The Water Keeper

For fans of gritty dramas, complex plots, and high seas adventure

The Water Keeper is a wild ride. The complex plot and broken characters put me through the emotional wringer.

Charles Martin is an off-the-charts amazing writer. His stories are rich with imagery and complex characters that work their way into your heart.  Murphy Shephard takes his boat down the coast of Florida, picking up off the wall, broken misfits with more baggage than his boat can carry. But Murphy has his own secrets, as he’s made it his life’s mission to hunt down missing women who’ve been trafficked.

The story is complex and at times weird. It took me a while to wrap my head around what was happening. So many plot twists kept me guessing, and this story is much darker and seedier than other Martin novels. The author drags readers right into the ick and evil of human trafficking.

This book has a lot of high action scenes. But at times I struggled with the reality of some of the scenes. The hero and his dog both seemed to be bullet and fire proof, and several times I found myself saying, “Really? How can that happen?”  While some of the scenarios didn’t seem plausible, the story was so good that I willingly suspended my belief. Other parts made me question, “Why would that happen?” as there were a few uncomfortable moments that made me question character motives. I don’t want to give spoilers, but the author isn’t going to deliver you a tidy story wrapped up in a bow. It’s going to leave you with questions and unsettled feelings. 

Despite my thoughts above, I loved this novel. It’s one of those stories that sticks with you long after you’ve put it down. I love when authors take chances and write something different. Some Martin fans might not hang in there through this one, but I enjoyed the characters and the overarching themes about love and evil. I like that the novel isn’t what I expected, and hope readers will embrace it for being “off the beaten path.” Figuratively, and literally – because much of the story takes place in alligator infested swamps, rivers and back-woods Florida.

Overall Rating: 4 stars (I liked it a lot and would definitely recommend)
Suspense Rating: 4 stars (lots of action and suspense to keep me intrigued)

I received an ebook review copy of this book through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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