> In "The Deepest Water" Abby Connor investigates the murder of her novelist father (Jud), and learns much about her father, and of course, identifies his killer.
> The novel is a well constructed, well paced, suspense novel in. It is mostly set in a cabin on an picturesque intriguing isolated lake in Oregon.
> There are only about 5 main characters, and they are easily identified and memorable. The three main female characters are fairly well developed. The development of the two main male characters is a little "off"---they just don't feel quite real.
> The novel is VERY predictable. I hit on the solution of the inflatable boat in the first chapter. I found it highly implausible that the detective did not consider a variety of other solutions to the "access problem" (such as a trail-bike). Toward the end, I kept waiting for the big twist, which never came.
> The description of Jud's writing method---writing fragments in random order, and then stringing the beads together---apparently describe how Wilhelm writes---as a result the novel often feels fragmented and choppy. Listening to the audiobook version, I frequently felt that I had accidentally skipped a CD.
> The last several chapters (the resolution) were disappointing. The events of the resolution felt highly contrived.
-- The death of the killer was essentially an accident, helped along by third parties, with a very small probability of occurring. Among many other things, the plot against him depended on there not being any moon or stars, no sounds in the woods (which could provide directional hints), nor him having a flashlight, plus him having extraordinarily bad luck.
-- He was killed while paddling a canoe and/or rowing a rowboat (apparently the author could not decide which and wrote in both, and none of the proof-readers or editors caught the glaring error).
-- We know what happened only by the detective's deductions---for which he did not have remotely sufficient information.
-- The mystery of special mysterious codicils to Jud's will loom over the novel as a major mystery, but at the end boil down to just a 30 day in the will taking effect. The author needed the delay for the plot, but the rational given in the story for the delay is very thin and barely plausible.
-- Similarly, the plot resolution required the electrical panel (and fuses) for the Jud's cabin to be in another cabin on the other side of the lake, which would require an under-lake cable. That seems highly unlikely and very dangerous.
> There are several other defects. For example, the Forest Service road directly to the cabin is inconsistently described as difficult or impassible for passenger vehicles (obviously to leave the author's options open)---but on several occasions the author describes characters as "driving to the cabin". Perhaps the author's intent was to imply that they had driven to the other side of the lake and rowed over---but the omittion of the "rowing-across-the-lake" part is confusing.
> Despite the caveats above, this was an entertaining and engrossing read and I'm looking forward to reading more of Kate Wilhelm's works.
> Click on “Stoney” just below the product title to see my other reviews, or leave a comment to ask a question.