Cover Image: Down By The Water

Down By The Water

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Member Reviews

This book was tense from the beginning and the group of women involved just kept adding to it. There were quite a few characters and sometimes I struggled to remember who was who apart from the main two characters.
The story flows quite quickly and I soon became immersed in it which led to many extra chapters being consumed when I should have been doing other things. The novel relies on a back story of the women's past relationships and this was really well threaded into the present day. The main character Tess was obviously troubled and I was desperate to know why.
The story basis was one lots of people can relate to; the changing of friendships over time and as lives invariably take differing paths, these may become broken.
This is a really good psychological thriller which I totally recommend.
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Dark, intense and addictive...this novel pulls you in and doesn't let go.

Filled with suspense, this brilliantly penned plot encapsulates the depth and breath of the bond between women and their ever evolving lives and the unravelling of secrets that surfaces.

A bone chilling, gripping read.
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I do love a good mystery thriller and this novel really hasn’t disappointed. Connel has captivated my attention from chapter 1.

I have loved the unraveling of secrets within the pages of this one. It is an extremely well written plot and is centred around friendships.

This is a novel that has been addictive and unpredictable. I have found that this is cleverly written and filled with twists at every turn of the page.

This is unpredictable and entertaining. I have definitely been converted as a fan of this author.

An absolute gem highly deserving of five shiny stars.
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Down By the Water is a psychological thriller by Elle Connel set in a remote castle in the Scottish Borders. Seven friends are at a hen party weekend staying near a picturesque sea-loch. The seven women think they all know each other, but which of them has a devasting secret and who is the mystery person emerging from the water in one of their group self- timed photographs?

I really enjoyed this richly atmospheric mystery tale. The author created a real sense of unease and danger through her sinister descriptions of the chilling locale and the characterisation was also well done. With some wicked twists splashed about, this was a compelling and engrossing read.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Headline/ Wildfire via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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Seven friends gather at a castle in the Scottish Borders. One last weekend before Georgie's wedding. Near the castle, through a path in the woods, is a loch. After a few drinks, they head down to the water to take photos. The loch is wild, lonely, and stunningly beautiful. They set their camera to self-timer and take some group shots. Later, looking back at the pictures, they see something impossible. …

This book drew me right in from the very beginning. It’s an atmospheric and at times eerie read.  The characters are all quite horrible, which I do like in a book ! A very good story that you’ll just want to keep reading to get to the bottom of what is going on.
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This was such a brilliantly written novel, been so long that I read a proper crazy, darkly chilling psychological thriller. It's all about the vibes really, the plot sounds just like any other, a group of friends go to a secluded place for a vacation and then all the dark secrets start to come out (one of my favorite plot settings!), but there was something dark, mad, and spooky about this story. I couldn't figure out where the story was headed until the very end, and the ending was just as crazy, goosebump stuff, and I loved it! Very much recommended! But do take a look at the TW before heading in.

Thanks to NetGalley, author, and publisher for the eARC. All opinions are my own.
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Slow Burn Suspense…
When a group of friends gather for a celebratory weekend at a remote Scottish castle they have only fun in mind but a group photograph at the nearby loch sets in motion a catalogue of bizarre events. Slow burn suspense with some well described elements and nicely atmospheric in places with a sinister feel.
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Seven friends gather at a castle in the Scottish Borders. One last weekend before Georgie's wedding. Near the castle, through a path in the woods, is a loch. After a few drinks, they head down to the water to take photos. The loch is wild, lonely, and stunningly beautiful. They set their camera to self-timer and take some group shots. Later, looking back at the pictures, they see something impossible. Behind them, eyes wide, a small, drenched boy emerges from the water. But none of them saw him, and nobody knows where he went. They're miles from the nearest town. How did he get there? Where did he go? As the weekend unravels and terrible secrets come to light, it soon becomes clear that their perfect weekend is turning into a perfect nightmare. They're desperate to leave - but someone won't let them.

