Saturday, November 24, 2007

Deepwater, by Matthew F. Jones

This audiobook was obtained for free from, was narrated by Richard Ferrone, and was 9 hours and 8 minutes long.

A very weird and creepy book. Nat Banyon is a handsome drifter who works well with his hands. He meets an old man on the road named Herman Finch, and Finch hires him to do some painting at his motel. Herman is an ex-prizefighter who is married to a beautiful young woman named Iris who came to him as a traveler in need of some work three years earlier.

You don't need a PhD in literature to know that Nat and Iris are going to have a lurid affair. But this book could stand to have some sort of audio subtitles to warn you of all the dream sequences: "The following is happening in Nat's head..." And the evil possibilities begin to multiply as Nat gets tidbits of odd information about the boyfriend that Iris didn't tell him about, who arrived with her, but then disappeared. A waitress at the motel restaurant thinks he's at the bottom of the lake.

Is Herman a killer? Will Nat and Iris be discovered? Will they get away with all of Herman's loot? Will Herman kill Nat first in a boxing match he has scheduled with the younger man? The questions do not stop here, and it all ground to a halt at a fairly unsatisfying ending.

I had a love-hate relationship with this book, pretty much the way Nat was conflicted between seeing Herman as a rival and as a father figure. The characters were really good in the way they got in your head, but the story had too much foggy weirdness and an ending that did not deliver. I have to give it 2 stars.

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