Title: The Waters & The Wild
Author: DeSales Harrison
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: April 3, 2018
Page Count: 320
My rating: 2 1/2 stars
About the book:
Haunted by a past crime and a past lover, a psychoanalyst tries to protect his daughter from his mistakes—but at what cost?
Daniel Abend is a single parent in New York City, with a successful therapy practice and a comfortable life: an apartment on the Upper West Side, a teenage daughter, a peaceful daily routine. When one of his patients commits suicide, it is a tragedy, but one easily explained: The young woman suffered from depression and drug addiction.
But soon after, Daniel receives an ominous note that makes him question the circumstances surrounding his patient’s death. He is provided with a provocative series of clues—a mysterious key, a cryptic poem, a photograph with a chilling message. A few days later, his daughter abruptly disappears.
Daniel is swept into an increasingly desperate search for his daughter, and for the truth—a search that stretches back decades, to when he was a young man living in Paris, falling in love with a woman who would ultimately upend his life. As he is tormented by a steady flow of anonymous letters, Daniel recognizes that he must confront the secrets of his past: There is a debt to be paid, an account to be settled.
The Waters & The Wild opens when a young lady, Clementine Abend, visits the church and says that she believes that her father sent a package there that she needs to retrieve. Rector Nelson Spurlock turns he away not knowing of any such packages but a few weeks later it arrives in the mail.
The story then takes the reader back in time to a psychoanalyst, Daniel Abend and begins to tell his story that the package has led to. Daniel was married with a daughter and living in New York City where he practiced. One of his patients he had been close to, Jessica Burke, dies and the story follows from there.
The Waters & The Wild is another case for me of being the wrong reader for his particular mystery read. What some that enjoy this style of writing are sure to say is that it’s beautifully written and well done but for me beautifully written tends to translate into overly wordy and descriptive which in turn slows down the pace and dare I say I get a tad bored waiting for things to happen.
If you enjoy a really slow burning mystery with writing that can almost at times feel poetic then I’m sure this would be for you, however it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I had hoped to that I would fall in love with a twist or turn or an amazing conclusion but nothing really grabbed me along the way and I never developed much of a connection to the characters to rate any higher than 2.5 stars.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
DeSales Harrison is an associate professor of modern poetry and acting director of the Creative Writing Program at Oberlin College. He earned his BA from Yale University, his MA from Johns Hopkins University, and his PhD from Harvard University. He studied psychoanalysis at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research in New York. He is married to the literary critic Laura Baudot, has four children, and spends part of the year near Nevers, France.