Dark Water by Sara Bailey

*My thanks to Nightingale Editions (an imprint of Blackbird Books) for my review copy!*

Dark Water is out on October 3rd and you can preorder your copy by clicking the link below:

Dark Water by Sara Bailey

About the book:

Friendship doesn’t die, it waits…

A haunting and lyrical novel, ‘Dark Water’ is a psychologically intense portrait of adolescent yearning and obsession.

When Helena returns to her childhood home in Orkney, she is forced to face memories that she has spent half a lifetime running from. Her best friend, the charismatic Anastasia, disappeared after a swimming incident. But what really happened that night by the wrecks?

My thoughts:

Dark Water is a debut. I feel I need to state that, because at no point during the course of my reading this book did it feel like a debut!!!Sara Bailey writes like an accomplished novelist, so I was quite taken aback to see that this is her first novel!

When I started reading Dark Water, I didn’t know what to expect. Once I got into the story though, I was completely caught up in it. It is a very intriguing novel, in that there appears to be more than one specific genre in it. It flicks between psychological thriller, young adult, a touch of a ghost story and most definitely mystery. This mix doesn’t hinder Dark Water in any way, if anything it enhances the prose at the right times.

Told in alternating time frames, we get a glimpse of the main characters as they were when they were teenagers, and as they are now. The conflicting feelings that come with adolescence are captured really well, and even as adults the author shows how these insecurities can follow into adulthood.

The surrounding landscape of Orkney and the sea provides an excellent backdrop for Dark Water too. More than once, I found myself doing a google search for the dive tours in the area and the photos are haunting as there are ships purposely wrecked in the sea and they look very eerie.

As you know by now, I am not one for full on plot discussion. What I will say though, is that Dark Water is a haunting debut. Full of atmosphere, wrought with tension and decidedly chilling, Sarah Bailey has written an exceptional first novel. I would definitely recommend Dark Water highly!

I’ll leave you with the quote from the opening…

Dark water- the depth at which divers can’t tell which way is up and which is down.


9 thoughts on “Dark Water by Sara Bailey

  1. This sounds right up my street. The title alone is enough to get me interested – chilling – and the synopsis really intriguing. Great review!

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