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John Harper is in hiding in a remote hut on a tropical island. As he lies awake at night, listening to the rain on the roof, he believes his life may be in danger. But he is less afraid of what is going to happen than of what he's already done.
In a local town, he meets Rita, a woman with her own tragic history. They begin an affair, but can they offer each other redemption? Or do the ghosts of the past always catch up with us in the end?
Moving between Europe during the Cold War, Civil Rights-era California, and Indonesia during the massacres of 1965 and the subsequent military dictatorship, Black Water explores some of the darkest events of recent history through the story of one troubled man.
In this gripping follow-up to Apple Tree Yard, Louise Doughty writes with the intelligence, vivid characterization, and moral ambiguity that make her fiction resonate in the reader's mind long after the final page.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By John on 04-30-17
Worth the time, not brilliant
I loved the reader's voice and cadence. It fit the deliberate writing style. The story had a couple of great moments and is more sophisticated than your average spy tale. I confess that I more enjoy the action in a cookie cutter thriller even when I see through it. I enjoyed seeing the character at early, middle and later middle life. I enjoyed his thoughts and their realism. But I prefer more action and obvious drama, because I read spy novels less to appreciate the art, and more to briefly step into another world. The book did illuminate some things of beauty about life, but also darkness that we already see all too clearly and can't help but think about. I know many people enjoy reading about life's agonies, and feel that a story without them is unrealistic and then lacks value. I'm the opposite. I think tales and stories must be about extraordinary topics to justify their telling. So I'm always willing to cut an author some slack if their plots are a bit too convenient. That's just not what this author is about.
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