Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Drowning Kind - Jennifer McMahon

The Drowning Kind is Jennifer McMahon's latest book.

"From the New York Times bestselling author of The Invited and The Winter People comes a chilling new novel about a woman who returns to the old family home after her sister mysteriously drowns in its swimming pool…but she’s not the pool’s only victim."

Right from the start, there's a Gothic feel to this latest from McMahon - Sparrow Crest was built on the ruins of an old hotel, there are rumors and perhaps truths about the springs - healing powers, granting wishes - but is there a cost? Be careful what you wish for....

McMahon tell her tale in a past and present format - one of my favorite formats. The past takes us to 1929 and introduces us to Ethel, who desperately wants a child. Uh huh, you guessed it. In the present, Jax finds her sister's research into the springs and takes it in, but with a grain of salt. Lexie had mental health issues and this could just be part of her illness. But the listener is privy to both timelines and knows more - but not everything. 

I'm always the one watching a scary movie from behind a pillow, yelling "don't go in the basement!" This time its 'don't go in the water." Dark water where you can't see the bottom? Ummm, no thanks. I got shivers every time someone decided to go swimming or visit the springs. McMahon has done a great job, building the atmosphere and keeping us in suspense 'til the very end.

I chose to listen to The Drowning Kind. I find I am often more drawn into a book by listening instead of reading. Such is the case with this book. Two narrators were used - Joy Osmanski and  Imani Jade Powers - both readers I have enjoyed in the past. Osmanski voices Jax in the present. Her voice suits the mental image I had created for this characters. She speaks crisply, cleanly and her voice is easy to understand. She uses her voice to great effect, easily bringing the suspense of McMahon's book to the listener. Her voices for supporting characters are differentiated. Powers is voice for Ethel in the past. She has a slower, well modulated tone of speaking that is just right for this character. It absolutely captures the suspense surrounding the springs - almost a dreamy tone. Hear for yourself - listen to an excerpt of The Drowning Kind

And the ending? It caught me off guard and I had to go back and read it again. But it was just right.

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