Deep Water

Mysterious Book Report No. 492

by John Dwaine McKenna

Deep Water, (Scout, $28.00, 320 pages, ISBN 978-1-9821-7036-3), by Emma Bamford is our second first-time author in the past two weeks and features a young, almost newly married British couple who’ve sold all of their possessions and bought a fixer-upper boat, spent most of their funds outfitting, repairing and provisioning it . . . then setting out to sail from their home in England and circumnavigate the world.  They make it to Malaysia, where after re-supplying with food and fuel, they impulsively set out on a whim for the remote and unspoiled island of Amarante, 1200 nautical miles deep in the Indian Ocean.

As the novel begins, it’s narrated by a Royal Malaysian Navy Captain named Danial Tengku , who’s just been alerted to a distress signal from a yacht in a typhoon, “one-thousand nautical miles from land in any direction.”  Aboard and in dire need of help are the London couple, Jake Selkirk and his wife Virginie Durand.  Selkirk is badly injured, bleeding and incoherent.  Durand can only keep repeating “I killed them,” in a hysterical manner as she tries in vain to tend to her husband’s wounds.  Over the next few days, Virginie tells her story to the Captain . . .

After sailing to Amarante, they find a pair of boats with three other people and a dog already there.  They’re introduced to Pete and Stella, a Canadian couple on the first boat, and Roly, an irascible Australian, along with his dog named Gus on the second.  Shortly thereafter a fourth, and far more expensive catamaran shows up with a pair of mysterious Brazilians named Vitor, and his girlfriend Teresa.  There’s nothing to do but fish, frolic in the sun and party on the beach.  But the remoteness, isolation, and the lack of authority starts bringing out the worst in everyone.  Suspicion leads to betrayal which ultimately leads to violence in this suspenseful misguided adventure.  Ms. Bamford has crafted a tense psychological thriller that readers will engage with and hopefully, look forward to its sequel!


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