cover image Something in the Water

Something in the Water

Catherine Steadman. Ballantine, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5247-9718-8

One minute London newlyweds Erin Locke and Mark Roberts are enjoying a honeymoon to die for—Bora Bora, five-star lagoon bungalow—and the next they’re being sucked into a maelstrom that might actually get them killed, in this captivating if credulity-stretching debut from Downton Abbey alum Steadman (she played Mabel Lane Fox). What changes everything is the couple’s discovery while scuba diving of a locked canvas duffel bag. Its contents would free both recently fired investment banker Mark and narrator Erin, who just started filming her first solo documentary (about three prisoners and their transitions postincarceration), from any financial worries—but almost certainly guarantee worries of a more lethal nature. Once the pair start down this perilously slippery slope, the threats and increasingly bad decisions accelerate with Bourne-like velocity, as do their lies to each other. Although not all of the plot gambles prove equally successful, daring choices, such as opening with a scene of the desperate Erin digging a grave, mark Steadman as a newcomer worth watching. Agent: Camilla Wray, Darley Anderson (U.K.). (June)