Release date: December 29, 2015
Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.
Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.
The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.
Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…
Thicker than Water is a psychological murder mystery, set it a small town. The book opens at Thomas’ mother’s funeral, and right then I knew I loved the writing. The author didn’t shy away from depicting his grief, and his subsequent helplessness. For the characters, the depth given to the them was one of the key points of the book. Thomas is a person who used to be charming and popular, but now he is hated and lonely. In his new reality, there are few people who believe him, including Charlotte, the closeted daughter of a police family.
Thomas and Charlotte interacting is very dangerous for him, considering the police still have their eye on him, and she somehow manages to get situations worse. It doesn’t help that she is drawn to him, and he to her kindness. Misunderstandings arise constantly when she is around, and he ends up being thrown in jail. He develops a distrust for the authorities, and his helplessness drives him to seek out clues on his own, leading him to a long-lost brother. Now that’s where it gets even more twisted, because this brother seems a bit shady. I don’t want to give much away, but it also has a paranormal component which was an interesting surprise.
The plot, pacing and overall mysterious atmosphere of the book had me hooked. I couldn’t put it down since I started it, which meant a late night (or morning, if you want to be technical). The ending, though, threw me for a bit. I am not sure if this is a standalone, because there are some things left unexplained, like how he was getting in the houses, what about the father and who was Alex. I sure would have loved to have those things resolved, at least partly, even if this was part of a series. Nevertheless, an immensely enjoyable book.
Received a free galley from Kensington Books via Netgalley; this does not influence my opinions or the review.