Thanks to Scout Press for the free early copy in exchange for our honest reviews
THE DROWNING KIND – Jennifer McMahon (Released April 6th, 2021)
You can see our thoughts on McMahon’s other book – THE INVITED (here)
Be careful what you wish for.
When social worker Jax receives nine missed calls from her older sister, Lexie, she assumes that it’s just another one of her sister’s episodes. Manic and increasingly out of touch with reality, Lexie has pushed Jax away for over a year. But the next day, Lexie is dead: drowned in the pool at their grandmother’s estate. When Jax arrives at the house to go through her sister’s things, she learns that Lexie was researching the history of their family and the property. And as she dives deeper into the research herself, she discovers that the land holds a far darker past than she could have ever imagined.
In 1929, thirty-seven-year-old newlywed Ethel Monroe hopes desperately for a baby. In an effort to distract her, her husband whisks her away on a trip to Vermont, where a natural spring is showcased by the newest and most modern hotel in the Northeast. Once there, Ethel learns that the water is rumored to grant wishes, never suspecting that the spring takes in equal measure to what it gives.
Chandra’s Thoughts: 3/5 stars
One thing I can always count on with McMahon is a very atmospheric, creepy vibe. The Drowning Kind certainly delivers with dual timelines, a healing pool, familial relationships and the price you have to pay to get the one thing you think you want.
I was pulled in immediately learning about Lexie, Jax and Ethel. However, towards the last third of the book, I got a little bored. The story is interesting in itself, but I didn’t feel I was getting the full oomph of what I wanted and a couple threads were left hanging. This is definitely a slow burn of a paranormal story that will raise the hair on your body and have you side eyeing any body of water where you cannot see the bottom.
I very much enjoyed the “be careful what you wish for” theme that includes the “healing” properties of this spring water that is simultaneously giving us feelings of hope and fear. Just how far would you go to get something you truly desired? And can you live with the ripple effect it will have not just on yourself but on everyone around you as well?
If you enjoy a creepy gothic atmosphere, dual timelines and secrets that may die with their owners but still come back to haunt you… well this is definitely the read for you. It probably was a bit too slow for my taste but doesn’t take away from the tense feel I had throughout and the brilliance that is McMahon.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars
Another creepy and atmospheric read from McMahon is here and it did not disappoint. What I’ve come to expect from this author is something dark, well developed characters, an intricate plot, and an overall sense of foreboding and tension that keeps you glued. THE DROWNING KIND is my fourth novel by McMahon and one of my favorites so far.
We have two timelines: present day with Jax and her sister, Lexie, and in 1929 following Ethel Monroe. Jax is a social worker that has had a shaky relationship with her sister Lexie for years. After receiving numerous calls from her, Jax finds out the next day that Lexie is dead. When going through her things she discovers that Lexie was heavily researching their family history and the land their estate was built on. Enter our 1929 storyline, Ethel Monroe is a newlywed and desperate to get her family started. In an attempt to get their minds off the stress, her husband brings her to a beautiful new hotel with a spring fed pool. The rumors about this spring is that it can grant your deepest desires – but at what cost?
Would you make a wish without knowing the potential consequences? I think this book truly makes you reflect on “Be careful what you wish for” because you never know what could happen as a result. I loved how McMahon wove together these stories and seeing them both completely unfold. So many questions and things were so dark and almost haunting as it continued. If you want something creepy but not scary, then this will be perfect. All I know, after reading this, I won’t be swimming alone anytime soon!