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Dark Water Paperback – July 31, 2012
About the Author
Chynna Laird is a psychology major, freelance writer and author living in Edmonton, Alberta, with her partner, Steve, and their three daughters--Jaimie, Jordhan and Sophie--and beautiful boy, Xander. Chynna's passion is helping children and families living with Sensory Processing Disorder and other special needs.
You'll find her work in many online and in-print parenting, inspirational, Christian and other writing publications in Canada, United States, Australia and Britain. In addition, she's authored an award-winning children's book (I'm Not Weird, I Have SPD), two memoirs (the multi award-winning Not Just Spirited: A Mom's Sensational Journey With SPD and White Elephants), a young adult novel (Blackbird Flies), an adult suspense thriller (Out Of Sync), and a young adult paranormal suspense (Dark Water).
Please visit Chynna's website at www.chynna-laird-author.com, as well as her blogs at www.the-gift-blog.com and www.seethewhiteelephants.com, to get a feel for her work and what inspires her.
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It kept me in suspense all the way to the end and I keep asking my self if I really was that wrong in to "knowing" who had done it (the act of cowardice the story begins with)
I love the way Freesia, the main character treats her little sister and cares for her in the absence of their parents and also the relationship both girls have with their grandparents.
Also like the legend about the lake and the watcher and how in this "supernatural" action story justice is obtain and harmony is restore.
I like the way the writer speaks/exposes the hardship of the mental struggles service men and women for that instance go through and have to deal with after a horrendous event and how their families struggle with the reconnecting of the love-one that returns from hell(war).
Though the story doesn't focus in that matter 100 % it gives a sparkle of the obstacles these men go through and also gives us, the readers and ample view of what we could do to help if we know people that are going through the adjustment of adapting to our "normal life" or the support we can give their families.
This is but a small issue in a larger one because Sage suffers from a specific type of SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder). Her mother is/was a clinical psychologist, well versed in taking care of her younger child all while teaching her older daughter Freesia what works, what doesn't, and how to calm Sage in one of her terrors. Freesia is 16 years old as the story begins one year after her mother's disappearance and the girls are living with their grandparents. Fortunately for them, they are in a good family situation with their grandparents. Full of fun and mischief, yet caring and comforting, they too are able to work with Sage. When a lone girl who seems familiar begins to show up watching Freesia more than she is comfortable with, they finally have it out and become friendly in a way. Mizu wants to help look for clues.
Readers may feel they have a grip on who committed the crime, now upgraded from a disappearance. But there are so many possibilities. The peace-keepers on the mission with Freesia's father all have issues. All have been treated by her mother for PTSD. While it was called a mysterious disappearance, all kinds of rumours surfaced. Now it is surmised to be foul play, anyone might be suspect. Nothing is really as it seems.
This is not just a murder mystery, there are too many odd sequences and discoveries. Who is Mizu, how does she find clues others miss? I found a lot in this book to keep me glued to the pages. I love learning something new, and also have an interest in SPD. With so much going on the storyline could easily have been lost, but it is all held together with personalities, relationships, the feel of the lake and forest, sailing and swimming, living normal lives during a time when there is precious little normalcy. Aside from the background of the mission in Afghanistan, this story takes place in Canada, I loved the book through all its passion, trauma, laughter and love.
Actually the mystery of the mother is combined with a family drama about coping and loving. Throw in some teenage angst too - though not too much.
I enjoyed this book. It missed the 5 stars from me purely because of my tastes in novel construction rather than the author's ability. (i.e. 1) The author spent about a third of the novel focusing on the daughter-grandparent-sister dynamics which I know some people will really love but which did little for me personally, 2) the ending felt a bit like that of a television mystery rather than a novel). I generaly felt that the author constructed a believable environment (even though there is a supernatural element) with sympathetic characters. The dialogue was good, the writing style clear, the plot linear and understandable. Indeed, I finished the novel feeling satisfied.
If you enjoy mysteries with sentimentality then this is for you. Buy. Enjoy.
This was a very decent story. Great characters that are well developed and a good mystery.