Frome, Chicken House, 2014, 275p
I have been saving this book, knowing that I would love it. It is the sequel to The Drowning and comes from the author of Numbers, all of which I have devoured.
Nic is a passionate swimmer, but her overprotective father drives her a little mad. She can't understand his fear about water, especially when she starts to become more successful in the pool. Somehow, she finds the inner strength and focus needed to beat the best of the girls in her club; but as time goes on, the voice in her head starts to scare her.
This disembodied voice is not hers, and when she turns to her father, she finds more questions than answers. Amongst other things, she finds a list on her dad's computer of girls who look just like her who have drowned.
It has been some time since I read The Drowning, meaning I had forgotten some of the detail. What I love about Water Born is that it is a brilliant stand alone book, as well as a dramatic continuation of Ward's most recent series.
The story is haunting and modern, a perfect contemporary horror story. I can see similarities with the Numbers trilogy, but the genius Rachel Ward has found clever new ways of throwing the reader off the scent and allowing the mystery to unfold very gradually. All the action seems to happen within a few final pages, and you are gripped throughout.
I am definitely not patient enough to wait for the next one!