Something in the Water

Something in the Water

A shocking discovery on a honeymoon in paradise changes the lives of a picture-perfect couple in this taut psychological thriller debut--for readers of Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins, and Shari Lapena. 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 in...

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Title:Something in the Water
Author:Catherine Steadman
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Something in the Water Reviews

  • Mackenzie - PhDiva Books

    5

    Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟!!!

    A slow build to a shocking discovery, this book will have you wondering what you would do!!! See my review

    What an incredible debut novel this is for Catherine Steadman! While the book starts with a bang, the next 30% is a slow build as you get to know the characters. Then at about 35% the story takes a turn and readers will find themselves holding on for the ride, unsure of where they’ll end up!!! I was unsure about this book at first, but I have to say I

    5

    Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟!!!

    A slow build to a shocking discovery, this book will have you wondering what you would do!!! See my review

    What an incredible debut novel this is for Catherine Steadman! While the book starts with a bang, the next 30% is a slow build as you get to know the characters. Then at about 35% the story takes a turn and readers will find themselves holding on for the ride, unsure of where they’ll end up!!! I was unsure about this book at first, but I have to say I ended up really enjoying it and found it to be a tantalizing premise for a story.

    I don’t even know what I’d compare this book to… Its really quite unique from other psychological thrillers, though I’m sure some comparisons (Ruth Ware, Paula Hawkins) are bound to come up. I don’t want to make those though because I don’t think readers should go into this book expecting something similar to what they’ve already read. Enjoy this one on it’s own merit!

    Erin is a documentary filmmaker and is engaged to handsome, successful, financial advisor Mark. The two have a nearly perfect relationship—each balances the other out, and is able to cheer the other up when down. Erin is creating a documentary about prisoners reintegrating into society after their release, when she takes a break and she and Mark leave grey-skied England for a dream honeymoon in Bora Bora.

    Mark and Erin spend their days hiking, eating exotic meals, basking in the sun, and making love in their room—a perfect honeymoon! Erin is even facing her fear of scuba diving to see the oceans with Mark. But after a big storm makes the waters cloudy, they are forced to change their dive location to a different island about an hour off the shore of Bora Bora.

    I cannot believe this is a debut novel! Catherine has a way with vivid characters, settings, and vernacular, probably from her career as an actress. I found Erin and Mark so compelling, both as individuals and in their relationship dynamic. Mark is calculating where Erin is creative. Erin is action-oriented where Mark is strategic. Both are open to understanding when they’ve misunderstood the other.

    But I don’t want to forget to mention the other characters! The three prisoners—Holli, Alexa, and Eddie—are fascinating each in their own way. Steadman shows the incredible diversity of those who are convicted. Some may deserve worse than they got, and others you might empathize with, or even see a bit of your own decision-making in. Each has their own story, peppered throughout the book in Erin’s interviews with them.

    And the mystery!!! The “something” that is in the water!!! It sets a chain of events in motion that are twisty and heart-pounding in their rapid succession. From the time the boat hits the

    , readers will NOT be able to put this book down! Erin and Mark both handle the situation so differently. Erin surprises even herself with her boldness, which was wonderful to read about. Erin was a great narrator, even if I did want to shake her at times and tell her to stop, JUST STOP!

    The series of tiny decisions that could lead them on different paths each step of the way was extremely well-written. I found myself unsure at each stage what I would choose. Would I follow the same path that Erin and Mark did? What would I do, if I were the one to find something in the water? I wanted to avoid saying much about the plot beyond the discovery, because readers will absolutely love the ride this book will take them on! I look forward to more from this author.

    I want to sincerely thank Netgalley, Catherine Steadman, and Ballantine Books at Random House Publishing for an opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. It was my pleasure!

