Book Review: Beneath the Water – Sarah Painter ****

You can always rely on Sarah Painter to come up with something a little bit quirky, with a touch of the supernatural. In Beneath the Water there are two parallel stories being told. Letters from new wife Jessie back to her family from 19th century Edinburgh and the very modern tale of Stella. Having recently had her heart broken by fiance Ben she decides to take up an offer from her friends Caitlin and Rob to visit them at their home in Scotland.

The remote coastal town of Arisaig is a welcome break from the grief and despair that she has been feeling since the split but Stella soon discovers that there is a terrible secret lurking in the town. The dark and imposing Munro House has a strange attraction for her and the prospect of a temporary job there is an intriguing break from her real life.

Author Jamie lives the life of a recluse keeping well away from the locals and the more that Stella learns about the Munros and their interaction with the villagers it seems like a sensible choice. Desperate to keep his business private and demanding signed NDAs as soon as she walks through the door Stella finds herself torn but takes the job.

Painter weaves the stories from different centuries together with ease as both Stella and the reader start to realise just what Jessie has married into. A dark and terrible work of nineteenth century medicine and experimentation. This is a gripping tale that will have you right on the edge of your seat. Will Stella’s growing feelings for Jamie ultimately be her undoing?

Supplied by Net Galley and Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

UK Publication date: Feb 8 2018. 334 pages.


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