SOMETHING IN THE WATER by Catherine Steadman (2018)


A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in this taut psychological thriller debut.

If you could make one simple choice that would change your life forever, would you?

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?

Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman’s enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we’re tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves.

How could any suspense reader not be enthralled with a woman who turns to Google to learn the proper depth to bury a body or look away as she carries on, one painstaking shovel-full at a time? Erin proves with her narrative, ridding yourself of a pesky body, in dirt, might not be as easy as the movies portray. *wink*

“I’m not a bad person. Or maybe I am. You decide.”

I think we can all agree—there’s not much subjectivity allowed here, is there?—anyone who finds themselves in a situation that requires the disposal of a body, pretty much guarantees they’re not a good person. What kind of reader would that make me though, if I didn’t give Erin the chance to explain herself?

Erin is a budding documentary filmmaker, while her soon to be husband, an investment banker, has recently found himself without a job. Less money means less of a fuss over their nuptials and a mere two weeks in Bora Bora, instead of the planned three. It’s in the turquoise waters off the island, in the midst of what anyone would consider a dream honeymoon, that the couple happens across something in the water. A few unfathomable items, just floating along, minding their own business, tucked securely away in a locked black bag. I think we’d all be kidding ourselves if we said we’d just leave it alone. What’s that saying—curiousity killed the cat? The circumstances pose a bit of a moral dilemma, as they should; do Erin and Mark alert someone to what they found or shove the guilt down somewhere deep and live a more “prosperous” life, instead? Any guesses at the decision the couple makes?

This reminded me very much of A Simple Plan by Scott B. Smith Book Review where the main character finds a bag of money which could be totally life-changing.

Things start to get a bit dicey when Erin and Mark find themselves back home in London, pretending to carry on as if nothing has changed. We all know, that scenario never holds up. What ensues is a non-stop decline in believability, a flagrant lack of storyline development and one absurd decision followed by another. From curiosity in the beginning, to waning feelings in the middle, to disdain for the crippling ridiculousness of the back half, this is one I’m labeling as a major upset. What kills me, this could should have been so much more.

The writing is clogged with too much detail (useless I might add) and inaccuracies. I was laughing at how she called the multi-million population Turkish city of Gaziantep, “a small village”. Or how she got some name origins wrong.  Erin and Mark, even though they are a newly married couple – they don’t have the best honest relationship. It’s so freaking filled with red flags that they could start their own store. The secondary characters are detail-heavy too and easily forgotten.



%d bloggers like this: