Black Water Rising was the most controversial choice on the Orange short list this year. Everyone who had read the book was surprised by its inclusion on the list and having read it I can only agree with them.
Black Water Rising is a thriller, similar in style to those written by John Grisham, but much longer and more convoluted.
The book is set in Houston in the 1980s. It begins with a young black lawyer heading out on a boat trip. He hears gun shots and a scream and then sees a woman fall into the water. He rescues her, but in doing so becomes entangled in a murder investigation.
My problem with this book was that it didn’t have enough pace to be enjoyable as a thriller, but the writing was too light for it to properly investigate the numerous social and political problems raised.
There were some good sections, but these were connected by long, irrelevant side stories.
I didn’t connect with any of the characters in the book and found the addition of their back stories awkward.
The main theme of the book was racism, but I found the issue to be over emphasised – I like to be shown the problems, not told them. This book treated me as an idiot, repeatedly explaining how terrible things were.
Overall I’m afraid this book frustrated me more than it entertained. Recommended to thriller lovers who don’t mind a slower pace of plot.
This was another book that divided opinion:
I loved it. I adored it. I cannot shut up about its absolute brilliance… Nomad Reader
I don’t think she’s quite got the hang of something…. Book Gazing
I went into it thinking I was going to fall in love, and I just felt lukewarm like for it. Wordsmithonia
…intelligent and unflinching storytelling…. Buried in Print