  • Berit☀️✨

    Well HOT damn this book was just... brilliant! Full disclosure I was running behind on my reviews so I purchased this on audio on release day and I was even a little hesitant because I saw the author was narrating.... not always a good thing, but I had no idea that Catherine Steadman is an actress.... and after finishing this book I now know she is also a fantastic author and audiobook narrator!!! Simply amazing! Seriously if I could I would give her narration six st

    Well HOT damn this book was just... brilliant! Full disclosure I was running behind on my reviews so I purchased this on audio on release day and I was even a little hesitant because I saw the author was narrating.... not always a good thing, but I had no idea that Catherine Steadman is an actress.... and after finishing this book I now know she is also a fantastic author and audiobook narrator!!! Simply amazing! Seriously if I could I would give her narration six stars, it was really exceptional! And this book kept me on the edge of my seat from about 30% on...

    Erin and Mark are a happy newly married couple on their honeymoon in Bora Bora... they are having a wonderful time in this tropical paradise until...thunk thunk... there is something in the water.... and what it is will alter this couple’s lives.... from this point on the tension is ramped up and I felt as though I was on the edge of my seat throughout... so many thoughts... what would I do in this situation? What is the ethical thing to do?

    Erin and Mark were both fabulous characters... they both handled the situation so differently and I found that part so compelling and true....Erin was very bold about it all and didn’t always think things through, in fact sometimes she did some really stupid things... Mark on the other hand was more cautious, not much of a risk taker, although he was usually fine with his wife taking a risk.... I have to say I was both surprised and a little disappointed by both of these characters at points in this book....

    There is also a very fascinating side story in this book... Erin is filming a documentary about prisoners about to be released.... Eddie, Holly, and Alexa were all strong, interesting, and well-developed characters.... I found each of their storys compelling and unique.... definitely added another layer to this already wonderful book.... and the voice of eddie is absolutely the best in this audio!

    This really was a book unlike any other I have read before... it was very refreshing.... absolutely recommend to everybody regardless of your reading preferences!

    *** thank you to the publisher for my copy of this brilliant book ***

  • j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]

    For domestic suspense fun, it doesn't get much better than this!

    is

    on the NYT bestseller list this week, a Reese's bookclub selection and the movie rights have long been snatched up!

    All that buzzy attention heaped on one

    can make some of us (okay.....me😂)a tad skeptical. No need to worry. You are in expert hands with Catherine Steadman. Maybe you live on a deserted island and haven't heard, but Steadman is a fabulous, gorgeous act

    For domestic suspense fun, it doesn't get much better than this!

    is

    on the NYT bestseller list this week, a Reese's bookclub selection and the movie rights have long been snatched up!

    All that buzzy attention heaped on one

    can make some of us (okay.....me😂)a tad skeptical. No need to worry. You are in expert hands with Catherine Steadman. Maybe you live on a deserted island and haven't heard, but Steadman is a fabulous, gorgeous actress working in the U.K. She, most notably, was a cast member of Britain's Downton Abbey. She can also write like the pros, if not better. What the heck? So much talent in one person! Quit your day job or not, Ms. Steadman, you are a superstar either way!

    There are tons of summaries out there. Please don't read them. Listen, I accidentally read the "spoilest spoilers" EVER in the New York Times and Kirkus Reviews. Geez. Don't look for more about the story. I would have enjoyed it so much more if I didn't already know

    the

    was! Take my word for it.

    It's my favorite kind of suspense-building story. One bad decision leads to another, leads to one more and so on.....It's the ultimate "what would you do" situational structure. Steadman writes in a slick, sophisticated manner. I'm completely infatuated with her wit and style.

  • Julie

    Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman is a 2018 Ballantine publication.

    Slightly predictable morality tale with a nice hook and a few clever twists-

    You just got married, you’re in financial straits, looking at a drastic change in your quality of living standards, but you’ve already got a nice honeymoon planned in Bora Bora- so why not enjoy every minute of your vacation? That's what newlyweds Erin and Mark plan on doing before they head back to reality and an uncertain future.

