AND THE WATER SHALL CALL THEM HOME
A water-borne blight hits a small community on a remote Scottish island. The residents are a mix of island-born and newcomers seeking a slower life away from the modern world; all have their own secrets, some much darker than others. Some claim the illness may be a case of mass hysteria - or even a long-buried curse - but when ferry service fails and phone towers go down, inconvenience grows into nightmarish ordeal as the outwardly harmonious fabric of the community is irreversibly torn apart.
Dead Water is an atmospheric, suspenseful tale of folk horror and isolation within a small island community, from the author of A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World - perfect for fans of Midnight Mass and Pine.
Both ancient history and the recent past trouble a tiny island off the western coast of Scotland in this meticulously plotted, if perhaps slightly overworked, tale of perseverance in the face of hardship and horror from Fletcher (A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World). While many of the remote island's residents come from families that have lived there for generations, others have chosen the island in hopes of escaping painful pasts. Young widow Sig is a blend of both: she and her husband moved to the island because he grew up there, and after his death, Sig appreciates the isolation the island provides. When a music festival draws half of the residents away, Sig is among the disparate and detached people left behind, a group that's forced to work together when communication with the outside world is cut off and some residents begin manifesting mysterious and terrifying symptoms of an unknown infection. Fletcher creates a sharply observed and finely crafted environment, but the setup begins to feel tedious long before the significance of each painstakingly established detail is revealed. However, once those revelations begin, the novel becomes a taut thriller, the tension and horror of which are inextricably linked to the seemingly rambling foundation. The end result for readers who make it that far is thoroughly satisfying. Agent: Karolina Sutton, Curtis Brown Group. .Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the book's title.