THE BLURB: Munro House is the new start Stella needs. But it will also draw her back to a dark past…
Devastated by a broken engagement, Stella Jackson leaves her old life behind for a new start in rural Scotland. But when she arrives in the remote coastal village of Arisaig, nothing is what she expected.
At the edge of Arisaig sits Munro House; grand, imposing and said to be cursed by a string of tragic deaths. No less intriguing is its eccentric and handsome young owner, Jamie Munro, who hires Stella as his assistant while he pursues a seemingly impossible aim. Working through the great house’s archives, Stella soon finds herself drawn in by a cache of increasingly erratic letters from a young Victorian woman about her husband, Dr James Lockhart, a man whose single-minded ambition has strange parallels with Jamie’s.
Just as Stella begins developing feelings for Jamie, she discovers that the connection between the Lockharts and the Munros could have sinister repercussions for them both. She’s finally found the life she wants to live—but is it all an illusion?
MY THOUGHTS: I wasn’t particularly enamoured with the first part of Beneath the Water by Sarah Painter. I wanted to shake Stella and tell her to get a grip. It took me until I was half way through the book to really come to grips with it, and then it gripped me.
Told over two timelines, the current day and the 1840’s, I at first failed to see the relevance of the letters from a young, frightened, newly married woman. But it is worth persevering, all becomes clear and several secrets are revealed.
As you may have noted, I didn’t particularly like Stella in the beginning. I thought she was wimpy and weak. But as the story progresses and Stella is forced to deal with a variety of situations, her strength of character is revealed.
Jamie, Stella’s new boss, at first comes across as ‘superior’ and, in my eyes, slightly unhinged. But as his character developed and the reasons for his behavior were revealed, he began to grow on me.
The second part of the book was definitely superior to the first, in my humble opinion. It was full of suspense, surprises, and revelations, and I found it hard to put down.
3.5 stars from me for this romantic suspense mystery novel, Beneath the Water.
Thank you to Lake Union Publishing via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Beneath the Water by Sarah Painter for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.
This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2293277807