in and looks out towards the ocean. She can’t believe her eyes, when she sees a woman drowning. She doesn’t think twice and runs toward the water and saves her. The drowning woman Hazel isn’t very happy to be saved. She is running from her own life and now she doesn’t know what to do. Needless to say the two start to bond, the most unlikely pair. Hazel is married and very wealthy and Lee is barely making it living in her car. Both woman try to help each other with their problem’s. But do they both have each other’s best interest at heart? Their lives intertwining is an absolute mess. There are so many twists and turns, I really didn’t know what was going to happen. This was the perfect kind of thriller for me. Fast paced, good plot, and keeping me guessing is what I like. Over all this was a four star read for me. I want to thank Netgalley and Robyn Harding for my copy of The Drowning Woman, for an honest review. It was my pleasure to read and review this book.

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Yay Robin Harding is back! I absolutely love her books she is a drop everything author for me and she def came through with this one. Lots of twists and an amazing thriller I'll be sure to recommend to my reader friends!

4.5 rounded up to 5.

Thank you to the publisher for my copy!

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Best book I've read in 2023! I loved this book, and couldn't put it down and then I was sad when it was over, because I wanted to read more. I didn't want the book to end. I loved it!!! Love Robyn Harding and all her books.

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I read this gripping fast paced domestic thriller in one day. I loved the dual POV of the two main characters. I liked how much of the beginning of the book is from Lee's perspective beginning with a bit of her background, then saving "the drowning woman," and the aftermath of that event. Then the perspective switch's to Hazel's, who is the woman Lee saved. This book had a little bit of everything, suspense, jaw-dropping twists, friendships, betrayals, and redemption. The ending felt a bit incomplete to me but overall I really enjoyed it and highly recommend.

Thank you to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for providing me a digital reviewer copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

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Gets off the ground quickly, and the set-up is sublime. An early twist is mind-blowing, and made me ravenous to read on.
The second half devolved into a bit of a cartoon, as so many in the genre do, with unlikely coincidences and turns too big for me to swallow. But the writing itself is crisp and the characters are well-drawn, I would definitely read more by this author.

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Wow just wow! This book was so good! I did not want to put this down. Two woman, one appears to be drowning, the other rescues her! They quickly become great friends. This one was so easy to read! Robyn Harding never disappoints!

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TW: Language, drinking, drugs, classism, toxic relationships, abusive relationship, alcoholism, cheating, Alzheimer's, suicide by death attempt, death of parent, anxiety, depression

About the book:
Lee Gulliver never thought she’d find herself living on the streets—no one ever does—but when her restaurant fails, and she falls deeper into debt, she leaves her old life behind with nothing but her clothes and her Toyota Corolla. In Seattle, she parks in a secluded spot by the beach to lay low and plan her next move—until early one morning, she sees a sobbing woman throw herself into the ocean. Lee hauls the woman back to the surface, but instead of appreciation, she is met with fury. The drowning woman, Hazel, tells her that she wanted to die, that she’s trapped in a toxic, abusive marriage, that she’s a prisoner in her own home. Lee has thwarted her one chance to escape her life.

Out of options, Hazel retreats to her gilded cage, and Lee thinks she’s seen the last of her, until her unexpected return the next morning. Bonded by disparate but difficult circumstances, the women soon strike up a close and unlikely friendship. And then one day, Hazel makes a shocking request: she wants Lee to help her disappear. It’ll be easy, Hazel assures her, but Lee soon learns that nothing is as it seems, and that Hazel may not be the friend Lee thought she was.
Release Date: June 13th, 2023
Genre: Domestic Thriller
Pages: 336
Rating: ⭐

What I Liked:
1. I really liked the writing style

What I Didn't Like:
1. Random unnecessary romance
2. Using bdsm as a storyline as abuse
3. Holes in the plot
4. Basic thriller

Overall Thoughts:
This book was something I was interested in reading. I was car homeless and had to deal with sleeping in the winter for two months.

It annoyed me that she didn't know to cover her purse while it was on the floor. Hide your valuables and keep them out of view so it doesn't give people a reason to break into your car.

"I'd rather waitress than sit in my car"

So true. I'd go to work an hour early and stay 1.5 hours later then sit in my car. It was depressing and might as well make more money.

$400 to fix a side window!!! Girl, you're being scammed!!

Bet Jesse went to get breakfast and left this random stranger in his apartment (told you).

Ooooh just what I was hoping for - a random romance thrown into a book that is dealing the woman who's going through being homeless and trying to help a woman who's being abused. Great, I can hear all about Jesse's hot body and how he's just such a great person. God forbid we have a story that just deals with two women and we don't have a man thrown in it. How unique a thriller we have never seen this before a romance put into a story that is not needed.

We find out why Lee's sister cut her off; she caught her brother-in-law cheating on her sister but rather than tell her sister she took a photo and blackmailed him, but it didn't work because he confessed to Lee's sister.

Yesssssssssss a storyline with bdsm painted as rape and abusive. Because that lifestyle doesn't get enough misunderstanding and judgements.

