Title: The Water Keeper
Author: Charles Martin
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication date: 5th May 2020
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
“Murphy Shepherd is a man with many secrets. He lives alone on an island, tending the grounds for a church with no parishioners, and he’s dedicated his life to rescuing those in peril. But as he mourns the loss of his mentor and friend, Murph himself may be more lost than he realizes.
When he pulls a beautiful woman named Summer out of Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, Murph’s mission to lay his mentor to rest at the end of the world takes a dangerous turn. Drawn to Summer, and desperate to find her missing daughter, Murph is pulled deeper and deeper into the dark and dangerous world of modern-day slavery.
With help from some unexpected new friends, including a faithful Labrador he plucks from the ocean and an ex-convict named Clay, Murph must race against the clock to locate the girl before he is consumed by the secrets of his past—and the ghosts who tried to bury them.”
I didn’t know what to expect when I requested The Water Keeper on Netgalley. I thought that it would be a steady paced and easy read however I was surprised to find a stimulating and complex plot with plenty of action and rollercoaster moments. It suited both the character development and story line well and never left me bored.
The characters in The Water Keeper are extraordinary. Murph at first appears to be a normal man with a love of boats but that doesn’t even cover the surface of the complexity of his character. His passion for justice is reflected in the risky work he undertakes each time he saves a girl from sex traffickers. His integrity and dedication is ignited when he meets Angel, a young girl who soon becomes the target of a dangerous group of sex traffickers. I found myself warming to Murph with every decision he took to save her life and he soon became my favourite character. Secondary characters are often more difficult to connect with but that wasn’t the case in The Water Keeper as each character had a place and was beautifully developed. They included an unlikely mix of a convict, a dog, a young girl who is still trying to discover who she really is and a worried mother hoping to be reunited with her daughter.
At the forefront of The Water Keeper is the beautiful and calm scenery which perfectly challenges the turbulent plot filled with violence. I found the boat related descriptions too repetitive but I realise that it is closely connected to Murph’s love of boats and the sea and complements his passion well. The remaining imagery was delightful and superbly described. It takes the reader on a journey through both tranquil and dangerous waters as Murph and the team get closer to Angel and I thoroughly enjoyed following them on their journey.
The Water Keeper kept me guessing until the very end and there were several troubling moments where I wasn’t sure if it would end in disaster or not. However, I was satisfied with the ending which ties up all lose ends and also answers all the questions from Murph’s private life and why he chose to follow such a dangerous career. Filled with wonderful storytelling, a set of interesting characters and vivid scenery, The Water Keeper is a must read for anyone who is willing to be surprised and taken on an exciting adventure.
The Water Keeper is out to buy today!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a free advanced reader’s copy in exchange for my honest review.