This book was a very good read. However, there were times in this book that I got a little bit confused due to the amount of characters. I did find that I had to flick back to the pages before to remember who was you. The characters were also a bit pretentious and I struggled to like any of them, but I think that may have been the authors intention. 
The author creates a very atmospheric novel, which pulls you in
The book was attention grabbing, full of twists 
I enjoyed the second part of this book a while lot more than the first
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This seriously intense and suspenseful thriller centres around seven women
Tessa, Bea, Harriet, Georgie, Rachael, Melissa and Alice and the events that occur over Georgie's hen weekend. They find themselves staying in a old castle that looks like a building from a Disney film and is situated near a loch in the Scottish Highlands. They plan to have a weekend of drinking, getting high, stupid party games, reminiscing about their pasts and catching up on what has been going on in their lives since they were all together as a group. But even before they arrive at their destination, it becomes glaringly apparent that there is a toxic atmosphere amongst the group and that some of the friends are not as close as they pretend to be. Things take a strange turn when not long after they arrive at the castle, the image of a drenched young boy emerging from the loch is captured in the background of one of their photographs, then their supplies start mysteriously disappearing. Their perfect weekend is turning into a living nightmare but when some of them decide that they want to leave, they are informed by the estate manager Tom that one of the roads is blocked by a fallen tree. So they find themselves stranded, in the middle of nowhere with no wi-fi, no phone signal and at the mercy of a unknown enemy who had their own personal reasons for luring the friends to that particular location. 

You sometimes find in large groups of friends that their is usually someone who is the most popular member of the group and someone who always seems to be a bit of a outsider. In this story, Tessa saw herself as the outsider whilst Georgie was the one that the rest of the group were constantly worried about keeping happy and believe me, keeping her happy wasn't a easy task. My personal favourite from the group was Bea, the other six women I thought were quite irritating and unlikable for various reasons especially Georgie although I couldn't help feeling a tiny bit of admiration for Alice after she revealed what her mysterious occupation was. There was times when the atmosphere amongst the women was more toxic that a nest of rattlesnakes, some of the comments that were being bandied about had more sting in them that a snake bite.

Interspersed throughout the main story was chapters where we followed Bea as she found ways to escape the other members of the group and immerse herself in the pages of a diary that she had found. She found herself captivated by the heart breaking story of a teenage girl who developed feelings for a boy named Jack and found herself manipulated, betrayed, abused and then basically abandoned by everyone she should have been able to rely on for support. But who was this person and how did her story fit into events that were unfolding in the present day?

Omg, I thought this books was absolutely bloody incredible, a beautifully written, atmospheric,intense, suspense packed thriller that contained all the elements that I wish to find in a thriller. The isolated setting, the castle, the forest and the loch were intricately described with enough detail that you could close your eyes and place yourself there in your head. As with some human beings, mother nature can also be so beautiful and yet she also has a destructive side, a hidden darkness that can cause life changing devastation. The women were a diverse group of realistic individuals,each with their own unique personalities and character traits. I would love to watch a film or tv adaptation of this unputdownable, addictive read that is worthy of all the stars and more and very very highly recommended. I loved this book and it's definitely going to be one of my favourite reads of this year.
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Can't decide what to make of this one. 

It started off slow and the first few chapters with the constant drinking and drug taking were hard to relate to (as someone who doesn't do either). I suppose for some that might be what a hen party is partly about, but the amount of it going on with the characters in this book was crazy. 

None of characters were likeable, aside from Bea and Tessa, who I thought were ok.  

I definitely got more into the story when the diary entries started making an appearance.  I think I enjoyed them more than the actual story. 

There was some beautiful descriptive writing, so credit to the author for that. 

The ending left me feeling a underwhelmed.  

Thank you to PH,  NetGalley and Elle Connel for the chance to read this book.
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This was a very good and well written book.  I enjoyed the writing and characters alot. I look forward to more books by the author
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Dark, creepy, mysterious and I loved it. 

This book is unlike anything I've read before, its jumpy and brilliantly written. Books with lakes in them always spell danger even more so when the lake holds what this one does. 

I devoured this in an afternoon, I'm looking forward to reading more of Elle's books.
⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Down by the water by Elle Connel. 
I really enjoyed this book. Wow surprising twists full of suspense. Great story and characters.  5*.
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Down By the Water is a psychological thriller by Elle Connel, set over the course of a weekend at a hen party in a remote castle in the Scottish Borders. Said to have been partially inspired by a true story, it follows seven friends and is situated near a beautiful sea-loch, it seems like the perfect place to get away from the outside world. But the weekend is terrifyingly derailed when the girls spot the figure of a boy in one of their group photos by the water. They thought they knew each other's darkest moments, but one of them has been hiding a devastating secret. 

