Beneath the Water by Sarah Painter

Beneath the Water by Sarah Painter
Beneath the Water 
by Sarah Painter (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by


EXCERPT: Downstairs, her second mug of coffee was on the low table in the living room, cold, and the television was playing, the sound muted. At once, Stella knew she couldn’t stay in this house any longer. She had managed four months, had imagined that she had turned a corner, was on an even keel – and a million other trite phrases for the ability to get through the day without falling into a black hole – but the jacket had shattered that illusion. ‘I am not okay,’ Stella said to the table. The words came out very quietly, almost a whisper. It was like a promise. I am not okay. I am not okay.

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 profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my page

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbled. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

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