Thursday, August 15, 2019

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Summer's almost over and that makes me sad. It's always been my favorite time of year, with fall a close second (because fall = Halloween!). But the shortening days and colder weather are definitely not my jam. Give me sweltering heat, afternoons under a ceiling fan or sitting poolside (I wish!), or a tropical drink and a beach any day!

And books! But those get me through year round :)

Over the years I've shied away somewhat from the term "beach read" mostly because A. my preferred beach reading is very different from other people's (I mean, I read Rebecca and It one summer and consider those a perfect benchmark for "beach" reading, as a result). But when a book is actually centered around a beachy theme...

Catherine Steadman's Something in the Water by definition then falls into the "beach read" category!

Erin and Mark are newlyweds already wading through complications. Mark has recently lost his job, something that forced them to drastically downgrade their wedding plans and their much-anticipated honeymoon. 

But they are still honeymooning! In Bora Bora, no less. While diving one day, though, they make a shocking discovery that kicks off a dangerous set of circumstances and a series of decisions that take them further and further down a path they can't recover from. 

You know things aren't going to end well for Mark and Erin. The book begins with Erin musing over how long it takes to dig a grave—because she's being forced to do just that. But the path that got her to this point is a twisty turny one that Steadman throws the reader headfirst into shortly thereafter.

Erin is a documentary filmmaker working on a project about three prisoners soon to be released back into society. And it's obvious from the start, because of the amount of time spent on this part of her story, that this is going to play some role as the plot proceeds.

The couple is still in the planning stages of the wedding (the final planning stages) when Mark loses his job. The resulting arguments and stress are exactly what you'd imagine considering weddings are EXPENSIVE! But the couple comes to a compromise that still allows them a honeymoon in paradise.

Of course, that's where things start to get really bad. But also heady and exciting for the couple. And the reader is well aware that this is an "if it seems too good to be true" scenario!

It reminded me more than a bit of Peter Benchley's The Deep. (Or rather the two movie adaptations, since I've not read the actual book.) And if you're familiar with that storyline, then you can kind of imagine the path Steadman's debut takes. To make the comparison might be a bit spoilery except that as soon as Mark and Erin make their discovery, you can kind of guess where the story is headed anyway.

Something in the Water isn't a complex cerebral read. But it is quite enjoyable, even if it is a tad predictable. I liked Erin more and more as the story progressed. Can I mention again that we meet her as she's digging a grave? And she's googled about the process on the dead person's phone. So she's no dummy. And even when some of the decisions the couple makes are questionable, it makes you wonder as a reader what you'd do in the same situation, something I really enjoyed mulling over after I'd finished reading.

This is another book I read on audio while hanging with the tiny and it is a phenomenal audiobook! Narrated by Steadman herself, who is also a screen actress (she was in Downton Abbey). It's always a bonus when an author has the ability to narrate their own books. By which I mean when the author has the talent to really do a book justice on audio (because some of them do their own audiobooks when they really shouldn't). And in Steadman's hands (or voice), Something in the Water really shines on audio! (Check out a sample over on Libro.fm.)

I had so much fun with this one that I'm anxiously awaiting Steadman's new release, Mr. Nobody, in January.


Jan M. Flynn said...

Hmmm . . . more danger lurking in the deep. Seems you have a theme to your summer reading!

Clipping Path said...

Awesome post.Thanks for sharing.This is so nice.

Becky LeJeune said...

Jan - I absolutely do! :)