Dark Water is the sequel to Jan Ruth’s roller-coaster family drama, Wild Water. Once again Jack, 40 something estate agent, with 4 children and his expensive ex-wife, Patsy, to support, is juggling work, family life and miles of driving. He should, however, be much happier now that he is together with his first love, Anna, spending weekends at her farmhouse in north Wales. But the title of the book begins to be fulfilled when Simon Banks, oddball father of Patsy’s first child comes back into their lives. As Anna’s beloved dog, Benson becomes weaker and more sickly, Simon’s unhealthy obsessions and threatening behaviour begin to impinge on all their lives.
As in the best of dramas, Jack is the cause of his own undoing. Both he and Anna make mistakes and when life should be improving with the recognition of Anna’s artistic talent in a new gallery, disaster strikes. This compelling action packed story is difficult to put down. Jack’s character is less empathetic but understandable. Seeing the action through the eyes of Jack, Anna and even Simon gives the reader a more complete picture of their motivation and also a suggestion of impending doom.
The conclusion to this dark but exciting novel is both satisfying and thrilling and it could so easily be transferred to the screen.
5 out of 5 stars.