This is the book I read. This is me giving the book 2.5 stars. This is the style of writing in the book that caused me to award only 2.5 stars. This is the sentence structure the author felt would be engaging but was, for me, enraging. This is an actual paragraph from the book:
This is your brother with the gun in his mouth. This is your brother forming a cauliflower head on the carpet with his blood. This is his wife, hearing the shot downstairs in his office set up with sound mixers and stereos and computers. This is your brother’s teenage son, hearing the shot too, colliding with his mother as both of them try to run down the stairs together, barely fitting that way, abreast in the stairwell as they run. This is the mother using all her force to hold her teenage son back from opening up the door. This is the teenage son calling out for his father and banging on the closed door. This is the father answering with just the sound of his blood as it pours out of him. This is the crime-scene tape being looped around the beech trees in front of the house, a yellow web forming that will keep people out.
~ “this is the water” Yannick Murphy, pg 70-71
And, I have to tell you, it drove me crazy, especially at first. In fact, after I read the first couple of pages, I thought, “oh, hell no” and had to put it down and read something else. Happily, the author doesn’t persist with writing every single sentence that way or this book definitely would have ended up on the DNF stack.
And that would be unfortunate, because there is a nice little mystery here. Well, no, not really a mystery. The author actually tells us exactly who is going to be killed and who is going to kill them. And, yet, it’s still a quite suspenseful book. In part because the author makes the reader the main character with the sentence “This is you, Annie, mother of two swim-team girls, Sofia and Alex, wife of Thomas.” I found it to be very effective and it made for a page-turning read.
Although the story touches on the thoughts, actions, and feelings of several characters (from the cleaning lady to the killer) it’s mostly about Annie (you). And about Annie’s navigation through her life filled with two daughters, a possibly loveless marriage, a swim team, and a serial killer. It’s an interesting story and there were some wonderful twists that I honestly did not see coming.
So, if the excerpt above doesn’t make you want to claw your own eyes out, then I recommend this book. However, if that excerpt makes you want to call the author and shout at her for her nonsense, this may not be the book for you.