Traveling Friends Read: Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman #travelingsistersread #BookReview

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Norma’s Review

3.5 Stars rounded up because I definitely found this book to be entertaining and had me totally glued to those pages!

SOMETHING IN THE WATER by CATHERINE STEADMAN is an engaging, refreshing, and a steady paced thriller that immediately drew me in with its opening scene and had me totally intrigued in finding out what was in the water.

So here’s the thing about my experience with this book. I have never been so unsure about my feelings about a book after finishing as I was with this one. There were so many parts that I enjoyed and was totally entertained by, but then after finishing it, I was a little underwhelmed and disappointed by the whole story in general. I thought this story had so much potential to be a great one. Although, I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed CATHERINE STEADMAN’S descriptive writing style though which kept me totally invested in this story. Here is a quote from the book that I absolutely loved.

“But now that I can see her, I understand that those silences, which sounded empty over the phone, were actually very full. I just couldn’t see before what they were full of.”

CATHERINE STEADMAN delivers an insightful and well-written novel here that I would consider to be more of a slow-burner than a heart pounding and gripping thriller. The novel has an interesting enough premise with a touch of unease to the storyline and characters that well – I will let you experience for yourself. I will say though that I actually quite enjoyed the main character and didn’t experience some of the same issues that other readers did. I felt like she was true to herself and telling us a totally unedited version of her story and events.

Overall, even though I had some reservations about this story, I still found it to be a compulsive read with a few good twists. I was very engaged and interested in how this story was going to all play out. Would recommend!

Summit Lake Review & Don’t Believe It Wrap-up by @CharlieDonlea #travelingsistersread #BookReview @KensingtonBooks


Traveling Friends Review by Norma and Brenda

It’s no secret that Brenda and I really enjoy Donlea’s novels and have highly recommended his books in the past on our blog and to our Traveling Sisters and Friends, especially the novel DON’T BELIEVE IT.  After we finished up our monthly group read on our Traveling Friends group for DON’T BELIEVE IT we were all left with wanting more Donlea so we quickly dove into reading Donlea’s debut novel, SUMMIT LAKE. He is such a natural and talented author – he definitely knows how to write a darn good suspenseful thriller!

SUMMIT LAKE by CHARLIE DONLEA is a gripping, edgy, dark, and suspenseful murder mystery novel that opens up with quite the shocking scene, ends with a surprising and shocking twist but left us with some unanswered questions.    

As mentioned above, the opening scene was a bit shocking and a little darker than some of us were expecting, but after we absorbed that shock we were drawn into this story right away and couldn’t put it down until we were dealt with another shock which left some of us wanting to run and hide from this story.  But, we all soon gathered together to discuss that surprising twist, which we didn’t see coming as we shared some theories amongst ourselves.

CHARLIE DONLEA delivers a well-written, fast-paced and captivating read here that is told in a past and present timeline in alternating points of view between Becca (her story before her death) and Kelsey Castle’s (an investigative reporter looking into her death). For most of us we found both of these perspectives equally interesting and captivating.

We all absolutely loved the setting here with the small lake town which really added an extra layer to the story for us and that left us with a bit to discuss.  We also loved the characters from the town but left us questioning some of their actions. We have to mention that name too, Kelsey Castle – what an awesome main character’s name!

Charlie Donlea had us guessing and sharing a few theories and some of us pieced a few different things together. We have some very clever friends and some of us picked up on some of those clues that Donlea left for us.  However, he has this way of leading us down a path to where we second guess ourselves. Even if we thought we knew where the ending was headed and had our suspicions we were all still left shocked thinking WOW I can’t believe it that he’s done it again.  We really like that feeling which has us second guessing ourselves because we are not sure what we are supposed to pick up on and what we are not supposed to. Donlea does that so well and in the end with that second shocker just shows us how well Donlea can pull everything together.  

We do recommend this one with caution as there is some scenes we were not prepared for and found that they could be triggers for some readers.  So please check out some more reviews on Goodreads if you feel you might need a heads up or just drop us a message in our contact section of our blog or message on Goodreads and we will be more than happy to help with any concerns that you might have.


Lindsay’s Review

4.5 stars!   Charlie Donlea is three for three!

I’ve now read all three of Charlie Donlea’s books and LOVED each and every one of them!  This novel was Donlea’s debut and I’m thrilled to say he found his groove from the start!

This story revolves around the murder of first-year law student, Becca Eckersley, who comes from a prominent and powerful family.  Investigative reporter, Kelsey Castle, is sent to the little town where Becca was murdered to explore, examine and report the details surrounding the brutal and devastating crime.

The plot unfolds brilliantly through a Now and Then timeline through multiple, yet equally captivating perspectives.  The story is gripping, the suspense is addictive, the pace is perfect.

I connected with the characters right away – I loved them!   My suspicions had me guessing and scratching my head throughout the novel.   I felt a few things were left unexplained at the conclusion, however, I was able to accept them and still feel fully satisfied.

This was another wonderful and fun Traveling Friends read.   We had some interesting theories and discussions along the way.  

Summit Lake is available now!   Get your hands on a copy!!


Don’t Believe It Traveling Friends Group Read Wrap-up

Brenda and I read Don’t Believe It with our Traveling Sisters and we all loved it so much that it became a monthly recommendation by us for reading groups.  Soon after we started our second group on Goodreads the Traveling Friends and it became our first monthly pic. Many of our Traveling Friends had read it already but there were a few that haven’t so they jumped in right away to read this one.  

It was a well liked monthly pic and we all really enjoyed discussing it amongst ourselves. Again, Don’t Believe It made for a great discussion and we enjoyed seeing our friends toss around their suspicions and theories.  Overall, everyone loved that ending and it left our friends thinking just how much they love Charlie Donlea’s writing. Charlie Donlea now has a few fans among the Traveling Friends.  We all look forward to seeing what’s next for him.

