On his own
Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.
Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.
The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.
Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…
This book is a little like a mixed egg (wait, what? Mixed egg? No, mixed bag. That’s what I meant. Retake.)
This book is a little of a mixed bag. On one hand, it’s killing and crime. On the other hand, it’s sexual tension between two teenagers. On another hand (I have three hands, okay? Deal with it), it’s paranormal. Weird. It mostly works. Some areas I found a little flat, but we’ll get to them later.
The book starts of well. We’re at a funeral, the funeral of Tom’s mother, who everybody thinks Tom killed. The thing is, he knows he’s completely innocent. Throw a cute girl into the mix and you’ve got yourself two teenagers trying to figure out a murder.
While the book is marketed as a paranormal thriller, at no point did I feel scared nor thrilled. Sorry. It just wasn’t scary. At all. Even the action scenes were non-heart-beat-racing-inducing. Even the scenes where everybody’s got their guns out and pointing them at each other. It just wasn’t thrilling, and I feel like the reason for that was because the whole book was just too safe. Nobody dies. Nobody gets hurt – like, literally, the most painful thing that happens in the book (excluding his mother’s murder) is Tom gets punched in the jaw. Was I meant to feel thrilled? Whoops. The only time anybody gets shot in the book – and only ONE person gets shot in the book – he’s wearing a very convenient bullet-proof vest. PUHLEASE. DIE ALREADY. SOMEBODY GET HURT. ANYBODY.
Okay, enough on the non-scariness/thrillerness of this book. Let’s go to the love. So, literally Chapter One. Girl approaches boy. Book makes no comment on her attractiveness, or on his attractiveness. Then, two chapters later, we have this:
It’s a miracle I don’t leap across the table and tear his shirt off.
Well it’s a miracle I don’t leap into this book and tear your head off. OMG. THE INSTALOVE IS KILLING ME. It’s like the author suddenly remembered that she had two male/female protagonists for a reason, and that they were meant to fall in love. Except, she forgot to establish their love in the first few chapters, and couldn’t be bothered going back and editing a bit, and so had to do a rushed love development in the next few chapters, in which Tom does NOTHING except stare seductively at Charlotte, and have messy-not-messy sexy hair.
His eyes are on me, not the food, and somehow I feel like I’m doing a striptease instead of unpacking lunch.
See what I mean by seductive staring? WHERE WAS THIS SEDUCTIVE STARING EARLIER IN THE BOOK? WHY NOW? WHY THIS SUDDEN TALENT FOR SEDUCTIVE STARING?
His hair is just this side of messy, and he looks rakish and unruly and immeasurably sexy.
And then as if the insta-love isn’t bad enough, it isn’t even really insta-love. Love is something more than “OMG she’s sexy” isn’t it? I thought it was “OMG she’s so funny and generous, and she’s got such a great personality, and, you know, she’s cute too!” Literally 50% of this book is Charlotte – the most 2D version of a female love interest I’ve seen in a very long time (She might as well be a cutout with a “rack” and “curves in all the right places” << Direct quotes from the book) – just fantasizing over how much she wants to rip off her clothes and throw herself at Tom. I HATE IT SO MUCH. She doesn’t think of his personality. She doesn’t once mention his sarcastic, dry wit (one of his most prominent qualities throughout the book and probably the one I liked most) and instead, swoons over his amazing muscles. Seriously. I thought that he was a weedy, kinda thin quiet guy, but NOOOOOOO of course we can’t have a male love interest without abs and muscles.
Enough ranting about love interests. Let’s go to the plot. It started off good. The middle was good. The bit between the middle and the just before the end was good. And then. BAM SUDDEN CHANGE OF GENRE. I feel like Brigid suddenly realised with a panic that her mystery was too waterproof! The evidence against Tom was too tight! There was no forced entry, no leads! What was she going to do?? How was she going to wrap things up nicely??? OF COURSE! I KNOW!! LET’S MAKE IT MAGIC! THAT SOLVES EVERYTHING. Well this book had the potential to really blow the reader away. Key word: potential. WHY, BRIGID? APART FROM THE INSTALOVE AND THE CHARACTERS, THE BOOK WAS REALLY GOOD UNTIL YOU INTRODUCED THE PARANORMAL ASPECT. WHYYYY?
It wrapped everything up nicely EXCEPT for one thread. One thread that she’s obviously leaving open for a convenient sequel. But honestly, I feel like this book is over. It’s told what it’s need to told. The sequel will just be dragging things on unnecessary. I probably won’t be reading it.
BUT BEFORE I LEAVE YOU! I’m going to leave you with a few good points, coz this book wasn’t all boring and frustrating as I’ve made it out to be. The mystery aspect is really well done, and the writing is nice and smooth as well. Tom’s character was really put into a position for us to feel sympathy for, and the antagonists were clearly defined at any point in the book. If only the ending wasn’t as rushed, and instalove didn’t exist… ’tis a shame, this one is. ‘Tis truly a shame.
Thank you to Allen and Unwin for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review! (Sorry I didn’t like it 😢)
Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆ 5/10
Thicker Than Water is out on the 4th of January. Buy at your local bookstore.
- Title: Thicker Than Water
- Author: Brigid Kemmerer
- Paperback: 338 pages
- Publisher: Allen and Unwin (January 4th, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN10: 0758294417
- URL: Goodreads