    But, on a

    Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman is a 2018 Ballantine publication.

    Slightly predictable morality tale with a nice hook and a few clever twists-

    You just got married, you’re in financial straits, looking at a drastic change in your quality of living standards, but you’ve already got a nice honeymoon planned in Bora Bora- so why not enjoy every minute of your vacation? That's what newlyweds Erin and Mark plan on doing before they head back to reality and an uncertain future.

    But, on a standard scuba dive they discover something in the water, a discovery that puts them in a very prickly position. However, the bottom line is they probably hit the Motherload. But, they also make another, very grisly discovery, and in their paranoid horror and glee, make a few whopping mistakes that could come back to haunt them.

    Can they get away with keeping something that doesn’t belong to them? Should they? What if someone finds out?

    The pressure they were under before is nothing like the pressure they are under now. As they work to cover all their bases, they face one moral dilemma after another, as lies and rationalizations take over and they slide further into moral bankruptcy every day.

    Erin, a documentary filmmaker, is our narrator, laying out the full story going back to when she and Mark first met. Mark’s job as an investment banker, ended abruptly and quite unexpectedly, forcing Mark to face the dismal prospect of having to take any job he can find, in an economic downturn.

    The treasure they find is the answer to all their problems, but they aren't prepared for the lengths they will have to go to to profit from their discoveries, while trying not to get caught. They soon find themselves rubbing elbows with less than trustworthy people, justifying their moral compromises and keeping secrets from each other.

    Right now, psychological thrillers are so popular publishers are rushing subpar novels with interchangeable plotlines into the marketplace in record numbers.

    It’s so bad I’ve begun removing PTs from my TBR pile, before I burn out completely. ( Sort of reminds me of the fever pitch PNR and Urban Fantasy reached back at the peak of 'Twilight's' popularity- thank God that's over! Maybe Fifty Shades of Grey knockoffs are on the way out too- one can only hope!) But- I digress.

    This book, however, had a very intriguing synopsis and the ratings were mostly favorable, so I had to see why it was popular. While I was hopeful, I also approached the book with cautious optimism.

    Thankfully, despite my having picked up on a few ‘tells’ early on in the novel, I found myself caught up more in the character’s fear, guilt and self-loathing, their guilty consciences- or lack thereof- battling against the need to cover their butts and pull off the caper of the century, all so they can maintain a lifestyle they had grown accustomed to. It was an interesting journey, from that standpoint. The parallels between Erin’s documentary subjects and her own life didn’t go unnoticed and the role they played in the story was ironic.

    However, the characters were often so naïve, so utterly clueless, I wanted to scream- or maybe I didn't give them enough credit. You’ll have to be the judge on that one.

    Overall, the story is a little predictable, but I was very engaged, and very interested to see how everything would turn out in the end. It’s an addictive read, with some well- timed twists, that are every effective. Overall, I ended up enjoying this one for the most part. It has a few flaws but didn’t feel like a book written just to cash in on a trend. Perhaps, Steadman will try her hand at this more often- in between her acting roles, of course.

    4 stars

  • Kendall

    I had a really hard time rating this one.... do you ever have books where you get so frustrated with the characters that you just want to scream? Well.. this is definitely one where I was super frustrated and wanted to throw my kindle at times lol.

    Erin and Mark are a newly married couple that don't have the best honest relationship. I noticed that Erin and Mark both have been keeping secrets from one another. Erin is trusting Mark a little more then she should despite all the red flags. But, Er

    I had a really hard time rating this one.... do you ever have books where you get so frustrated with the characters that you just want to scream? Well.. this is definitely one where I was super frustrated and wanted to throw my kindle at times lol.

    Erin and Mark are a newly married couple that don't have the best honest relationship. I noticed that Erin and Mark both have been keeping secrets from one another. Erin is trusting Mark a little more then she should despite all the red flags. But, Erin isn't so innocent either and has been keeping just as much from her husband Mark. Seems like a disaster waiting to happen..eeek!

