A YA novel with a pressing theme at the core, Rachel Ward’s The Drowning is dark and harsh. A read that covers numerous of topics whilst remaining mysterious and dark. This book took me long to read, and I’m not sure if it was because of the slow pace that highlights the mystery that engulfs this novel, or just that I couldn’t quite grasp the characters in this novel, it wasn’t a book that I was desperate to get through and know the conclusion. And that means I’m not sure how I feel about it now that I have finished it.
When Carl wakes up soaking wet on the side of the lake and his brother is getting zipped up in a body bag, he cannot recall what happened before. He doesn’t recognise the girl shivering and scared opposite or what happened in the lake. The only way he can solve this anguish is to remember. But the more Carl remembers, the more in danger he becomes.
Rachel Ward’s Numbers series was exciting, unexpected and completely different to what I had read before. And with this book I was expecting the same sort of standard.
This book took me in a completely different route than I was expecting it to take. I thought it would be more like a murder mystery, but instead became a recollection of memories, turned thriller. However, this was a thriller that I was deeply engrossed in. The build up was slow, the events that were happening did not keep me engaged enough and I was pushed to discover the events in the lake.
Carl could have been a really good and diverse character. However,I couldn’t settle with him. Some may find him interesting, but I found him to be a bit repetitive and naive. This may have enhanced his traits and situation but unfortunately did not enhance my reading style. The character/ghost/whatever he was of Rob was pretty one dimensional. I understand he was a complete antagonist but I felt his consistent and omnipresent existence alters the feel for the book for me. And not to enhance the reading experience either.
I didn’t feel like much happened in the book either. Although it felt long, the events weren’t overly dramatic, apart from the last scene. It was a scene that was visual impressive but the events happened all too quickly. I wasn’t sure where to focus my attention on. Slowed down a little bit, it could have been a really dramatic ending.
Now I’ve closed the book, it’s left me with a feeling of unslcertainty. I am glad I have finished but I’m not entirely sure I’ll ever pick it up again.