Deep Water by Emma Bamford

Published: May 31, 2022

Gallery/Scout Press

Pages: 320

Genre: Psychological Fiction

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Emma Bamford is the author of the thriller Deep Water, due in 2022, and the sailing memoirs Casting Off and
Untie the Lines. She is also a journalist and has worked for the Independent, the Daily Express, the Mirror, Sailing Today, and BOAT International. She spent three years living on yachts exploring the world, which has inspired much of her writing so far. She lives in the UK and is working on her next novel.

When a Navy vessel comes across a yacht in distress in the middle of the vast Indian Ocean, Captain Danial Tengku orders his ship to rush to its aid. On board the yacht is a British couple: a horribly injured man, Jake, and his traumatized wife, Virginie, who breathlessly confesses, “It’s all my fault. I killed them.”

Trembling with fear, she reveals their shocking story to Danial. Months earlier, the couple had spent all their savings on a yacht, full of excitement for exploring the high seas and exotic lands together. They start at the busy harbors of Malaysia and, through word of mouth, Jake and Virginie learn about a tiny, isolated island full of unspoiled beaches. When they arrive, they discover they are not the only visitors and quickly become entangled with a motley crew of expat sailors. Soon, Jake and Virginie’s adventurous dream turns into a terrifying nightmare.

Now, it’s up to Danial to determine just how much truth there is in Virginie’s alarming tale. But when his crew make a shocking discovery, he realizes that if he doesn’t act soon, they could all fall under the dark spell of the island.

“Paradise ends when guilt begins.”

Virginie and Jake are newlyweds, setting out on the adventure of a lifetime. They’ve bought an older yacht and are going to sail. When someone mentions a remote but beautiful island, Virginie wants to go. She yearns for the gorgeous beach and peace. When they arrive, they are surprised to find two other boats already there. Joining this ragtag group started as a peaceful community. Until the fourth boat arrived.

I enjoyed how this story was told. The mix of formal and informal storytelling and the mixing of past and present. It was beautifully told.

The characters were all well defined, and I loved the adventurer spirit they each embodied in different ways.

The idea of setting sail and living on a 36 foot yacht does not sound appealing, and I enjoyed how in-depth this novel went in explaining the various ways to care for a boat.

The scenic descriptions mixed with the historical stories were stunning. I could also feel the heat on my face and see the remains of the prison.

This was a slow burn, with several fast-moving scenes. The intensity went from zero to one hundred several times and kept me glued to the pages.

This is a story about fresh starts, forgiveness, and letting yourself live. It’s a story about love, friendship, and adventure. It’s a story about hope.

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