    Erin is a filmmaker who has an interest in the world of crime. She begins a filming project about three people who are being released from prison. The documentary examines closely the lives of these three individuals and starts out as a project but ends up taking a sinister turn. While on their honeymoon, Mark and Erin find a mysterious black bag in the ocean. Let's just say... the items in the bag are not in the least bit innocent. This of course.... adds intense moments and leads to a show of an ending.

    I had some issues with this book which is why I only gave it three stars. One, my god was this book slow up until 50 percent for me. I felt like nothing was happening and I was struggling to complete chapter after chapter. Finally it picked up half way through! I felt that some of the events that transpired from Mark and Erin's decisions were just too unbelievable. I felt that it would be almost impossible to get away with some of the things that Mark and Erin got away with. Too much security etc currently.

    I feel like this was an overall average thriller for me with a decent ending :).

    3 stars

    Thank you so much to Netgalley and Random House Ballantine for an advanced arc in exchange for my honest review.

    Published to GR: 5/23/18

    Publication date: 6/5/18

  • Mischenko

    I love psychological thrillers, so when I saw this on Audible I gave it a shot. I love that the book is narrated by the author. I thought she was perfect and had no issues there. The story just sort of fell flat for me.

    The two main characters are Erin and Mark and the book is told from Erin’s POV. Erin writes documentaries for a living, while her husband Mark is an investment banker. He’s handsome and super loved by everyone. They’re newlyweds–very much in love– and about to head on an extravaga

    I love psychological thrillers, so when I saw this on Audible I gave it a shot. I love that the book is narrated by the author. I thought she was perfect and had no issues there. The story just sort of fell flat for me.

    The two main characters are Erin and Mark and the book is told from Erin’s POV. Erin writes documentaries for a living, while her husband Mark is an investment banker. He’s handsome and super loved by everyone. They’re newlyweds–very much in love– and about to head on an extravagant honeymoon. Plans to have a family are on the horizon. While scuba diving in Bora Bora, they discover something in the water that has the potential to change their lives forever. It becomes clear fairly quickly that they’ve gotten themselves into a boat-load of trouble.

    One decision after another; they seem to have it all planned out. The problem is that sometimes Erin’s curiosity gets the best of her and it was times like this where I just cringed. I almost couldn’t take it! There were parts in the book where I just couldn’t stand her character and wanted to scream. It’s these events, however, that move the plot along and make it interesting. Not only that, Mark can be a jerk when he wants to be and I had a hard time figuring him out in the beginning. The question is, can they stick together and really pull this off? If it weren’t for the

    spoiler in the beginning of the book, it might not be so easy to figure out.

    After the first big introduction, the book starts out slow and boring and gradually just keeps getting better. For me though, it fell flat–probably because of the way it started and knowing a crucial detail from the very start. I’m iffy about beginnings like that, although you’re left to wonder about Erin’s character throughout because of it. The ending was fairly predictable and I could see where it was going though.

    One of my biggest issues with the book was all the added details and some of the secondary characters. I just found them sort of worthless and they took away from the main plot. With that said, I did still enjoy the book and there were a few times where I was on edge. I was very anxious a few times in the story. It just wasn’t as thrilling as I expected it to be. If you like thrillers, I would still recommend you give this one a try!

    3***

    See this review on my blog @

  • Jennifer Masterson

    The story was just “meh” for me. The audio was incredible. The author is an actress from Downton Abby. If you don’t read a lot of thrillers you might enjoy this. If you do read a lot of thrillers you might find it just ok.

    I’m still in a rut. On to the next!

  • Rose (Traveling Sister)

    Erin is a filmmaker working on a prison documentary, and she is about to marry a banker named Mark Roberts. When Mark loses his job, they're forced to downsize their wedding and their honeymoon. Poor things only get TWO WEEKS in Bora Bora. What a pity. They spend the first week snorkeling and romancing, then some major THUNKS happen. The thunks are not good thunks. Or are they?

