July 4, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: 'Something in the Water' by Catherine Steadman (no spoilers!)

For 2021, I committed to participating in a read-athon with a 'Friends' theme (the TV show). You can read more about it on this post. Each month, there is a different theme (based on a quote/situation from Friends) for choosing a book to read. July's theme is: 

"The One With the Jellyfish" - Read a book set on the beach.

Choosing my own themed books is tough, because I have no idea how to begin searching for a book that is set on the beach. When I googled different phrases, they all came back with "beach reads" for summer. When I think of beach reads, I think of light-hearted romance/drama, and I'm just not a fan of that.

In my searches, I found something that sounded like it was set on a beach and it was a mystery/suspense book (more appealing to me). I chose 'Something in the Water' by Catherine Steadman (affiliate link).

Here is the publisher's description:

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. 

It didn't sound like a show-stopper, but it seemed to fit the book theme and I like mystery/suspense books in general.

I stopped reading book reviews before reading a book that may interest me, because I find that the reviews sway my opinion--I'd rather read the book and then read reviews afterward to see what others thought. In this case, I wish I'd read the Amazon reviews first, because I never would have chosen this book!

I won't even write much about it--I really can't without spoiling it, and I don't like to write spoilers. But here are a few likes and dislikes:


It was a "what would you do?"-type scenario and I like books that make you stop and think about stuff like that. This one was easy for me, though--I would never have made the choice the couple in the book did because it would skyrocket my anxiety for the rest of my life, haha.

I really liked the way the prologue was written. The protagonist is digging a grave for her husband and she describes it with very vivid detail, almost poetic. The description is written as if she is a friend talking to you. After reading the prologue, I was excited to read the book--I hoped the rest of it would be written in that "voice". Unfortunately, it was not. Here is a paragraph from the prologue that I thought was interesting enough to highlight:

Just to put this into perspective for you, this hole, my two-hour hole, is: 3 ft x 2 ft x 6 ft, which is 36 cubic feet of soil, which is 1 cubic meter of soil, which is 1.5 tons of soil. And that—that—is the weight of a hatchback car or a fully grown beluga whale or the average hippopotamus. I have moved the equivalent of that up and slightly to the left of where it was before. And this grave is only three feet deep.

I'm not sure whether this is a "like" or "dislike", but I'll put it in the "like" category. I noticed that there are a lot of tidbits in the book that you *think* are pieces of the bigger puzzle, but they end up being nothing at all. I'm very good at reading between the lines in suspense books, so I pick up on clues easily. And while I guessed early on what the "big surprise" in this book was, there were things that I thought would come into play later and they did not. So that was cool--it kept me wondering when I was going to read about it again. (After reading reviews, I see that a lot of people thought of this as bad editing--the author was all over the place and didn't plan things out, which meant there were things in the book that were pointless. So, we just see it in a different light, I guess!)


I wasn't really sure what the main point of the book was. I can understand reading it to see what happens next, but there wasn't really a mystery to it. I'm used to reading books with a whodunnit plot or at least a burning question that makes you want to race through the book to find the answer. I think with this book, I was just waiting to find out if the couple would be found out.

The protagonist is SO hung up on her husband! I love my husband dearly, which I'm sure comes through on my blog, but he is not my end-all be-all. My world does not revolve around him. It seemed like this woman let her husband's wants and needs dictate her whole life and I was annoyed with her pretty quickly.

I was hoping that the what the couple found in the water was something unique or exciting--but it was exactly what you probably imagine that it is.

I found myself really struggling to get through this. I felt like it took forever to get to the point! I had to really push myself to read. (I actually started it in June because I wanted something to read and figured I'd get a head start on July's book). My mind wandered while reading because I just wasn't interested. After I got through about 60% of the book, it finally picked up the pace and and captured my attention.

I can't really think of much else to say--the book was one of those forgettable reads. You know the ones where you read them and then promptly forget the whole thing? I like the books that stick with you--the ones that make some sort of impact.

So, I won't do a giveaway for this book because I really didn't like it. However, I completely forgot to draw a name for the book giveaway last month. (I need to set a reminder when I do giveaways.) The winner of a copy of 'One of Us Is Lying' by Karen M. McManus is... Rhonda W!

Rhonda, I've sent you an email... if you still want a Kindle copy of the book, it's yours! :)

Unrelated to this book, I recently read a book that was AMAZING. I actually gave it five stars on Goodreads, and there are very few books that I've given five stars--it even went on my Top 10 favorites list! I could not put the book down from the moment I started reading it. Anyway, I will write a review of that soon, and I'll do a giveaway for that one!

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