Review: Something In the Water by Catherine Steadman


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. . . .

Something In the Water by Catherine Steadman.  Audiobook read by the author.  Random House Audio, June 5, 2018.   Genre: suspense. Read this book because it meets my book challenge #7- A book set in a country that fascinates you and #32- A book from a celebrity book club (Reese Witherspoon).

Let me start out by saying, modern suspense (with zero horror elements) is not something I normally read.  Not that it’s bad, it’s just not really my thing.  So why did I pick up Something In the Water in the first place?  Because I’m too damn curious.  WHAT could possibly be IN THE WATER?  Sea monsters?  Sharks? Nah, I knew it wouldn’t be anything like that, that it would be something like a body or a stolen object or something along the more criminal lines… but… I still had to know.  It is a great title that hooked me right away and didn’t let me go.  I needed to know the answer.   So, while I knew it wasn’t going to be anything fun like ghost sharks or genetically altered zombie squids in the water,  I was like “Ok, what the hell… Let’s find out what happened.”

I bought the audiobook of Something In the Water.  It is narrated by the author.  I personally think the audio really sells this book.  The way the author reads it, it felt so natural.  You could feel the tension or hesitation or confusion in Erin.  Catherine knew exactly how Erin talked and thought and I think this narration makes Erin’s choices easier to deal with.   If I had been reading it, I might not have had the same pacing or inflection that really tells you what is going on with Erin between the lines.  There are a lot of subtleties with the characters that really come more alive in the audio.  Also, the author nails all the accents.  The characters are mostly all from the UK and Catherine does a WAY better job at different UK accents then I ever could.  If you want to read this book, I highly recommend the audio version over anything else.

OK, so, before I get any farther in my review, I want to address some of the negative comments out there for this book.   I’ve seen many reviews complaining about how the author rambles and has needless details about stuff that has nothing to do with the plot.  That the written is choppy.   All of that is true.  BUT.  It fits the character, Erin, who’s perspective we see the story from.  Let’s take a look at Erin for a min.  She is a documentary filmmaker.  She spends many, many hours researching things for her documentaries.  She is just an average person.  She gets in WAY over her head in a highly dangerous situation.  She becomes paranoid, nervous, and confused. She is lost in her own head.  She clearly has no idea about what she is doing.  Erin has a lot, I mean, a LOT, on her plate.  She nervously rambles.  She over researches and hyper focuses on things to help her try to make the best choice.  She stops and starts because she has no clue about what to do or where to go.  She makes very bad choices.  Not everyone is going to know how to handle a dangerous situation or what to do to get out of trouble.   The way the author wrote this really brings home these points.  The choppy rambling all has a point.  It is Erin’s voice we are hearing.  She is re-telling us a story that has just happened to her. The authors writing reflects a nervous, scared, average individual trying to find a way to get out of this hole they are in.   The rambling, inconsistent details ARE Erin.  That is the purpose of the way it is written.

That being said…………. OMFG, Erin is…. AGH. You just want to slap this woman with a limp wet fish every time she does something.  She makes SO. MANY. BAD. CHOICES.  Half the book I’m just yelling “DUUUUDE! STOP!” at her.  And you know what is really frustrating about Erin? If I was in her situation, I’d probably make all the same stupid damn mistakes she does! 😡 Ugh.  But that is the whole point about Erin, and her husband Mark.  They are not criminals.  They are not spies, cops or superheros.  They are just Joe and Jane Average.  They fall in to a situation and they have absolutely no freaking clue how to navigate this new world.  Some reviews feel that things got a little too ridiculous as the story went on, but, I don’t know… Granted I’ve never found myself in criminal activity, but I know I have made small bad decisions in the past that ended up getting way out of hand because instead of doing the right thing, I just kept making more bad choices…. so, does the story get crazy? Yes.  But, it felt like a pretty reasonable spiraling out of control.

I ended up really liking Something In the Water.  I liked that we had a character that didn’t know what to do and had plenty of flaws.  I enjoyed the story and the characters.  I did not see some of the twists coming.  The audio performance was pretty perfect.  I was honestly shocked by how much I enjoyed this book.

While this book isn’t normally something I would have enjoyed, I had a lot of fun listening to it.  The author does an amazing job narrating the audio book and she really makes Erin come alive.  While there are some people who don’t like all the rambling details, I felt like it really fit the perspective, thoughts and actions of the main character.  I would recommend this book to others and I HIGHLY recommend the audio version.




One thought on “Review: Something In the Water by Catherine Steadman

  1. I love your review. I was thinking about reading this but now may have to go audible. Sometimes a character drives me crazy with their actions. Then, I have to be honest and admit I’d probably make the same mistakes too.

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