Yannick Murphy – This is the water

From Yannick Murphy, award-winning author of The Call, comes a fast-paced story of murder, adultery, parenthood, and romance, involving a girls’ swim team, their morally flawed parents, and a killer who swims in their midst

In a quiet New England community members of the swim team and their dedicated parents are preparing for a home meet. The most that Annie, a swim-mom of two girls, has to worry about is whether or not she fed her daughters enough carbs the night before; why her husband, Thomas, hasn’t kissed her in ages; and why she can’t get over the loss of her brother who shot himself a few years ago. But Annie’s world is about to change. From the bleachers, looking down at the swimmers, a dark haired man watches a girl. No one notices him. Annie is busy getting to know Paul, who flirts with Annie despite the fact that he’s married to her friend Chris, and despite Annie’s greying hair and crow’s feet. Chris is busy trying to discover whether or not Paul is really having an affair, and the swimmers are trying to shave milliseconds off their race times by squeezing themselves into skin-tight bathing suits and visualizing themselves winning their races.

But when a girl on the team is murdered at a nearby highway rest stop-the same rest stop where Paul made a gruesome discovery years ago-the parents suddenly find themselves adrift. Paul turns to Annie for comfort. Annie finds herself falling in love. Chris becomes obsessed with unmasking the killer.

With a serial killer now too close for comfort, Annie and her fellow swim-parents must make choices about where their loyalties lie. As a series of startling events unfold, Annie discovers what it means to follow your intuition, even if love, as well as lives, could be lost.


My review

This book is set in the world of competitive swimming, featuring young teenage swimmers, their parents and marriages, the coaches and the poolside cleaner. We get a real sense of the whole culture of swimming meets, racing against the clock and what it feels like to be in the water. We learn about the parents, in particular two women, Annie and Chris. Into this little world, comes a killer. He is a successful killer. The action unfolds as one of the young swimmers is murdered leaving this little community shaken.


This is a beautifully written, poetic in style and a totally unconventional read. It felt very unique in the way of telling of a serial killer story. The language, at first seems awkward and yet the repetitiveness and almost childlike phrasing worked. The imagery of the water and the use of water is just breathtaking. The water is ever present, all knowing and watching the flow of events. It is the constant, in the lives of all of the characters and it is cleansing. There is a lovely wicked humour, present in the language. We get the killer talking about the effort involved in murder. It requires hard work and fitness. I just adored that.


What I loved about this read was the way we really got inside the head of several of the characters and lived those times through them. Annie became the lead character over the course of the book. She is the mother of two swimmers, in a rather boring relationship. I also enjoyed the slower pace, as it took time to get to know the characters and their world. I did not really know where the book was going or how it would all resolve. I just didn’t want it to end.


A rather special amazing read and one that sets itself apart from many other crime dramas.





About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Yannick Murphy – This is the water

  1. A brilliant review of this unusual book! I was captivated despite thinking that the style was likely to get annoying when I started it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s