The Deepest Water by Kate Wilhelm



The deepest water The Deepest WaterKate Wilhelm; Mira Books 2000WorldCatSuccessful author Jud Vickers was murdered in his isolated cabin by a lake. His daughter, Abby Conners, can’t accept it. How could that have happened? No one can figure how someone was able to approach his home without someone seeing him(her?) on shore or Jud’s dog barking and creating a ruckus. Instead the dog was locked up, there were no car tracks on the road that passes by neighbors on the way to his cabin, and no evidence of any boat being launched on either side of the lake.

Abby can’t let the investigation or her father (his ashes) go. Her husband Brice tries to help her, although he’s also very busy with his work at the capital investment agency. It’s end of the an auditing cycle, keeping him in the office more hours than normal. She revisits the cabin and Jud’s neighbors. She visits with Felicia, an old family friend, and Willa, Jud’s latest lady friend and Willa’s professor a few years earlier. She is also reminded of the events when the detective in charge of the case, Caldwell, keeps returning to talk with her, with Brice, and Jud’s friends. Is Abby suspect?

Jud had been a womanizer most of his life; he’d been broke most of his life. It’s only been the past few years that he has been famous. His readers don’t realize that all his characters and events are based on real people and events. They are disguised, but to the knowledgeable person, they can be identified. Perhaps someone recognized himself (herself). Perhaps one of the past women returned with a vengeance. Or was he killed for some other reason? Abby starts examining his last novel to see if she can find the clues to his murder.

Kate Wilhelm is the master of the psychological mystery. It’s never violent on the pages, but the reader is caught up in Abby’s trials. The murderer is vaguely revealed half way through to the astute reader. Even so, the mood of The Deepest Water is shadowy and misty, leaving an uneasy feeling.

Once again, Wilhelm has written a fascinating, tense mystery novel. The murderer is not a surprise, so that takes away from the last few chapters. But the final actions take an unexpected twist which is fitting. I stayed glued to The Deepest Water. It’s a stand alone mystery, not part of her superb Barbara Holloway series.

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