Book – Poisoned Waters
Author – Ermisenda Alvarez
Star rating – ★★★★☆
Would I read it again – yes.
Plot – very well executed, intriguing and easy to follow
Characters – varied, entertaining, unique, well developed
Movie Potential – ★★★★☆
Ease of reading – easy.
Let’s start with the blurb -
“Bloody mistakes, ugly scars, and beautiful lies. A tale of corruption.
Helen Gardener is murdered on a trans-Atlantic cruise. The Diamond Royale sails from Southampton to New York with her murderer aboard. Set in the 1950s, Poisoned Waters follows the stories of seven unfortunate characters and how they are affected by her death. Was it merely an accident? Mr Phillips, the owner of the ship, and sponsor of the cruise, rules with an iron fist, in search of something or someone.
Lies spiral out of control as the suspects try to survive the final days on board. Conflicted by their sense of morals, greed, and lust, they realise what kind of people they really are. Who will rise? Who will fall? Who was Helen’s murderer?”
Now to the analysis :
The plot is one of intrigue, murder and mystery. The entire story revolves around the death of dancer, Helen and the subsequent hush up of her murder. Only few people were there when she died, and therefore, they have to be kept quiet. The problems start when some are not as quiet as others. And then there’s the complication that two people, on deck at the time of the murder, know who the killer is. But no-one knows that they know.
The story is very well thought out, it’s not throwing everything at you at once, but it doesn’t drag things out too long either. The characters are very varied in talk, style, class and mannerism. There’s something here for everyone.
I know that some people are put off with the various POV (point of views) but I love it. I know when a character is important, by how well we get to know them. In this case, there are four main characters who take over the story. Four characters who know things about Helen’s murder that even they don’t realise.
The fact that this is a murder/crime, mystery/thriller puts it right in my favourite genre. The fact that it is well written and the plot kept me interested the entire way through, also makes it a rare gem. Murder mysteries are rarely done well anymore, to my finding, and it’s such a relief to find one that can be humorous without being a comedy, serious without boring you and intriguing without being overly complicated.
I like and dislike all the characters for one reason or another, as all good books should. I also had my suspicions about anyone and everyone until the very end, which all murder mysteries should. If you’re looking for an entertaining read that will keep you hooked right from the first, then pick up this book. The only comparison I’ve found with any other book/movie out there, is to say that it’s vaguely similar to Ghost Ship and yet not at all. This book is unique and a must read!