Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Date of Publication: October 27, 2020
Started On: November 21, 2020
Finished On: November 25, 2020
Loreth Anne White’s books are sometimes quite hard to review because she is so good at what she does; taking readers on a mind-twisting, stomach churning, nail biting journey that is difficult to put into words once you are done. In the Deep fits this category and takes readers into the life of the Hartley Heiress, Ellie Tyler, whose marriage and life falls apart with the tragic death of her daughter.
While her husband moves on and starts a new life, Ellie is stuck in a rut, trying to erase the feelings of guilt and inadequacy in booze and drugs, until she decides to get her act together. That is when she meets property developer Martin Cresswell-Smith, who basically sweeps her off her feet in a whirlwind courtship that leaves her reeling and a little bit stunned, and the marriage that follows, along with following her husband to Jarrawarra Bay, located in New South Wales on the south coast of Australia to start anew; things should have been fun and exciting but reality turns out to be anything but.
From that point forward, things start heading downhill once again, as Ellie finds herself struggling with the onslaught of rapid changes Martin undergoes propelling her into the arms of darkness. When Martin turns up dead, Ellie of course becomes the number one suspect in the eyes of Senior Constable Laurel “Lozza” Bianchi, not a inconceivable when Ellie expresses relief at the news of the demise of her husband.
When the big reveal happened as the story escalated and Loreth takes us back and forth the past and the present, I was blown away, even though I did have my spidey sense going on alert when this particular character came to light. After all, books like In the Deep tends to make you suspicious of every single character you come across, and even goes as far as to make you doubtful of your own motives behind your feelings of bias perhaps, towards a particular character. But alas, nothing is ever so simple when it comes to Loreth’s writing and that is where her ingenuity lies.
Ellie’s character is one that makes you sympathize and empathize with her, not just because of the tragic events of her past. But you can see how Ellie is a woman starved for warmth and love, and that her father compensates for the lack by throwing money at the problem than giving her the time and affection she rightfully deserves. At the same time, I was left feeling uneasy by who Ellie is.
The way the lead detective voices out her observations towards the end echoed my sentiments on the character that Ellie is. She is a victim, yes. The altogether too perfect a victim perhaps. There is an edge to her that leaves you feeling unsettled, as if you have been cheated in some ways or manipulated with a subtlety that only bothers you at a subconscious level.
That is how good Loreth is with characterization, which is why I ended up having a deep intellectual discussion with a colleague of mine about her character having finished the story. I talked my colleague’s ear off, expressed my fears and doubts when it came to Ellie’s character, and also ended up professing my undying fascination with Loreth’s work. Even though I finished reading this book last November and just got around to writing the review, I do not think I will ever fully be able to reconcile with what happened in the story, mainly centered around the way Ellie’s character morphs and changes throughout.
I spent many a restless night while I was reading this book, disturbed by dreams of a subconscious that wouldn’t let me dream in peace. What is more sinister than a perpetrator who actually shows their true colors when they lose out on furthering their agenda, is the one who is a chameleon of sorts that is nuanced in the art of subtleties. I found that quite insidious and more menacing.
Needless to say, In the Deep is a novel that is highly readable and enjoyable, recommended for those who love a good suspense novel. Loreth’s prowess is unbeatable!
Final Verdict: Loreth does it again, with masterful writing that keeps the reader on the edge, guessing, but to no avail. Taut and suspenseful, this will linger on in the subconscious for a long time to come.
Women are the harshest critics of each other. I suspect this is because the flaws we see in other women are flaws we hate to acknowledge in ourselves. Being critical, lashing out at other females, is a way of attacking those traits within ourselves that we detest most.