Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: December 29th, 2015!
*eARC kindly provided by Kensington Books via NetGalley*
On his own
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…
Let’s talk about this one! Okay, so I loved Brigid Kemmerer’s Elemental series, and so I HAD to have this one. And I was so thankful to nab an early copy from Kensington. I really liked this one! I’m just not quite sure what it was; contemporary, thriller, something else? Maybe a combination of all 3 of them? But to be honest, I could have done without the "major" twist. I would have liked it more, I think, had it been just a murder mystery wrapped around these two teenagers’ lives.
I really liked both Thomas’ and Charlotte’s voices and felt that they were distinct from each other enough. It wasn’t that hard to jump from one to the other, and it wasn’t hard to separate them. Thomas was a grieving, tortured guy who was caught up in a bad situation that just kept getting worse. With his mom dead, and his freshly new status in town, no one cared or believed in him. His stepdad was suspicious, and he was a cop. And when Thomas gets tangled up with Charlotte, her cop brothers get in the middle of it, and pretty much everyone turns on him. I thought it was so, so unfair to this kid. He clearly loved his mother; he was just trying to mourn her death, but he couldn’t because of the investigation and the events that continue to happen. I thought he handled everything as well as he could; I thought he did his best to keep a level head. But he was lonely, and a little bit broken, and hurting, and he just wanted someone to believe in him. And Charlotte did, even though everyone said she shouldn't.
Charlotte was outspoken, sweet, and her naiveté was refreshing if a bit unoriginal. But she was also tough, having grown up with three older brothers, and having been taught from a young age how ugly the world can be. She’s not a pushover, that’s for sure. I loved how she had her own opinions about everything, especially given how unyielding and strict her family was. She was a feminist in a household of traditionalists. There were moments with her character, though, that felt like they didn’t make sense. But now, looking back, I think I see the reason for it (but it still seemed pretty odd). Even though I KNEW Thomas wasn’t responsible, I almost could not believe Charlotte would continuously see this kid she didn’t know at all. She’s kind, sure, but everyone warned her away. She never listened to them. She was smart, but she did put herself into situations that felt un-Charlotte-like. But, again, I suppose I can’t really count all of that, given everything that happened later on.
I enjoyed the kids’ banter with each other! I laughing aloud many times, and I think the progression of their relationship could have been so good, if this hadn’t been a murder mystery. They were mostly preoccupied with finding answers, but they did have some sweet times together. I’m not gonna lie, though, I would have loved more romance in this. I also would have loved more scenes with Charlotte and her brothers. I’m a sucker for close familial relationships. I did want to punch the idiots quite a few times, because their protectiveness was SO overbearing and stifling. But I loved how they were all there for Charlotte, and their interactions were some of my favorite parts of the book. I also ADORED her friend, Nicole. She was definitely underdeveloped and underutilized, which kinda just makes me sad because she was a fabulous character.
But I could have done without the (mostly) unexpected plot change and everything that happened afterward. *shrugs* I just didn’t… care for it. I wasn’t as invested once that was all being brought out in the open, especially since it didn’t really have a focus in the story. It was mostly a contemporary, with a little murder mystery thrown in for good measure, well until over the halfway point. So once certain truths are being revealed, it feels rushed and a bit unbelievable. And I wasn’t very satisfied with that ending. It’s so OPEN, and normally I wouldn’t mind that, except it feels like it’s setting up for a sequel that will probably never happen. I just, I honestly could have read this without the twist and been completely fine with that.I really liked Thicker Than Water! I wasn’t in love with it, but it was an enjoyable and quick read over the course of a few nights. And it was easy to fall into the story with Brigid Kemmerer’s writing. I’ve always loved her style, and that fact didn’t change in this one. I just wanted more out of it, but wanted less in certain aspects. I’m so easy to please, aren’t I? Haha. I definitely recommend this one, though. It’s a good read!