I'm dying. She takes the thing that Hazel gave her to the pawn store and the pawn store man tells her he'll give her $200 but she could get more if she sold it on ebay. Like are you serious? I worked in a pawn store and I never heard them say well you could get more money here. They don't care that you could get more money somewhere else how would that benefit them? This part was so ridiculous. Also good luck selling it on ebay. I sell things on eBay and I have to have ID linked to my account and a social security because they take taxes out when you sell on eBay. Also how is she going to take photos she doesn't have a phone. Also where is she going to have the money sent when it sent via online.

I love in books how easy they make it to get a fake ID. And not just a fake ID but a legit good looking fake ID that could get you a job anywhere. Also how am I supposed to believe that Hazel who is being watched via camera constantly by her husband is able to leave every day to go to the beach ( yes her husband lets her go to the beach for 20 minutes) but doesn't say anything when she walks out with coffee and a bag of food everyday to go to the beach when she's in her running outfit. He also I guess doesn't regulate the computer. I don't get it cuz she said she went to Reddit but that's not the dark web unless there's a Reddit that's on the dark web that I don't know about. But like he is rich and he's not able to check the history of where she went on this computer. She also is able to like sell stuff and he doesn't notice anything missing or notice her leaving with stuff or clock her mileage.

I just want to hit Lee. Hazel tells her that her husband lets her go out to lunch every so often but she can't hang out with anybody he didn't know that's why he can't know about her talking to her. But what does Lee do Lee says hello to her while Hazel is out eating and then gets upset when Hazel pretends like she doesn't know her. But that makes sense because she can't have her friends know that she knows her because then it might get back to him.

I don't know dude I'm starting to think that Hazel person is trying to kill her husband and blame it on Lee. I think that she's actually having an affair with this Jesse person and he's the one who's abusing her. Not her husband. Like what are the chances that Lee meets Hazel and then the next day meets Jesse {I was right}

I find it so weird that Hazel is making sure that Lee looks pretty. She's taking her to the spa to get cleaned up. She came to her car with makeup and did her makeup. It's weird that's not what you do when you're dealing with somebody who's homeless it's weird

If Hazel is pretending like she went to the spa but really gave it the spa appointment to Lee then where would Hazel have been all day? She couldn't be sitting at home because then she would be on camera

Oh my God then of course don't you know the old trope of you look like me so you should pretend to be me happens in this book. Like are you kidding me how do they never notice they looked alike until she got this magic haircut.

Lee doesn't think it's odd that Hazel left the money at the house so if someone came home she'd have all this money on her.

Doesn't Hazel know that a slave master contract is not law-abiding he couldn't divorce her on grounds that she didn't do the contract it's not legal.

How in the hell did Jesse manage to find lee? He didn't know what she looked like. He only knew that she had a car with a window that was out. What

So Lee finds Jesse dead in Hazel's house, but rather than taking the money and running she decides to tangle herself further into who killed Jesse. Why? Why? Who cares! You have $50,000! Go pay your debt and go home - make it up to your sister. Or go start a new life. And to top off that she decides to go to Jesse's house right after she finds him dead. Her shoes match the crime scene and now she's going to his apartment - who cares what happened.

I don't understand why Hazel thinks her husband would be more lethal if he gets off on a murder charge. Wouldn't be even more suspicious if she did end up dead afterwards? I don't get the point of him killing her. Oh and then he gets released and tells her he plans on it looking like she killed herself. No one would ever think that's even weirder since his first wife also died by suicide. I don't understand how he can frame her for pulling the money out. Wouldn't he have to pull the money put via bank? Isn't he on the recordings.

I think it's insane that a man who is so controlling would let Lee go with her knowing everything. Seems like a loss end. He knows she's homeless with no family that cares what happens to her, so why would he just let her go with everything she knows about him & his marriage to Hazel.

Final Thoughts:
Didn't care for the ending that pretty much says if you are rich you can escape an abusive relationship.

Just too many open ended holes in the story that I felt left me with more questions.

I'm sure Hazel's husband will get off for the murder of Carter. His defense would just say that Nick acted on his own without direction from Benjamin. It's all hearsay.

Hate when thrillers that use abusive relationships as a plot and then make out like the take away lesson is that you should know known he was bad.

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Robyn Harding is one of my top favorite thriller authors! She is always an auto buy author for me!!

I was ecstatic to get my hands on an early copy of her newest book!

The Drowning Woman is another successful fast and addicting thriller by Harding.

Wooo... so much lies, deception, and bizarre/creepy behaviors that keep you on the edge of your toes in this one.

Just when you think that you have everything almost figured out Harding throws another curve ball twist to shake you off that path.

Lee and Hazel find themselves sharing lives too close then they ever thought they would. They both are pretty sneaky and we know something isn't adding up with both of them.

Also, can I just say that Harding by far has the most dysfunctional and shit train characters by far in the thriller genre and I LIVE FOR IT!!!

The ending was a little tidy for me that's my only tiny issue was hoping for that final twist.

Overall, so so good!! And I CANT wait for her next release!!

Overall, its a fun and fast paced thriller!

