When James Morrow, a social worker, first meets Kevin Flynn, he suspects the teen is being abused. To learn more about Kevin's home life, he gets to know the boy's father, Tucker, who's a lobsterman. James is able to put his suspicions to rest, and the two families begin to form a friendship.
When a kid at the local recreation center dies of an overdose, detective Maya Morrow adds the case to the long list related to the drug problem plaguing the small New Hampshire coastal town of Newborough. But her investigation gets her much too close to the dangerous players.
Both the Morrows and the Flynns are holding dark secrets, and when their lives collide, tragedy is inevitable.
©2015 David Rawding (P)2016 Red Adept Publishing, LLC
Brian's Book Blog
The narration for Taking on Water was done by Curt Simmons who does a really nice job. I had already read this book so I had a voice in my head and usually, the narrator isn't even close. That wasn't the case here. Simmons does a really nice job with this -- allowing the book to flow at the speed that Rawding meant it to be read at.
Wow, I don't like to start off a review with an interjection unless I really mean it, but seriously this book grabbed me by my haunches and threw me overboard. James and Maya were so incredibly likable and relatable. I feel like I knew them or had at least met someone like them once in my life.
The story follows James a social worker with a past filled with being abused. He puts that all behind him when he meets his wife Maya. Maya calms the stormy seas within him and its smooth sailing from there that is until someone throws a crowbar into it. Maya is a local police officer investigating the increase in narcotics (specifically heroin) in their small fishing town in New Hampshire. Along the way, James meets and befriends a local lobsterman named Tucker and their two families become very close until tragedy befalls one of the families -- I cannot explain much more without spoiling it for you, but believe me -- this story is a thrill ride from beginning to end.
My wife works in a field similar to this and I know a lot of people who work in social work -- all of the references to that and the police were seemed spot on to me. Now throw in James' history of being abused -- where those scenes were so vivid and visceral it's hard not to feel bad for him. That is the only warning I would give people -- the scenes of abuse and writing about it could cause some issues to anyone who has been in that situation or known someone who was.
The story is definitely a builder, as in the beginning the author is setting the tension. Well, halfway through you can tell the tension is getting to be so tight it might snap soon. And by 3/4 the way through it gets so tense it finally gives way, allowing the reader to flow to the end because they can't just leave it like that. Rawding has an incredible knack for knowing what the reader wants to happen next and doesn't leave them hanging for long. I hope that he writes another story like this -- and I hope he writes it soon because I loved this book.
I don't like to think I'm overpraising a book -- but there was just something about it. Maybe it's setting in the New England area (I've vacationed to Maine many times), or just the way he developed the characters. This was one of those books where when I was finished I had to take a few deep breaths because this didn't actually happen. This was just a book, just a work of fiction because I felt like it was all so real.
David Rawding -- you hooked me, now pull me up so I can keep going!
Rawding’s crisp prose and Simmons adept narration kept me engaged throughout. The atmospheric setting—Bloodline meets Breaking Bad—added a chilling vibe. Overall, a compelling story.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher. This book is by far one of the best I have read. There were maybe 1 or 2 slow parts, but overall it was great. It had a great mixture of mystery, romance, murder, and action. It was mostly about the love between a married couple and the friendship of the husband James, to a lobster fisherman named Tucker. It involves drug trafficking and the police trying to take down this organization. Not to mention a little police corruption and families struggling to make their lives better. The story really sucks you in so that you become emotionally invested in the characters and you can feel what they feel. This book was not at all what I expected it to be and I was pleasantly surprised by that.
I definitely enjoyed listening to the audio version. I feel that Curt Simmons really brought the characters to life by using separate, distinctive voices for each point of view that I could easily recognize. It was also I book that I didn't want to put down, so it was nice to be able to listen while driving, cooking, or otherwise unable to read.
Pros (the story itself):
The story was great. It started out somewhat scattered, and it was difficult to tell what direction the story was heading, but I really like books with buildup, as I find it much more interesting. There are many different small tales, from Tucker on his boat, to James at work, at the rec center, and having his panic attacks; we also see Maya and her job as a detective in Newborough, who is assigned to a heroin smuggling case. Even with all these stories, it wasn't hard to follow, and I felt that the author did a really great job of tying it all together and providing small reminders without nagging (telling over and over). I also felt the author did a good job of showing, rather than telling. It was interesting how he interspersed 1st person with 3rd person point of views. While some may instinctually be critical of this, it actually worked really well in this book and I'd encourage you to give it a try!
At first, I was like "whoa, this guy is monotone! How am I going to listen to this for 8 hours...?" But then about 2 minutes in, he changed his voice for a character (remember how I told you there was different POVs and a narrator?) This Narrator, Curt Simmons, does an absolutely fantastic job of differentiating between characters and using a distinctly different voice that is immediately recognizable for that character. The sound recording quality is great; I listened to it mainly while driving as my truck has the best speakers, and I never heard any crackles or muffled sounds. This is a high quality audiobook that I highly recommend if you're looking for a crime fiction book to listen to.
Absolutely! I wish real life didn't get in the way! Although, when I wasn't listening to it, I couldn't stop thinking about it and what it was building up to/what was going to happen next!
I obtained an Audible copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I did not read along with the audio, so I can't comment on the editing/grammatical quality of the book. I also won't give away any spoilers in this review.
When the domestic abuse themes came up, I feel the author could have picked a different word to use other than "the R word". It's horribly demeaning to the mentally handicapped, and it made me cringe to hear it. There is also strong language throughout; I thought it was used appropriately, but if curse words bother you, try Peter Pan.
Morals and Values:
There are drugs, alcohol, violence, language, and a light sex scene in this book.
I rarely listen to an audiobook again. Just like Films, Television Shows, and radio programs, I listen or watch just once. I know how it ends.
They're all important. Even the dead ones. I don't have favorites. I didn't have a favorite character, and I don't have a favorite food. But, unlike food, there were no characters in this book that I wish had never been served up.
Curt brought his own unique voicing to every character, and did a great job.
This one started out slow. I wasn't too far into it when I doubted that I'd finish listening, and wondered why I'd even remotely thought I'd enjoy it. Partly story... Partly narration... I thought I was in for a long boring listen. But something clicked... and when the narrator and author set the hook I didn't fight it.... and let them reel me in nice and slow. In fact. I think I may have jumped right into the boat.
This was a great book. It hooked me at the start and kept me interested to the end. I'm sorry this is not a series because I would buy the other books immediately. I hope the author continues to write because his name will be on my favorites list. I would read this book again. I was voluntarily provided a review copy from the author publisher or narrator.
This book was so-so for me. I liked it but, wasn't "drawn" into it. I thought the lobstering industry aspect of it was really cool and added an intriguing layer to the overall storyline. There was such feeling of hopelessness for the tough choices that characters were forced to make to try and keep their family together, roof over their heads and the boat/business afloat. The brutal harshness of moving product at the cost of people lives was portrayed well and made me feel for those who were discarded as if their lives were worth nothing. This book was gifted to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. It definitely isn't one of the best I've recently listened to but was still a pretty good book that is worth listening to.
A good listen makes for an amazing day!
Great job narrating this wonderful story. I was hooked from the start.
"This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."
I do not read books, watch movies or TV shows more than once. There are far too many new ones to check out.
My very favourite scene is the very last one between Myra and James.
I think surprise that Tucker did what he did. I actually cried as events unfolded.
I could hardly wait for my commute to work to continue on with this story. I was shocked as events unfolded.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
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