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Publisher's Summary

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

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • 12-22-16

I'm hooked

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!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Stellar performance by Curt Simmons

What did you like best about this story?

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary
  • Centerville, OH, United States
  • 10-20-17

Tragic Tearjerker

Have a big box of tissues nearby when you listen to this novel!

The hero or anti-hero is James, a social worker who works with abused children. James is possessed of demons from his own abusive childhood. Being an abused child he has dedicated his adult life to helping abused children. Additionally James also volunteers and mentors kids at the community youth center. He has deep buried anger issues and works very hard at managing his anger. He is also marginally psychotic and his wife Maya is his anchor and lifeline. Maya keeps James grounded and sane. James loves Maya and Maya is equally devoted to James. Maya sees James strengths and potential. James and Maya are true soul mates.

Maya is a police detective and has a very dangerous job. The small town they live in is inundated with heroin.

The narration is well done. The novel is original though very tragic and sad.

I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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One of the best I've read

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Taking on Water


Taking on Water
: David Rawding


I'm not sure what to say. Slow starting, ramps to full out over-drive then just dumps the ending down the drain. The characters are flawed, which I have no problem with. They seem a bit under developed. There is no suspense for the listener because we are told who did it almost immediately. There was enough subject matter covered the author should have gone with at least a two book series, or better yet a trilogy to better develop the characters.


The narration was well done.The characters were well portrayed as far as the storyline allowed by Curt Simmons.



"I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Smoke on the Water

There was so many twist and turns throughout this story, that you were wondering what could possibly happen next. I love the fact that Tuck and James had so many similarities, such as death of a child, childhood abuse, love would make them do crazy things (drugs, murder, etc). I love the fact that this story is based on the water and you can tell that the author himself has spent some time on the water and on boats-it gives credence to the story and makes it more "real". The author also brings in the fact that our country is being overtaken by heroin and the impact it can have on a family.

Curt Simmons did an excellent job narrating this book and I am looking forward to hearing more of his books.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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use your imagination

If you could sum up Taking on Water in three words, what would they be?

I would advise that you should wear your headphone if you are listening to this read in public ...there are tons of foul language throughout. Which is no biggie ...but others might be like, what??! It was a great listen. I am new to David Rawding books. ...this did cause me to wish to read more of his books.

What other book might you compare Taking on Water to and why?

nothing that I have read so far.

What does Curt Simmons bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

humor, laughter, a great voice. I will make sure to check out other books that Curt Simmons' does voice over. is that what you say? reads? love that voice.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laughter.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A great suspense that is entertaining to the end!

What did you like best about this story?

Taking on Water was a thrilling story about the love between a married couple and the friendship of the husband to a lobster fisherman. It revolves around drug trafficking and the police working to take down the organization. In addition to some police corruption and families struggling to make their lives better.


It had a great mixture of mystery, romance, murder, and action. It was well written with strong characters and incredible twist and turns. It was easy to read and follow with a unique and intriguing plot. There is a lot of action and suspense to grab your attention from beginning to end. The references made of the social work and police seemed to be spot on. Additionally the realistic characters assisted to create a believable story.

What about Curt Simmons’s performance did you like?

a great suspense that will keep you entertained all the way through

Any additional comments?

This was the first book that I have read and listened to by David Rawding and will not be my last. I was not disappointed at all. I recommend David Rawding to anyone that wants to read a great suspense that will keep you entertained all the way through.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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You don't want to miss this book!

Would you consider the audio edition of Taking on Water to be better than the print version?

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.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Taking on Water?

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!

What does Curt Simmons bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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!

Any additional comments?

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.

Cons:
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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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This one got its hooks in me.

Would you listen to Taking on Water again? Why?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

What does Curt Simmons bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Curt brought his own unique voicing to every character, and did a great job.

Any additional comments?

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.