Today I am absolutely thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for Something In The Water by Catherine Steadman.
The perfect couple. The perfect crime?
“Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave? Wonder no longer. It takes an age. However long you think it takes, double it…”
Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough; Mark is a handsome investment banker with a bright future. They seem to have it all, until Mark loses his job and cracks start to appear in their perfect life. But they’re determined to make it work. They book their dream honeymoon and trust that things will work out – after all, they have each other. On the tropical island of Bora Bora, Mark takes Erin scuba diving. Mark is with her – she knows he’ll keep her safe. Everything will be fine. Until they find something in the water…
Erin and Mark decide to keep their discovery a secret – after all, if no one else knows,
who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events which will endanger everything they hold dear.
I read this book pretty much in one day. I am not normally a book a day reader but this was completely unputdownable.
We begin near the end. Something has happened. Someone has died and it looks pretty darn bad for our protagonist Erin. Told in first person we see events unfold as she takes us back . ‘I’m not a bad person. Or maybe I am. Maybe you should decide.’ she tells us and so it begins.
Erin and Mark are the golden couple. He a successful banker, she an up and coming documentary film maker, beautiful house and their whole future ahead of them. A few months before their wedding Mark loses his job. They’re not worried though, he was looking for a change and he has contacts, there are doors that will open for him. Aren’t there? Soon the wedding is done and they are flying to Bora Bora and their dream honeymoon. They couldn’t be happier.
Everything is blissful but storm clouds are gathering. They decide to take a diving trip, just the two of them with nothing but blue skies and water that goes on forever. But something lies waiting in the water, something that they decide to keep secret. No-one knows, so surely no harm can come of it and somethings are best left hidden… aren’t they? Except the secret becomes a dark cloud, unsettling the calm, tranquillity of their new marriage. Someone knows.
This is a strong, accomplished debut and a thrilling read. The story arc is wonderful and keeps you guessing right until the last few chapters. I enjoyed reading through Erin’s eyes. It kept the tension high and she is a fascinating character. Her current documentary project adds another level of tension as she delves into the lives of three criminals just as they are coming to the end of prison sentences. It certainly makes you question if a person is truly bad just because they have been convicted of a crime. The convicts are all fascinating characters, all with very different crimes and with very different ideas for their rehabilitation. I was constantly questioning where things were going, who knew more than they were letting on and if Erin was or wasn’t herself a bad person. Things are rarely black and white and for this aspect I think this would make a fantastic book club choice. There are plenty of ‘what would you do?’ moments that I’m sure could raise some lively debates.
There is already lots of hype surrounding this book. It was published in hardback last summer and was selected for the Reese Witherspoon Book Club. It has also been optioned for adaptation by Twentieth Century Fox with Reece Witherspoon producing. I think this will adapt brilliantly. I just hope they keep the home location here in the UK rather than moving to America as was done in the movie adaptation of Girl On a Train.
In a nutshell this is a fantastic debut, a thrilling read and one I thoroughly recommend. Absolute perfect escapism.
Thank you so much to Anne Cater of RandomThingsTours for inviting me to be part of this blog tour and thanks to her and the lovely people at Simon & Schuster for my review copy.
About the author
Catherine Steadman is an actress and writer based in North London. She has appeared in leading roles on British television as well as on stage in the West End, most recently in Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution in 2018. In 2016 she was nominated for Laurence Olivier Award for her performance in Oppenheimer. She is best known for her role as Mabel Lane Fox in Downton Abbey. She grew up in the New Forest and lives with a small dog and average sized man. Something in the Water is her first novel and her second is due for release in early 2020.
You can follow Catherine on Twitter at @catsteadman