    Erin is a filmmaker working on a prison documentary, and she is about to marry a banker named Mark Roberts. When Mark loses his job, they're forced to downsize their wedding and their honeymoon. Poor things only get TWO WEEKS in Bora Bora. What a pity. They spend the first week snorkeling and romancing, then some major THUNKS happen. The thunks are not good thunks. Or are they?

    What follows are a series of rash decisions that leave this couple questioning what the difference is between legal and criminal, safety and danger, sane and insane. Both Mark's banking contacts and Erin's ties with her prison documentary subjects drive the suspense in this novel, although there is a syndicate-level undertone that leaves literally everything up in the air.

    I found this novel to be successful because, for the most part, it leaves out all the procedural detective work of a typical thriller. It's about two seemingly average people who get in over their heads and are toeing the line between getting themselves out and, as it were, diving in deeper. Mark and Erin's relationship has both beautiful synchronicity and juxtaposition: They respect each other's ideas but have different ways of getting what they want.

    Erin is the only narrator, so it is heavy with internal monologue. As is often the case, things get a bit repetitive as she asks herself the same questions over and over again, hoping for a brilliant breakthrough. However, I found her to be far less annoying than your average "female in trouble" trope. Yes, her dedication to her husband was unwavering. Yes, she wanted desperately to prove that she was capable of making smart decisions on her own. But NO, she was NOT going to be messed with. I have a soft spot for female MCs who prove to themselves, other characters, and readers that they are so much stronger than initially thought.

    And, frankly, I liked the narration:

    All of this being said, I

    round down for my 3-star review. There's a delicate line between mystery writers making their plots too tame or too audacious - a task I don't envy. While Steadman kept a steady pace, and all of the characters were vivid in both their strengths and their flaws, I wanted a bit more

    . I was expecting the reveal at the end to be a little more complex and nefarious.

    And finally, though I'm not British, I have several British friends and loved this bit:

    LM-freakin'-AO, Steadman.

  • Melissa

    Let me start by giving credit where it’s due—

    the first chapter . . . hands down. Very few openers have acquired my attention as adeptly as those four simple sentences.

    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

    Let me start by giving credit where it’s due—

    the first chapter . . . hands down. Very few openers have acquired my attention as adeptly as those four simple sentences.

    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.

    I think we can all agree—there’s not much subjectivity allowed here, is there?—

    who finds themselves in a situation that requires the disposal of a body, pretty much guarantees they’re

    a good person. What kind of reader would that make me though, if I didn’t give Erin the chance to explain herself?

    From Erin’s declaration on her moral character,

    flips the calendar back three months—setting to work the events that land her leading lady in the woods committing a major felony.

    Let me dip my toe in the plot here for a bit. 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

    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—

    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?

    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

    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

    upset. What kills me, this

    should have been so much

    .

    The entire story is told from Erin’s perspective and it’s my belief, the author’s writing style will be hit-or-miss with readers.

    ’s words are

    choppy, but in some ways, I felt her voice fed into the suspense of the novel and lessened the impact of the drivel. If you think about it, our own thoughts are far from linear and polished—there’s a rawness, a flitting from one thought to another . . .

    . Well, that’s the best justification I can come up with for the messiness presented on the page.

    Was the story written this way intentionally? I’m not quite sure. What I am sure of, this story would have benefited from more editing. Quite a few times,

    wrote herself into a corner and continued to turn in circles, spewing bits of useless information, while trying to get back on track. Again, that’s just

    take on the steady diet of nonsense the author chose to spoon-feed the reader.

    I'm going to end things on this note: when writing a story, or heck, even in real life, simply

    about something, doesn’t necessarily breath it in to fruition—regardless of how many times this plot tries to persuade you otherwise. If that was the case, the ending of this book would have been something else entirely.

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