Into The Water, Paul Hawkins, author; Laura Aikman, Rachel Bavidge, Sophie Aldred, Daniel Weyman, Imogen Church, narrators When the story begins, a young girl is being immersed into “the drowning pool” in order to discover if she is a witch. If she floats, she is one; but if she sinks she is not. Although the child sinks and pleads for them to stop, there are some in the crowd who are merciless. The description of her experience will immediately capture the reader. As the book then enters the present, in the year 2015, the reader discovers that the pool is still the stuff of local legend. Over the years, others have drowned there, either by accident, design or under a cloud of suspicion. The Abbott sisters, Julia and Danielle had been estranged for years because of an incident that occurred in their teens. When one suddenly drowns, the events surrounding her death grow more and more curious. At first, it was believed that while investigating the area, Nell (Danielle) slipped and fell into the water accidentally. She had been conducting research for a book she was planning to publish on the town’s unusual history of drowning deaths and had been at the site of the “drowning pool”. When her sister, Jules, (Julia) returned to become the guardian of her daughter, Lena, the situation became fraught with tension. Lena was defiant; she disliked her aunt immensely based of stories her mom had told her. Aunt Jules was still resentful and angry with her sister, because of how Nell had treated her when they were young. She believed Nell had a mean streak. Jules had been overweight and unattractive. Nell had been a beauty who made fun of her sister. She thought Nell was cruel and designing, and as the investigation into her death began, it became enmeshed in tangential theories which created disharmony in the community and conflict in families. The community wanted their secrets kept. There were a great many characters to sift through as the mystery developed, but each chapter in the book is labeled with the name of a character so that it was relatively easy to sort them out and follow the thread of the story as it proceeded or to refresh one’s memory about the circumstances surrounding each character’s place in the novel. There was a feeling that evil was lurking behind closed doors, and there was definitely an overlay that hinted at elements of the supernatural as some characters appeared to be communicating with the dead who provided them with clues about the unnatural circumstances surrounding some of the deaths. What started out as a simple investigation into the death of Nell Abbott, surrounded by a bit of controversy since her project was widely resented by the residents of the community who did not want the drowning pool’s history published or used for personal gain, soon evolved into a mystery concerning other deaths and affairs of the heart. Many of the characters harbored deep resentments toward each other, and many seemed to be hiding secrets or were withholding information. Because of the existing biases toward some of the townspeople, clues were misinterpreted and false assumptions were made pointing fingers in all different directions, accusing some of crimes they did not commit and misdirecting those involved, preventing them from discovering the truth. The misinterpretation of events created chaos. In the end, there were two connected crimes that were revealed. Both were related peripherally, but they were separated by more than four decades. In the end, the loyalty and devotion of parents and children was examined and the lengths to which a parent would go to protect an offspring was exposed. The narrators were wonderful, creating mind images so that the story played out like theater in the mind. I do have a preference for narrators with British accents, as I find that the Brits seem to portray the characters very well without getting in the way by putting too much of themselves into the story. I have both the audio and a digital copy, without which, I would have been a bit lost because of the different themes and numerous characters introduced. Although I loved the audio, I recommend the print copy for that reason. It is simply easier to refer back to a print copy.