”Something in the Water” by Catherine Steadman

This book made a big splash all over my Instagram feed once Reese Witherspoon picked it for her book club’s June pick. It is a mystery novel, and people raved about it, so I borrowed it from the library to see what the fuss was all about.

Erin is a documentary filmmaker, interested in a special project regarding life after prison for three inmates. She has a comfortable life with her fiancé Mark, who is an investment banker. Everything is perfect until Mark loses his job. While Mark is on the hunt for a new job, and Erin is in the middle of gathering footage for her documentary, they get married in a very modest ceremony, and take off on a honeymoon to Bora Bora.

In Bora Bora they have the time of their lives. They spend their time swimming, diving, and in bed. On a day trip diving with sharks and sunken ships, they find …dun dun duuuunnnn …something in the water. This something could change their lives. So what should they do? Do they call the police and report it? Or should they keep it? They make their decision, which has very big consequences. Once they get home, everything changes. Erin and Mark start keeping secrets from each other, and start making dangerous choices.

I liked the side story about the prisoners Erin was interviewing. Her particular project was discussing how they felt about their crimes, and what their dreams were for when they got out. She interviewed the three prisoners while they were in jail, and planned to talk to them once they have been released to see if they made their dreams a reality.

I did not find the characters very likeable or relatable. They made dangerous choices, choices I certainly would not have made, and I have a hard time thinking anyone with an ounce of logic would make. These choices led to bigger problems and more lies. Mark seemed like a total ass to me right from the get go, which bugged me. His behaviour I found very troublesome and uncomfortable.

The writing was not terrible. I found it suspenseful and read it in 2 evenings, so it was a quick read. The characters were decently written, even if unlikeable, and seemed to balance each other. Where Mark was calculating and thinking ahead, Erin was quick to act and impulsive. And the mystery wasn’t entirely guessable, though not exactly believable either. There were some other little things I found bothersome. Like if you are strapped for money why go to Bora Bora? I am sure that isn’t cheap?! Overall, this was another meh book for me.

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