Something in the Water (Steadman)

Something in the Water  
Catherine Steadman, 2018
Random House
352 pp.
ISBN-13:
9781524797188


Summary
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.
 
Have you ever wondered how long it takes to dig a grave?
 
Wonder no longer. Catherine Steadman’s enthralling voice shines throughout this spellbinding debut novel. With piercing insight and fascinating twists, Something in the Water challenges the reader to confront the hopes we desperately cling to, the ideals we’re tempted to abandon, and the perfect lies we tell ourselves. (From the publisher.)



Author Bio
Birth—February 8, 1987
Where—New Forest in Southern England, UK
Education—Oxford School of Drama
Currently—lives in North London, England


Catherine Steadman is an English actress and author, best known for playing Mabel Lane Fox in series 5 (2014) of Downton Abbey. Her debut novel, the psychological thriller, Something in the Water published in 2018.

Steadman trained at the Oxford School of Drama and made her screen debut playing Julia Bertram in the ITV adaptation of Mansfield Park opposite Billie Piper, James D'arcy, Rory Kinnear & Michelle Ryan. Since then she has appeared in television dramas such as the CBC/Showtime co-production The Tudors (playing Joan Bulmer), Holby City, Law & Order: UK, Missing, Lewis, Quirke (alongside Gabriel Byrne), Fearless (opposite Helen McCrory(, and Victoria.

Most notably she played Nurse Wilson in the ITV drama Breathless, Maggie Lewis in Tutankhamun, as well as Mabel Lane Fox in Downton Abbey. She has also appeared in several comedy series such as The Inbetweeners, Fresh Meat, Trying Again and Bucket. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 6/20/2018.)



Book Reviews
[A] deftly paced, elegantly chilly thriller… Steadman brings… wit, timing and intelligence to this novel…Something in the Water is a proper page-turner, not just a novel produced by a celebrity to whom some wine-weakened publisher said at a cocktail party, "You should write a book!"
Sara Lyall - New York Times


[T]hreats and increasingly bad decisions accelerate with Bourne-like velocity…. Although not all of the plot gambles prove equally successful, daring choices, such as opening with a scene of the desperate Erin digging a grave, mark Steadman as a newcomer worth watching.
Publishers Weekly


Documentary filmmaker Erin and banker Mark are on a glorious Bora Bora honeymoon when they discover a bag stuffed with glittering valuables, which changes their lives in a way that's not so good. A writing debut from the actress who played Mabel Lane Fox in Downton Abbey.
Library Journal


This debut’s opening hook, which jumps ahead in the story to reveal a shocking outcome, teamed with Erin’s spunk and the threat of Russian mobsters, creates irresistible suspense—of both the what-will-happen and the how-did-that-happen varieties.
Booklist


(Starred review) With unreliable characters, wry voices, exquisite pacing, and a twisting plot, Steadman potently draws upon her acting chops.… A darkly glittering gem of a thriller from a new writer to watch.
Kirkus Reviews



Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, please use our GENERIC MYSTERY QUESTIONS to start a discussion for SOMETHING IN THE WATER … then take off on your own:



GENERIC DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Mystery / Crime / Suspense Thrillers

1. Talk about the characters, both good and bad. Describe their personalities and motivations. Are they fully developed and emotionally complex? Or are they flat, one-dimensional heroes and villains?

2. What do you know...and when do you know it? At what point in the book do you begin to piece together what happened?

3. Good crime writers embed hidden clues in plain sight, slipping them in casually, almost in passing. Did you pick them out, or were you...clueless? Once you've finished the book, go back to locate the clues hidden in plain sight. How skillful was the author in burying them?

4. Good crime writers also tease us with red-herrings—false clues—to purposely lead readers astray? Does your author try to throw you off track? If so, were you tripped up?

5. Talk about the twists & turns—those surprising plot developments that throw everything you think you've figured out into disarray.

  1. Do they enhance the story, add complexity, and build suspense?
  2. Are they plausible or implausible?
  3. Do they feel forced and gratuitous—inserted merely to extend the story?

6. Does the author ratchet up the suspense? Did you find yourself anxious—quickly turning pages to learn what happened? A what point does the suspense start to build? Where does it climax...then perhaps start rising again?

7. A good ending is essential in any mystery or crime thriller: it should ease up on tension, answer questions, and tidy up loose ends. Does the ending accomplish those goals?

  1. Is the conclusion probable or believable?
  2. Is it organic, growing out of clues previously laid out by the author (see Question 3)?
  3. Or does the ending come out of the blue, feeling forced or tacked-on?
  4. Perhaps it's too predictable.
  5. Can you envision a different or better ending?

8. Are there certain passages in the book—ideas, descriptions, or dialogue—that you found interesting or revealing...or that somehow struck you? What lines, if any, made you stop and think?

9. Overall, does the book satisfy? Does it live up to the standards of a good crime story or suspense thriller? Why or why not?

(Generic Mystery Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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