Monday, May 31, 2021

The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon


Jax gets the call she has dreaded for years.  Her sister, Lexie, is dead.  Jax is a social worker but Lex, who growing up was the golden girl, was diagnosed with schizophrenia in her early twenties.  Their grandmother had left the family house to Lexie and Jax was so upset to be excluded that she moved across the country.  She had suspected that Lexie was off her meds as she had been getting phone calls on her message machine and each sounded more frantic and out of control.  When she called her aunt Diane and asked her to check on Lexie Diane found her floating in the pool, already beyond revivial.

There were rumors about the pool and had been their entire life.  Years before, a hotel had stood where their house now stood, a hotel built around the springs that provided water that many said could provide cures for any illnesses.  But there were also whispers that if the springs gave something they would also take something.  More drownings that would be expected had happened there and the hotel went out of business.  Even after Jax's grandfather bought the land and springs, things continued to happen in the pool.  Jax and Lexie's oldest sister, Rita, had drowned there when they were small children.  Now Lexie has met the same fate.

As Jax returns to handle the funeral she gets caught up in the stories about the pool.  She remembers things from her childhood that seem to reinforce the rumors and Lexie was firmly convinced something was going on and had focuses all her time and attention to finding out the truth.  What is the truth?  Is there something there that will rise again to cause more tragedy?

I listened to this novel.  The narrator was female and captured the rising tension in the book, the back and forth between the questions about the pool and the certainties Jax has that it is all just rumors.  The story is told in alternating chapters between Jax's trip home and the story of her grandmother who made the first bargain with the pool.  The narrator handles both these voices quite well, differentiating between them to make it clear which woman is speaking.  This book is recommended for readers of psychological thrillers.

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