Review: Dead Water by C. A. Fletcher

A water-borne blight hits a remote community on a small island on the edge of the Northern Atlantic. The islanders are a strange mix, some island-born, some seeking a slower life away from the modern world. All have their own secrets, some much darker than others. Rumour says the illness may be a water-borne neural infection from the shellfish farm, a case of mass hysteria – or even a long-buried curse – but when ferry service fails, inconvenience grows into nightmarish ordeal as the outwardly harmonious fabric of the community is unnervingly torn apart.

A haunting, suspenseful tale of isolation and dread within a small island community -from the author of A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World, perfect for fans of The Loney and Station Eleven.

* Thank you Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

*Trigger Warning: Some animal violence and death.

I’ll be totally, 100% honest. I totally picked this book based on the cover! I was browsing the horror category and saw this book and was just captured by the cover. Didn’t know the author. I didn’t even read the plot blurb, just went straight to getting it.

When I began reading Dead Water, I had no idea what to expect. It had something to do with water, maybe a curse or plague? Sounds like a good time! Nice Scottish folk horror tale maybe? 🙂 Awesome!

I really, really enjoyed this book. More on that later! First, though, I wanted to talk about the pacing for a hot minute. Dead Water is VERY slow burn. By that, I mean very, very, VEEEEEEERY slow burn. It is one of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from other reviewers.

Truthfully, I didn’t mind. I thought the pacing was just right. It reminded me of watching a UK mini-series….Slow build focused mostly on characters first, the setting and then the plot. I really enjoyed watching the island life slowly become unraveled and messed up.

While not all the characters are likable, they all felt very realistic. Everyone had realistic flaws, secrets, and normal problems. I appreciated how there are characters with different ages, disabilities, and part of the LGBT+ community. As the story progressed, I grew to really care about everyone.

I absolutely LOVED the big reveal of what was going on. Wow. I was NOT expecting plague- curse zombies at all. What a great surprise! I did not expect it and was pleasantly pleased. I also loved that there is a wild zombie bunny running the island! I’m sorry, what? YES. Zombie…… BUNNY. Hell yes!! Awww cute!! ❤ (Also, I think…… did….. did the zombunny get away? >.> Hmmm….)

Now. The ending was…. a little different. Not bad at all! It was just different. I thought it was very unique, but I could see some people may feel like it was a little anti-climatic? I thought it had nice closure though.

Dead Water is a spell binding Scottish folklore. A slow burn story that is filled with true to life characters. This story had a reveal that definitely caught me off guard in the best possible way! The ending is a strange, tense, quick sprint to the final show down. The finale is a little unusual, but it felt very authentic to the story and characters. Bonus points because there was a zombunny and the pet dog LIVED!! 🙂