4.5/5 stars

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

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A homeless woman and a socialite form an unlikely friendship in this highly entertaining and binge-worthy psychological thriller. The story is filled with secrets, lies, questionable motives, and toxic relationships that twist and turn every few chapters. Brittany Wilkerson and Henriette Zoutomou make a fantastic narrating duo, keeping the listener hooked on every word. I couldn't take out my earbuds!

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I could not finish this book. I was halfway through when I decided to stop reading. I had a very difficult time with the main character. It was just not enjoyable for me.

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After feeling like her life has gone down the drain due to bad choices and the pandemic, Lee is given a second chance on the beach one day. As she contemplates her life in her car which serves as her home she sees a woman crying and entering the water and not come up. Lee jumps in and saves the woman and thorough this happening they establish a weird and unusual friendship. At least that is what Lee thinks but really there is a sinister motive behind why this woman connect with Lee.

This book was fantastic and kept me on the edge of my seat. I felt for Lee as desperate measures were taken that changed her entire life. I think everyone felt the pandemic a different way and seeing the effect it had not just on Lee but all the other characters was unique. All the characters in this book were complex and complicated and made me question everything. I did not know where the end was going because it kept me guessing through all the complicated twist and turns. I truly was on the edge of my seat or sometimes walking around because I couldnt put it down. If you like thrillers and mystery please read this!!

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I had not read anything by Robyn Harding before and after reading The Drowning Woman, I am kicking myself for not picking up her books sooner! This was such a crazy, intense ride with amazing twists and turns! It took off so fast and went breakneck speed until the very last page. I loved it!

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This book kept my attention but seemed to get progressively sillier and sillier as I went on. But, as a must-finish-the-book reader, I kept on (and the epilogue was quite satisfying to me, so I’m not sad I did).

Nobody in this story is portrayed in a very good light – Hazel is constantly telling herself she is not strong or smart and, well, she wasn’t; Lee has a whole weird backstory, is living out of her car at a dead end job, seems to have tons of time on her hands, and then there is the instalove with Jesse (which is a plot device I hate). Ironically, the only person who I did like was Vanessa, who I think I was not supposed to like. The male characters were awful, the police and lawyers weren’t much better and the resolution regarding Hazel’s mother was completely bizarre and used more as a red herring than anything else. I despise coincidences as a plot enhancer, and I feel that’s what the mother’s role was.

This book was a solid 3 star read for me and I will read this author again.

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This book was a highlight of my summer reading. Told in four parts, The Drowning Woman tells the story of two women with very different lives. I was supprised to find that I really liked both main characters! I will say that the book had a stronger start than finish, but I enjoyed the reveal and how things wrapped up. It's very fast-paced, and the perfect popcorn thriller for summer vacation. Although, people might have some questions if they see you reading this one on the beach!

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The Drowning Woman by @rhardingwriter is a phenomenal read!

I can’t even find the words to describe how wonderful this book is! The dual POV is perfect for this story! She does an excellent job at flowing between the two and getting the perspective from both. Some authors can’t pull this off, but Harding does this exceptionally well! The twist!! Oh my word, the twist! I never saw it coming!

The Drowning Woman has now taken the top spot for my all time favorite thriller! Run and grab this one today!

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This was a fantastic domestic thriller with so many twists and turns. I was kept up all night just so I could finish. I highly recommend this as everyone’s next thriller!

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I know this is really late but I just have to say I absolutely LOVED this book. I tore through it and could never anticipate what would happen next. Robyn Harding is one of my favorite thriller writers. She never disappoints. I appreciated the dual POV and rooted for both Lee and Hazel to triumph over the toxic and dangerous men in their lives. Highly recommend to thriller fans!

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Quick Summary: A wholly eventful web of lies and deceit

My Review: The Drowning Woman by Robyn Harding was a dark and tangled thriller. It was a twisted version of Sleeping with the Enemy. What made it so absolutely captivating was the duality and yet singularity that existed between the two women. Both women's desperation was palpable. In the end, one can simply reap what you sow.

About the Book: A battle of wills and a bevy of unfortunate circumstances lead two women down a path of no return.

My Final Say: This is a worthy read. I highly recommend it.

Rating: 5/5
Recommend: Yes
Audience: A
Favorites Shelf: Yes

Appreciation is extended to the author, to the publisher (Grand Central Publishing), and to NetGalley. Thank you for the opportunity to read this title in exchange for an honest review.

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I am a huge fan of Robyn Harding so I was thrilled when I received an ARC of her latest release, The Drowning Woman.
This one gripped me immediately from the opening page and never let up. It was riveting and filled with mind-blowing twists and turns!
The story revolves around two heroines, Lee and Hazel. Lee is on the run from an abusive gangster, while Hazel is being imprisoned by a toxic, violent husband. These two meet when Lee rescues Hazel from drowning herself in a suicide attempt. I love stories about female friendships so I enjoyed their girl power journey.
Told from dual POVs of the two ladies, this one has all the ingredients of a good thriller - secrets, lies, murder, disappearances, backstabbing, betrayal, retribution, scary phone calls and secret recordings.
I recommend this thriller by Robyn Harding. Thank you to NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of The Drowning Woman in exchange for an honest review.

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