SOMETHING IN THE WATER - by Catherine Steadman

SOMETHING IN THE WATER - Catherine Steadman
Published: June 2018 - Ballantine
Genres: Adult / contemporary / thriller
Pages: 342.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Mild sexual content / mild violence / mild language
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.

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. . . .

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?

I've been a fan of Catherine Steadman ever since I saw her in The Tudors. I also love it when actresses and actors write fiction - I don't know why, exactly. I guess it's because it somewhat combines two things I love: books and films. 

Catherine Steadman is an exceptional writer. She's an instant professional. Her style is clean, to the point, her word choice is so careful, and from the first paragraph I was in love with her writing. She manages to set up each scene with just a mere sprinkling of descriptive words that somehow manage to suck you right into the setting along with the characters. Her descriptions are concise, yet the scenes are instantly immersive and three dimensional. Every detail has been chosen for a reason, and she doesn't waste time.

The story is stunningly atmospheric. The sensory details are all there, and the settings breathe life. It's consuming and it draws you right in.
The pacing is perfect. There's very, very little action - as in, action fighting - but every scene courses with foreboding and the suspicious details keep you reading. It's utterly riveting, with a lot of heart as well, and at the end the thought-provoking themes come to a perfect head. It's clever, it's chilling, and it's very, very real.

One thing, though: I did guess the big twist before I'd even gotten halfway through the book ;)
However: knowing that twist did not make me love the book any less. It is rather predictable, but it's the way Steadman handles it that makes the ending - and the book - extraordinary. The ending still blew me away because of how Steadman wrote it.

I have the feeling of being too near to something I don't want to be near to. To something dangerous. I can't quite see what it is yet but I feel it, it feels close. I feel the trapdoors in my mind creaking under the strain of what lies underneath.

The characters are so good!! Everyone is three dimensional the instant they're introduced, and they're all vivid and interesting. I also love just how realistic everyone is. They act like day-to-day people.
Erin is by far my favourite, though. She's an amazing heroine: neurotic, fallible, naive, and downright capable and strong when the situation calls for it. She's vulnerable, but she's also brave. She's terrified, but she takes the measures she needs to save the people she loves. I respect her so much. My heart broke for her at the end, and I just wanted to hug her and tell her how proud of her I was ;)

Something in the Water is a phenomenal debut. Powerful, relatable characters wherever you turn, compelling relationships, and an atmospheric, suspenseful plot.

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