Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Review: Thicker Than Water

Thicker Than WaterAuthor: Brigid Kemmerer
Series: Standalone
Released: December 29th 2015
Publisher: Kensington
Length: 322 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.
Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years. 
The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.
Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…

After her very successful Elementals series, which I loved dearly, I’ve been waiting for Brigid Kemmerer standalone project with bated breath. It promised to have everything I’ve come to love about her work: small town mystery, forbidden romance in dual point of view and plenty of excitement to go around.

Thicker Than Water started out wonderfully, though perhaps with an overabundance of negative feelings. It’s clear right away that no love is lost between Thomas and his new town. With his mother just murdered and literally no one on his side, Thomas’ anger and anxiety threaten to overwhelm right from the start. If there is one positive thing I can say about this book (and truly, the praises aren’t many but they are important), it’s the intensity of Thomas’ feelings and how well they came across. Based on my experience with Kemmerer’s work, this seems to be one of her strengths. She knows how to bring forth and amplify whatever her characters are experiencing.

Aside from that, however, there aren’t many positive things I can point out about this book. While I thoroughly enjoyed Thomas’ character, despite his propensity for incredibly stupid behavior, I truly can’t say the same about Charlotte. Her emotions never reached me at all nor did I feel the need to try and relate, but what I did see and understand about her, I didn’t like very much at all. She struck me as selfish and uncaring, spoiled on the one hand and willing to let everyone walk all over her on the other. Aside from finding just a tiny bit of sympathy in an otherwise uncaring environment (which could be seen as a mild form of Stockholm syndrome), I simply couldn’t understand Thomas’ attraction to her.

I was pleasantly surprised by the paranormal plot twist in the last part, which I didn’t expect at all. However, by that point I just didn’t care enough for anything but Thomas himself and I wasn’t at all immersed into the story. The abrupt ending didn’t much help matters and I ended up feeling disappointed. I can sum this up in four words: excellent idea, lousy execution. I trust Kemmerer to do better next time, though.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear that this one was such a disappointment for you, Maja!

    Happy Holidays! I do hope you'll have a wonderful time with the family!

  2. This book has left a lot of Kremmerer's fans scratching their heads. I was not a fan of her debut series, so this one was not even in my must-check-out list.

  3. This sadly wasn't her best work. I agree, Maja. I was disappointed as well although I liked it a bit more than you did. Thomas was definitely the strongest part of this book though. She nailed his narration. On a side note, this has the potential to be a series. I asked her about it on Twitter and she said, she has ideas for one. I sincerely hope she does because I would love to see the paranormal aspects be explored more.
    Lovely review, Maja! I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it more.

  4. This was my first experience with the author and I didn't like it all. It was a mess.

  5. I agree, there just wasn't enough happening by the time the element was introduced and then very little said about it afterward. I really hope there will be a book two otherwise this was so disappointing.

  6. Hm... sounds like this one I should pass but keep an eye out for other things she has written. Too bad it didn't work. :(

    Happy Holidays! <3!

  7. I've read some of her Elementals and enjoyed some. I found with those that if I liked the romantic pairing, I liked the book. I agree with you that this started strong. I think she's great at writing male characters and I empathized a lot with Thomas. But I agree with you about Charlotte - her damsel in distress act got old and her overbearing brothers were charming at first but then came to seem like a plot device. As a die-hard mystery fan, I'm fine with paranormal mysteries but I think it's kind of a cheat to make the story seem like a regular mystery and then toward the end, throw in that twist.
    So overall, still a fan of this author but not so much of this book.
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  8. I didn't enjoy this as much as her other series

  9. Well dang! The idea sounds great and the cover is awesome. I hate when the author can't quite execute it right.

  10. Aw sad this wasn't the best. I haven't read the author's first series yet but GAHHH I won the first two books a year ago and they keep GLARING at me from my TBR. xD So hopefully I'll read them really soon!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

  11. Oh, dear. Too bad... I loved the Elementals too. Well, perhaps next time then. In any case, I wanted to wish you a joyful season, Maja :) I hope your Christmas went well and that you're excited about New Year! See you in 2016... Hugs.

  12. I've heard a lot of good things about Kemmerer's Elementals series but just don't have time to read that many books so I figured I'd read her standalone. It's too bad then that you didn't really like this one. I'm surprised that there's a paranormal twist too.

  13. Sorry to hear this book didn’t live up to your expectations. I love when the author can make intensity of the character’s feelings well, but I’m afraid issues that you mentioned would bother me too. And I don’t like unexpected paranormal twists at all. Great review, Maja!

  14. I've heard that this is a disappointing read, so I'm sorry to hear it from you too, Maja, considering that this author has definitely delivered in the past. I don't think I'll be picking this one up, after all. Thanks for your honest thoughts, dear!

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