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Tuesday 18 February 2020

‘Woman in the Water’ by Katerina Diamond

Published by Avon,
23 January 2020.
ISBN 978-0-00-828295-0 (PB

When Sergeant Adrian Miles rescues an attractive young woman from a freezing river he has absolutely no idea how much the incident will affect his future life and happiness.  His work partner, Sergeant Imogen Grey, has an inexplicable sense of foreboding, justly heightened by Adrian’s strong feelings of responsibility towards the girl. On the same evening that the girl is rescued the body of a badly beaten young man is found about a mile away in the same river. The young man is dead. 

The woman, who is in her early twenties, is taken to hospital. She has obviously been knocked about and claims not to remember what happened before she was discovered in the river. She also refuses to give any details about herself.  Examination indicates she has been the subject of systematic abuse for years.  She absconds from hospital, but as nobody has reported her missing the authorities have no idea who she is or where she had gone.

The young man is identified as Simon Glover and Adrian and Imogen go to interview his former employer, Reece Corrigan at his home. Whilst they are talking to Reece the mystery woman from the river joins them. Her name is Angela Corrigan. She pretends she has never seen the policemen before. They play along with her because it is obvious that Reece is controlling and physically abusing her.  Adrian, who grew up with a father who abused his mother, is desperate to save Angela from her keeper. 

Reece is a ruthless, middle-aged developer who seems to win all the major construction contracts around whilst somehow managing to stay just within the law. Those that cross him meet with accidents or become terrified recluses.  Precisely how Reece exerts his inhumane hold over people and reduces them to trembling wrecks or drives them to commit suicide becomes clear as the story unfolds. Adrian’s crusade to save Angela leads him to overstep the mark on more than one occasion.  He pays the price, both in his personal and professional life, as he discovers exactly how Reece Corrigan deals with insubordinate ehavior. 

At the start of the book, which is part of the Miles and Grey thriller series, Adrian and Imogen were enjoying the beginning of a loving relationship. They are trying to keep this a secret from their colleagues, particularly their boss DCI Kapoor who is not keen on office romances. But, as DI Matt Walsh points out, DCI Kapoor probably knows about the liaison anyway as she keeps trying to pair Imogen with him rather than with Adrian. As the story progresses and Adrian becomes more and more focused on getting Angela away from Reece, his relationship with Imogen is strained almost to breaking point. Imogen spends a tremendous amount of time pleading with Adrian to talk to her and sort out what is going wrong between them.

Woman in the Water is an intriguing and shocking tale that recounts how the darker side of human ehavior can destroy those it touches, those who touch those it touches, and so on…  It is not for the faint-hearted or for those wary of close encounters with physical – including sexual – and mental abuse.  It is however a story that once started you are compelled to finish.
Reviewer Angela Crowther.

Katerina Diamond is the author of the Sunday Times Best Selling crime thriller The Teacher, and number 1 kindle bestselling novel The Secret. Katerina was born in Weston-super-Mare and has lived in various places since including Greece, Cyprus, Derby, East London and Exeter.  She currently lives in East Kent.

Angela Crowther is a retired scientist.  She has published many scientific papers but, as yet, no crime fiction.  In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the operas of Verdi and Wagner.

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