DEEPEST WATER Hardcover – Sep 26 2000
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Jud Connors was a man with secrets, and after his murder in an isolated lakeside cabin in the Oregon Cascades, it's up to his daughter Abby to learn what they were in order to discover who killed him. The bestselling novelist left clues in his unfinished work, the final book in a trilogy, but first Abby must decipher them, translate her father's cryptic retelling of events that occurred in Southeast Asia long before she was born, and separate fact from fiction.
Abby was grateful for Felicia's matter-of-factness, her steadiness; she had read the entire novel, she knew exactly what Willa and Abby were going through now, and she was the calm storm center that was holding them both together, keeping them from dissolving into tears. Hesitantly Abby asked, "Did the girl, Sammy, did she die that day?"With the help of Willa, Jud's lover, and Felicia, his closest friend, Abby learns that danger is closer to home than she'd imagined, a truth that's been telegraphed so far in advance that the reader is several steps ahead of the heroine. But the plot's rarely the thing in Kate Wilhelm's fine psychological thrillers. What counts is the lyrical writing, the decency of the protagonists, and the abiding affection Wilhelm feels for her lovingly described Northwest landscape. A welcome addition to her long list of titles, including the popular Barbara Holloway thrillers, The Deepest Water may not be Wilhelm's strongest to date, but is nonetheless a well-written, nicely paced outing. --Jane Adams
"I don't know," Felicia said. "For Link the war ended that day; he never referred to her again. I just don't know...."
From Publishers Weekly
Set in and around her own Eugene, Ore., prolific Wilhelm's latest tale (after The Good Children) of psychological suspense reinforces the solid reputation she's earned for her 40-odd books published since 1963. Abby Connors is mourning the death of her father, bestselling novelist Jud Vickers, at the age of 48. Jud was a womanizing former ne'er-do-well who had recently found success, only to be murdered at his remote lakefront cabin. The local police baffled, Abby soon finds herself doing her own sleuthing, much to the dismay of her husband, Brice, a financial planner who was always jealous of Jud's primary place in Abby's heart. As Abby investigates further, she discovers secrets in Jud's past as well as an unfinished novel. Aware that Jud always based characters and events on people he actually knew, Abby begins to wonder: does the identity of the murderer and the motive lie within those unpublished pages? The brief forays into Jud's novel within the novel are sometimes over-the-top, and some readers may feel cheated by the subtle, nonconfrontational climax. The star of the book, strangely, is the cabin itself, a perversely menacing version of a Thomas Kincade painting and a deliciously eerie setting for the mystery and murder, beckoning the reader to step inside. Then, too, Abby is a plucky heroine whose steely patience serves her well even amid grief and bewilderment. Meanwhile, the ever-present specter of the murdererAcasting doubt on the behavior of everyone Abby has contact withAkeeps the edginess quotient high. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
This is a fantastic mystery about the murder of a fiction writer, Jud Connors. The protagonist is his daughter Abby; points of view are also provided by Jud's lady friend Willa and by Felicia, an old family friend. The suspense is beautifully meshed, with even the smallest holes patched by the end of the book. Amidst the search for the killer is woven a wonderful storyline: Jud's friends, his daughter's marriage, Jud's clues to his murderer in his new novel, and Jud's surprising legacy.
Abby's love for her father went back far enough to solve the mystery: She had proofread for him back in the days when he wrote computer manuals, and the key was in the computer. I thought that this was brilliant.
I'm used to particular twists in mysteries, and was so afraid that this book would follow the patterns of other authors. Happily, it didn't, and I finished the book satisfied with the ending.
I couldn't put down the book, and I strongly recommend it!
Defying her husband's jealousy and disapproval, Kate probes the blurred line between fact and fiction in her father's work, uncovering long buried secrets, discovering insights into herself and others, gaining new understanding of her father and moving ever closer to a dangerous, watchful murderer.
The novel is well-paced and plotted and Kate's almost obsessive digging seems a natural consequence of grief. The relationship between husband and wife seems shallow, however, the husband sketchily drawn and Kate's interactions with him sometimes overwrought. Nonetheless, this is an absorbing and rewarding thriller.
Abby begins reevaluating her life and those currently in her life. She searches for a greater understanding of her father and ultimately his untimely death. Finally, deciding she needs closure, she examines his last unpublished novel thinking she will find the clue to uncover the identity of the culprit.
THE DEEPEST WATER is an intriguing suspense thriller due to Abby, as complete a protagonist as found in a novel. The tale starts innocently at a funeral, but builds up in tension as Abby regains her equilibrium and soon obsesses over her father's murder. The support cast provides grit to the novel as several individuals "advise" Abby on what she should do next. The enthralling story line will entice the audience to find other works by Kate Wilhelm.
Imagine a pleasing scene from a mountain road; imagine darkness coming over the valley; imagine shadows growing and becoming more threatening...This is Wilhelm's style here. She draws you quickly into the scenes, then begins hinting at the troubles ahead. The plot moves smoothly, the characters interact and brood accordingly, and the conclusion draws the loose ends together in a satisfying and sleek manner.
This was my first Wilhelm read. I'm tempted to pursue her other books, particularly since she is a local author. She captures the mood and personality of Oregon well. I enjoyed her readable style.
Most recent customer reviews
Kate Wilhelm always surprises me.This books starts out so predictably,a dead body at a secluded cabin and the mystery of who the killer might be,however as the story unfolds she... Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2003 by Joni Ashley
This was my first by Kate Wilhelm, but definitely won't be my last. Wilhelm's style of writing is subtle and works its way under your skin when you're not looking. Read morePublished on April 30 2002
What an excellent writer! As an avid reader, finding such exciting and easy to follow reading can be difficult. But I found that "The Deepest Water" was hard to put down. Read morePublished on Sept. 25 2001 by Elizabeth Gautreau