And amid the drunken revelries of the weekend, she will find the perfect moment to wreak her revenge. This is a compulsive and richly atmospheric contemporary thriller steeped in mystery and with some heart-pounding reveals. Elle Connel uses her secluded and richly described setting to plunge readers into a perfectly chilling environment where danger – both from the natural world, and from the people you thought you could trust – lurks around every corner. Combined with the tight timeframe of one weekend, a dynamic cast of characters, and some heart-stopping and wicked twists, this makes for a truly unputdownable read.
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I am sorry to say that I just didn't get into this book. I liked the sound of it, but just didn't connect with either the story or the characters.
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I found the first half of the book a little slow and was wondering at times where the story was heading. However, once the storyline started to progress and when the diary was introduced I found the story much more intriguing and it caught my attention a lot more. I found Georgie to be a dislike-able character, and part made me wonder how much of a true friend she was to any of the other characters in the book and it made me feel sorry for some of the other characters. It would have been nice at the end of the book to find out the outcome for Georgie to really wrap the story up but that’s just my opinion, others may not feel the same.
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A really great, atmospheric read. Lots of lies and thrills going on in this novel. I devoured this extremely quickly as I could not get enough, and just wanted to know what was happening.

Seven friends, meet for one of their friends wedding, Georgie and they decide (as you do nowadays) to pose for a photo in front of the nearby Loch, which is eerie in itself.  They do the photo and when they look back at it, its scary for them as they see a young boy who appears to be in the water.  The friends are baffled by this event and decide to look for him but can not locate him.  This is the main basis of the novel as lots of scary things start to happen to these unlucky seven. Their planned perfect getaway turns into an absolute horrendous nightmare.

Such a great read, I did get lost with the many characters but quickly picked them up as you get into the novel.

Thanks to NetGalley, Elle Connel and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Sinister and atmospheric, a gripping read!
Seven friends gather at a castle in the Scottish Borders. One last girls' weekend before Georgina's wedding. Near the castle, through a path in the woods, is a loch. After a few drinks, they head down to the water to take photos. The loch is wild, lonely, and stunningly beautiful. They set their camera to self-timer and take some group shots. Later, looking back at the pictures, they see something impossible. 

Behind them, eyes wide, a small, drenched boy emerges from the water. 

But none of them saw him, and nobody knows where he went. They're miles from the nearest town. How did he get there? Where did he go? 

As the weekend unravels and terrible secrets come to light, it soon becomes clear that their perfect weekend is turning into a perfect nightmare. They're desperate to leave - but someone won't let them. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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Down by the water was definitely an adventure - a hen weekend I can well imagine with old Uni friends getting together who'd not seen each other in a long time. Trying to reclaim the old days where life was so different from the realities and responsibilities of adulthood.

I enjoyed the premise of this story, the setting and mostly the characters although as some other reviewers have said there were quite a few to keep tabs on which I did find difficult to keep up with. The setting of the remote Scottish castle added a character of it's own, well described and I could imagine myself there with the eerie quite and darkness surrounding the tree lined sea loch and potential for odd goings on.

I really found Georgie annoying but I think that was the authors point, I think we all know someone like her within friendship groups so she was relateably unlikeable. I did feel for Tessa and felt early on there was clearly something going on although perhaps because I unfortunately had to read in short snippets this time I didn't always follow as lucidly as I usually would which I think did hamper my reading.

Down by the water is the kind of book you want to shut yourself away with so that you can fully immerse yourself in the characters and all the backstories so that the climax really packs a punch.

An enjoyable read and I would happily read more from this author. 4 stars really because I struggled with so many key characters.
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DOWN BY THE WATER is a mystery thriller by Elle Connel.

Seven women are on in sleeper cabins on a train bound for a castle in Scotland. This was to be a weekend retreat to reconnect where they had all met, before one of the women, Georgina gets married. They had met in university, and now years later some were married with children and others not and now the hen party was underway.

The seven women on the trip included:

Tessa- a Doctor
Harriet-had been a novelist but was now married to Freddie with two children (cool & demanding)
Melissa- a Vet (petite, bright and loyal)
Bea-Married to Mohammed with two identical twin girls (took drugs)
Alice-Married to wife Rachael
Georgie-Getting married and hosting the retreat

Harriet, Melissa and Georgie had stayed in touch since university. Georgie had asked all of her university gang best friends to be her bridesmaids at her approaching wedding.

Seven friends gather at a castle in the Scottish Borders. One last girls' weekend before Georgina's wedding. Near the castle, through a path in the woods, is a loch. After a few drinks, they head down to the water to take photos. The loch is wild, lonely, and stunningly beautiful. They set their camera to self-timer and take some group shots.

And then later when they look at the pictures, they see a small boy that has drowned in the water.

But none of them saw him, and nobody knows where he went. They're miles from the nearest town. How did he get there? Where did he go?

As the weekend progresses more secrets and lies become known. Their perfect weekend is turning into a perfect nightmare. They're desperate to leave - but someone won't let them.

This well-written novel that shows how friendships over time can change, as each take their own path. Life is made up of Choices…Decisions…Consequences… You make your own path!

Many thanks to the author, Headline Books, The Book Club and NetGalley for my digital copy.
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