Book review: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Sunday, August 5, 2018 Permalink

This book was chosen by Reese Witherspoon for her bookclub so probably doesn’t need the support of little ol’ me here in the land down-under.

Which is probably a good thing as – though I certainly enjoyed it – I wasn’t as enamoured as I’m assuming readers like Reese were.

Book review: Something in the Water by Catherine SteadmanSomething in the Water
by Catherine Steadman
Published by Simon & Schuster UK
on June 5th 2018
Source: Simon & Schuster
Genres: Thriller / Suspense, Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 1471167186
Pages: 400

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other. Then, while scuba diving in the crystal blue sea, they find something in the water. . . .

Could the life of your dreams be the stuff of nightmares?

Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. After all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events. . . .

Don’t get me wrong…. I enjoyed this book. Perhaps it’d been hyped so much that I expected something mind-blowingly astonishing? I’m not sure.

The book opens after a death and we then go back in time to the events leading up to it and of course things aren’t quite how they seemed during that opening scene.

There’s an obvious underlying theme around ethics and integrity here. In her day job Erin is interviewing prisoners who’ll soon be released and talking to them about their crimes and the lives they expect to live once released.

Mark’s had to skirt the edges of the law in his job as an investment banker and knows well…. not where the bodies are buried, but how to hide money anyway.

Which is a good thing given that the couple find A LOT of it while on their honeymoon and are confronted by an obvious moral dilemma.

There’s an element of suspense here, we know this ends in a death and (inevitably) wonder how we get there.

I think the thing I struggled the most with in this book was the believability of elements: from the discovery of the money (etc); to the fact Mark and Erin attempted negotiating with hard-core criminals; to the violent climax, which all seemed a little OTT or unrealistic.

I also felt the characters were a tad inconsistent. In some ways that’s at the crux of the ‘twist’ of this book so shouldn’t be a problem but because we’re in Erin’s head we’re pretty much privy to her every thought and I wasn’t sure I had a handle on WHO she really was. I wasn’t sure I liked her sometimes – from her complete lack of understanding of the implications of Mark’s job loss to her actions after they found the money.

As for their relationship… I noted it seemed she idolised Mark in some ways, rather than ‘loved’ him. There was a disjoint of sorts….

The whole world is still open and clear for me. It’s not my problem.

The guilt follows immediately. What an awful thing to think. Of course it’s my problem. It’s our problem. We’re getting married in a couple of months. But I can’t make that feeling stick. I don’t feel Mark’s problems like I feel my own. What does that mean? I don’t feel like something devastating has happened. I feel free and light. p 36

But – my usual foibles aside – this is an enjoyable and addictive read and I think it’ll be a popular one.

For those interested in that sort of stuff, I suspect some of the attention the book’s receiving is because the author (Steadman) is also an actress, having appeared in Downton Abbey and the like. (Something I hadn’t known until writing this, so of course didn’t impact on my perception either way.)

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman was published in Australia by Simon & Schuster and is now available.

I received a copy of this book from the publishers for review purposes.


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