Review: Something In The Water By Catherine Steadman

You never know on your next holiday, you find a duffle bag, an iPhone and some diamonds floating in the sea. what would you do with it?

“Superbly written, clever and gripping.”– B. A. Paris

Catherine Steadman’s debut novel Something in the Water is based on the tale of greed, immorality and criminal cover-ups against a background of exotic locations and questionable decisions. She explores the strength of a relationship in a marriage but also the trust that people give or take between each other. The novel was branded as the New York Times Number One Bestseller in 2018. BookPub had heard of it through Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club. It is now in the process of being made into a film on behalf of Witherspoon.

It is about a Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough married to Mark – a handsome investment banker with big plans. The newly wed couple embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora. The holiday is everything you can dream of. A private living space, tranquility, great service, secluded beach and gorgeous weather. Naturally, they couldn’t keep their hands off of each other. A perfect way to celebrate their new adventures.

They venture out on a scuba diving session in the crystal blue sea. Little did they know they were to find something in the water that could change their lives. Suddenly the newlyweds must make a dangerous choice: to speak out or to protect their secret. Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events.

You may have heard of Catherine Steadman from Downton Abbey or a shock to our knowledge, The Inbetweers! For an actress to be able to write a novel is not a surprise as they are quite motivated, creative and full of inspiration between different projects. It’s easy for BookPub to say that all of these perks of acting had paid off in this novel.

The relationship between Mark and Erin is exploited with truth to getting married with secrets and mistrust. It was a refresher to hear that the wedding hadn’t started off well but they were hopeless romantics at heart so the holiday was a great way to start their new chapter. It did set the reader off as a little unsure of their relationship but Steadman developed the chemistry throughout their honeymoon. However, all the signs were still there as a sense of foreshadowing. There was the storm, the fact that they argued about finances before they went and the tension of trying to relax in general. Just when things started to go swimmingly, they decided to go for a scuba dive and didn’t know what was about to hit them!

When they find the “something” in the water, it was like a moment of fear, excitement and curiosity. Steadman said that “it took lots of googling” in order to gain enough realistic information about diamond trafficking and firearms in an interview with RockMyStyle. “If anyone was to look at my hard drive, it would be deeply concerning out of the context” she laughed. She wrote the book within three months while on one of her sets. It shows her creative flow and focus tremendously throughout the whole story. There is a process to the story which unveils all the unanswered questions at the end. A perfect dramatic novel feature. We find that Erin is very empathetic towards Mark until the very end where she has no choice but to reason with herself to say she was wrong. This must be a hard choice when you love someone and have built the trust with them. It shows that Steadman has truly delved into a wife’s mind and creates the argument of how couples excuse each other’s behaviour. When meeting a known criminal, Eddie, becoming close with him during her documentary the readers can see that this is perhaps a subconcious voice in her mind which helps her lead the way on what is right. So to summarise on the theme of love, Erin is forced to ask herself what is true love.

Money is a motivating factor in Erin and Mark’s decisions, and the idea of the fiscal divide between the extremely wealthy and the middle classes percolates through the novel. It is clear to say that all of the characters are motivated by greed which coincides with criminal cover ups. Eddie, criminal by nature and we learn is powerful, knows where to find Erin at the best and worst of times but Erin chooses not to tell Mark about him. In a way, Erin covers up truths in that respect but also when she is doing her own research on how to get rid of the “something” is a covered by greed. However, we learn that Mark is a hugely selfish person with bad motivations so does that excuse her to protect herself? Especially when we learn a new piece of information at the end or when she realised he is not who she thought he was. This does make you think that she is also suspicious as a narrative character.

So you see, BookPub was very intrigued throughout the whole reading of Something In The Water. We have tried VERY hard not to give away any spoilers but tried to open up your mind whilst reading it. If you have read it, do you agree with any of the comments raised? If you want out honest opinion, we think Erin handled all of this smashingly but have a feeling that something else could force her into more activity later in life, especially where Eddie is concerned. This is a potential story line for her next novel relating to this novel. It was probably so much fun to research as it was to read the finished book. If your heading on holiday anytime soon, be sure to keep a look out (but also read this book)..

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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