Friday, 22 August 2014

Review: This Is Water by Yannick Murphy

**** 4 Stars

Firstly I loved this book's cover & it's tag lines. The red contrasting with the blue makes it really eye catching. Plus the very fact that says it is a 'novel about a murder ' meant it looked like the kind of book I enjoy reading so I was very pleased the get a copy of the book from Headline via Bookbridgr.

The Blurb

This is a novel about a woman. About a mother. About a marriage. 

About a murder.

In the brightly lit public pool the killer swims and watches. Amongst the mothers cheering on their swim team daughters is Annie. Watching her two girls race, she's thinking of other things. Her husband's emotional distance. Her lost brother. The man she's drawn to.

Then she learns a terrible secret. Now her everyday cares and concerns seem meaningless. Annie knows she has to act. Above all, she must protect her children. 

Compulsively readable, it takes readers on a journey where none could guess the final outcome.

My Thoughts

This book is a really hard book to review and I am still struggling to decide if I liked it or loved it. This Is Water has a very unusual & quirky writing style as it is written in the second person and I personally found it a little difficult to get into. It was not as fast paced as I like my crime books and I think this is largely down to the writing style as it really slowed down my reading of the book and at times the book felt a little descriptive and I felt a little bogged down by it. That said it is still a great read. 

The book is set around a swim team in a small town in New Hampshire and looks at the swimmers, their parents, a killer and even the cleaner. The book immerses you into the world of swim meets, a world that is competitive with swimmers and parents eating, breathing & sleeping swimming. I loved this setting as both my daughters used to dance competitively and it was great to be able to see the similarities between swim team parents & dance mums. There is always that one mum who thinks their child is better than everyone else, their is always that one mum who is a gossip & a busy body so I found myself totally relating to the characters. 

There is a lot going on in the book and we are introduced to a lot of different characters. The main voice throughout the book is Annie's, a mother of 2 girls and a woman consumed by her brother's suicide to the extent that she sees him in lots of people she comes into contact with. She has problems in her relationship and finds herself fantasising over one of the dads. Then you have Chris who has become totally obsessed by catching the killer putting herself at great risk trying and her husband Paul who in his youth has come into contact with the very same killer and kept it a secret.

At times this book is beautifully written and at times it is quite simplistic in it's writing but somehow this works and just adds to the tension that builds towards the end of the book. This is one of those books that you really need to persevere with, once you are used to the writing style then you just become submerged in the writing and it is a race to get to the end.

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