Tuesday 7 August 2018

Something in the Water

Finished July 23
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

This suspense novel really took me by surprise a couple of times, despite the unusual beginning.
The book opens with Erin, a documentary filmmaker and newlywed, in the woods near a country inn that she and her fiance had vacationed in just a few weeks before their wedding. What is she doing there? Digging a hole, a grave to be exact, to bury her husband in.
Most of the rest of the book is a flashback to the weeks leading up to this moment. They include her big documentary project, one in which she follows three people from phone interviews, to meetings while they are still in jail, to meetings either at time of release, or soon after, with a bit of followup. One of the women is from poverty, and has made some poor choices, ending with setting a bus on fire, which has led her to prison. The other woman she follows is a bit older, a successful lawyer, who assisted her mother to kill herself as she was dying a painful death. She is calm and sympathetic, and has her life planned out following her release. The third is a man who has long been rumoured to be a high stakes player in a criminal organization, a man who knows his stuff, but was caught a few years ago for money laundering. Getting him to interview is a coup, and Erin knows it. She doesn't really know why everyone agreed to cooperate with her, and she pulled in a lot of favours to make this work. A lot of her work is done in the weeks and days leading up to her wedding date in the fall, but the releases of all three are scheduled for after she returns from her honeymoon. So between the wedding plans and her work, a lot is happening.
As the wedding gets closer though, there are also new issues arising with her fiance. First he seems distracted, and then worried about finances, and she tries to put aside her worries as she calms him, and accepts some of the changes that he suggests. Things move along, but when the two of them discover something in the water near their honeymoon resort, things really start going south.
This is a story with lots of twists and turns, and surprises. Erin is an interesting character, strong and determined in some ways, and vulnerable in others. It is interesting to see her develop here.

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