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Friday 24 May 2019

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Would someone please capture the present-tense narrative, strangle it, pack the remains in a box, seal it, then fire it into space, where, hopefully, it'll get lost in the black hole, whence it can never ever return.

I. hate. it. It's flat, limiting and sucks the heart, the soul, the life, the body, emotion from every story. And in this book, it was a bit of a mess. The story starts in the 'now'. And then flashes back to the events leading up to the 'now'. So, by definition, the past should be just that. In the past.

My heart sinks every time I start a book and discover the wretched PTN. But, in most cases, thankfully, the quality of writing and a good plot manage to subdue my annoyance a bit.

Unfortunately, it wasn't the case here. The start was slow, and though it did pick up eventually, the plot was rather farfetched: a young couple, madly in love, have a dream honeymoon in Bora Bora. On a diving trip, they find something life changing in the water. Something that tests their relationship, their principles, their morals, their sense of justice.

And if Steadman is British, why she annoyingly chose Americanisms like 'bangs' and 'math' is beyond me.

Neither one of the couple, Erin and Mark, are likeable. It's difficult to empathise with either of them. There's also some unfinished business at the end. If it's meant to augur a sequel, I'll probably give that a miss.

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