Something in the Water Book One: Drowning by Dean Comyn

Something in the Water Book One: Drowning by Dean Comyn
Published: 2019, Self-Published
Genre: Terrorism Thrillers, International Crime
Pages: 258
available: ebook, paperback

Reviewers Note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. And, this is an honest review. I think this might be the last time I actually write a review for a book I didn't like. But since I forced myself to read it, I owe it to myself to explain why I didn't enjoy it. I was surprised to see others gave it a 5 star rating when I doubt I could muster more than 2 stars. I wonder, did we read the same book, did they read the book? What is it about me that makes me not appreciate the writing? So, here is my attempt to explain why. In order to do so, I will have to give away the plot. Which brings me to...the plot. 

The Plot in brief: This is an ambitious story of international intrigue involving multiple governments and their police/ intelligence agencies. Dr. Nicholas Veda, who is under police protection from a newly organized unit MCU2 led by DCI John Wayne, goes missing while at the opera with his beautiful girlfriend. Wayne calls in his team, including a new guy, Charles Burns, who is not yet a full member of the team. Their task is to find and retrieve Dr. Veda. The entire plot takes place in a 36 hour time frame, from start to finish. 

Writing/Plot: The story is told in 3rd person POV with multiple POVs. Chapter one begins with DCI Wayne, but quickly switches to Burns/ Veda. Burns arrives on about page 20 (of my ebook) and for the next 6-8 pages the whole story is about a hockey game in which Burns is playing. The entire scene left me fairly baffled. Burns quickly gets up to speed with the kidnapping details and takes over the narration of the story. A lot of the story takes place in his head. There is a significant amount of print dedicated to whether or not he is a full member of the team, when will he be activated, etc. 

While the team gathers for a briefing, a witness arrives, he says he's a college of Dr. Veda. Burn's watches him while waiting for the cop who's going to interview him arrives. Next thing you know the witness is dead on the floor. Who, what, why? Who knows? Oh, well. 

After a significant amount of macho type dialogue, male posturing and a detailed description of the men's bathroom, complete with sink count and which one was suitable to fill a water bottle, Burns is off to the airport to catch a flight to Estonia. Dr. Veda's sexy girlfriend was spotted with a group sponsoring a beer tasting. The reader is told Burns leaves his car parked and takes a Lyft to the airport. He spends his time as a backseat passenger researching the suspects. But then, inexplicably, he's back in his flat preparing to leave. 

Finally, he arrives in Estonia, he's on the ground for about an hour or so and in that time he rents a car from a suspicious American, who turns out to be a CIA agent in the company of an old acquaintance of Burns from the old days, what are the odds? Burns viciously attacks the CIA agent, leaves him his gun with one bullet and tells the guy to use it. So, the CIA agent blows the head off Burn's friend. What was that about? Can you do that in Estonia? 

With a shrug of his shoulders, Burns is off to see a girl about a passenger list. Their eyes met, some lines about sunsets and film strips hanging in a darkroom and he's off back to London. Sexy girl is not in Estonia. 

Back in London by 9:30pm, Burn's gets updated by DCI Wayne and his hockey buddy, Hilts, who it turns out, surprise,  is actually a CIA agent. DCI Wayne tells Burns about a guy who died of Typhoid after having sex with a pig. Two pages later Burns asks DCI Wayne if the guy is alive, not Burns, he's dead! But forget about the pig. The CIA have found Dr. Veda, he's actually in Iceland, in Reykjavik, at a Spa hotel. And he's off. 

By 11:40pm he's scouting out the hotel where Dr. Veda is stashed.  Now the flying time from London to Reykjavik is 3 hours and a few minutes and it's in the same time zone as London, so how this happens is anyone's guess, but Burn's is getting a big James Bondish at this point and the pace starts to pick up a bit and the action goes underground. Actually Burns knows there are tunnels that run from an airplane hangar to the Hotel Spa, thanks Russians. Down in the tunnels Burns kills a bad guy and lets an innocent guy, shot by the bad guy, bleed to death, which was just as well as Burns was gonna have to kill him anyway.

Once in the lab area Burns has to locate Veda. The place is rigged with explosives it seems. But which door is Veda behind. I don't know, because I skipped about 20 pages of the book at this point just to get to the rescue. After killing a couple of more bad guys,  Burns and Veda make it back to the tunnel entrance in the hangar where the CIA finally catchup to him. 

A bit more macho man talk and stuff and the pair are winging their way back to London. Burn's last thoughts are about his transfer status of course, what a wanker. 

Overall Opinion: Well as you might have guessed, this book didn't work for me on several levels. I love a good police procedural when it stick to the rules, this one veered off track and went a bit rogue with the violence and James Bondish main character.  It felt like it was written for men. The humor, dialogue, lack of women just made it feel like a locker room. Are there no females worthy of being on John Wayne's team? As far as the writing went, it was well edited with only minor typos, but there was a constant of repetition of ideas, especially the whole is he isn't he part of the team stuff. And, did I mention chuckling, Burns chuckles, a lot, and I always say never trust a chuckler. 


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