The Deepest Water by Kate Wilhelm

I actually listened to this one, an audiobook narrated by Marguerite Gavin. I’ve never read anything by Wilhelm before, although I ‘m not quite sure how I missed her. She’s been writing in a variety of genres since the 1960s, including mystery, science fiction and fantasy.

The story centers on Abby, whose father, author Jud Connors, was murdered at his secluded lakefront cabin. The detective in charge of the case seems to be making little progress, at least from Abby’s point of view. Abby, against the wishes off her husband Brice, begins investigating the murder and her father’s past, helped by Jud’s lover and his closest friend, both strong intelligent women.

The female characters were the highlight of the book for me. Abby seems real, devastated by her father’s murder, determined to find the killer, confused by what she discovers. Wilhelm hits a perfect note with the two older women also. They each have their own personalities, their own difficulties. Felicia, Jud’s friend, is actually my favorite, perceptive, comforting, but capable of making tough choices.

For a mystery, I knew the killer early on, but I’m not sure if it was from the clues or from the narrator’s tone. For those who hadn’t guessed already, the reader is eventually told who it is well before Abby figures it out. Still, the suspense holds throughout the book. We may know whodunnit and why, but wondering what was going to happen kept me listening.

I have mixed feelings about the ending. On the one hand, I was expecting a confrontation that never happened. On the other, it seemed appropriate and fitting, something the characters involved would really do, not just a tidy conclusion.

I have to admit that I love the setting, too. The descriptions of Oregon, especially the lake where Jud’s cabin is, are captivating. I want to visit!

Jen, at Devourer of Books, is actually hosting an Audiobook Week this week, so make sure you head over there to see what she and others are talking about.

I don’t tend to make comments on the narration or production of audiobooks, unless there’s some negative aspect. I almost forget I’m listening to the story, if that makes sense. When it’s well-done, I’m hearing the story, not the narrator. If there are any sound effects, which there weren’t in this one, they should blend seamlessly.

First published 2000
9 hours, 17 minutes

Challenges: 100+, Thriller and Suspense

I borrowed my copy from the library and the above is my honest opinion. I am an Amazon associate.

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  1. So far I have only heard the narrator, but that is cos they have made annoying sounds, like made one girl have a Russian accent, and that made no sense…ok going away from teh subject, but yeah, I need a good voice, Like Neil Gaiman

  2. Setting is one of the things that can really grab me about a book – raise it from okay to good.

    I don’t know if it’s easier to listen to an average book or not. Listening takes longer and it’s harder to skim over passages.

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