Our Reviews

Traveling Sister In a Coulee: Dark Matter by Blake Crouch #BookReview #travelingsistersread


Dark Matter
by Blake Crouch

Reviewed by Kristin and read in The Traveling Friends Group

Boxes and multiverses and quantum physics, oh my!

This is one thought-provoking, page-turning, blood-pressure-elevating, fast-paced son of a book, and I enjoyed every little action-packed minute of it!


“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.”—Einstein

I don’t read much science-fiction, and for that reason, I’m gonna go ahead and say you don’t have to be a sci-fi veteran in order to get sucked into the brilliance of this one. You don’t even have to be that big a fan of the genre, in my opinion.

It’s best I tiptoe around spoilers here, because *details* can be dangerous little revealers, so I’ll focus on writing…


“No one tells you it’s all about to change, to be taken away. There’s no proximity alert, no indication that you’re standing on the precipice.”

You know that feeling when you’re reading a book whose ideas are so unique and intelligent and intricately-constructed that you have to reread certain concepts once or five times just to prove to yourself that you got this, and that, no, you are not an actual idiot?

Well, yeah, some of that, but I sorted it out.

The way this author has formed a reality-based off these concepts is astounding, and all of it—every single minute detail—has a sturdy foundation to stand upon and will hold up well under scrutiny. Go back and check for yourself if you want, Blake’s got it all covered.


“Every moment, every breath, contains a choice. But life is imperfect. We make the wrong choices. So we end up living in a state of perpetual regret, and is there anything worse?”

(LOVE this quote!)

The prose here is beautiful—eloquent wording materializing into imagery so vivid you’ll feel as though you’re inside of it, leaving your own footprints in the snow alongside these characters. We are made to dissect our choices in life. To be concerned over where they’ll lead us and accept the fact that we’ll never truly know unless we live them.


“Until everything topples, we have no idea what we actually have, how precariously and perfectly it all hangs together.”

DARK MATTER is a thrilling ride that’ll keep you on edge, tense with anticipation until that final page is swiped. It proposes the theory that we hold the power to create our own reality–our own destiny–an idea not so far off-base for many, myself included, and makes you wonder just how far you’d go to live out your best life possible.

This story is not only about science, but about sacrifice and strength and LOVENamely love, in fact—because, truly, what in all the worlds is more important?

Norma and I read this one a while back before we started the groups and read them on our own.

Norma’s Review

Brenda’s review

Have you read Dark Matter?  Drop us a comment!



Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris: Traveling Friends First Group Read Review #BookReview #travelingsistersread


Bring Me Back
by B.A. Paris

Brenda’s Traveling Friends Review

Bring Me Back is one of our first Traveling Friends Group Reads and what a great read this was. Norma read this one a while back with our Traveling Sisters but Lindsay and I buried in a coulee with other reads didn’t find our way out to read this one with them. There were some different views from the Traveling Sisters. It worked out great because this one made for a fantastic group read and discussion with our friends. A few friends who already read this one including Norma joined us in a coulee at the end to discuss this one making this one a fun and entertaining discussion.

Bring Me Back caught our attention right away and we were drawn right away into a coulee together not wanting to leave till we finished this easy and fast-paced story. Soon we were tossing around our theories while questioning everything and everyone.

B.A. Paris does a great job here creating some unlikable and unreliable characters here giving us a lot to chat about when it comes to them. We questioned them, were intrigued by them and annoyed by them. A few of us including Lindsay were left very proud of themselves for figuring out some things here with the story. Of course, I was not one of them.

Overall, the Traveling Friends were left in the same coulee with only one friend in a one by herself and another not too far away. They weren’t alone for long as they joined us, as we lingered and discussed this far-fetched story that Norma described best as a ridiculously entertaining and fun read.

B.A. Paris does have some fans here among us and many of us loved her previous books or want to read the ones we haven’t. I highly recommend this one to all readers for a super fun easy fast read that might just leave you a bit surprised at just how Paris weaves her magic by pulling into a far-fetched story and making it work.


Lindsay’s review

I have read every one of B.A. Paris’ books and have found each one compulsively readable.  There is something about her writing that sucks you in from the very first page and doesn’t let you go until you have read the last word (often leaving your jaw hitting the floor).   This book followed that magical formula of hers, leaving my hands feeling a desperate sense of empty when they weren’t holding this novel. Though I figured out a big plot twist at the end of Part 1, I still devoured this book, soaking up every word with curious anticipation of how things would work out in the end.

This novel follows forty one-year-old Finn, who lives with his girlfriend Ellen.  Over a decade prior, Finn’s then-girlfriend Layla (who happens to be Ellen’s sister) disappeared, never to be seen again.   The pain of losing Layla has haunted Finn every day since her disappearance. This is a quick and addictive read that I highly recommend!

Thank you from both of us to Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press and B.A. Paris for our copies to read and review.


Norma’s Review

Two Sisters have added The Traveling Friends to A Coulee!

Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee has added another coulee and invited friends to travel to our imaginary coulee with us.  We have started another Goodreads reading group called The Traveling Friends.

The Traveling Friends is a private Goodreads reading group. The Traveling Friends read and discuss released books only.  The group includes The Traveling Sisters.

The Traveling Friends is open by request or invite to anyone who likes to read and discuss books in a group and can be found on Goodreads to request to join.

Our First Traveling Friends Reads are off to a great start.

What The Traveling Friends are reading and discussing.

Don't Believe ItDon’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea

One of our favorite reads and we have been quite vocal about that is Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea and it’s off to a great start with our discussion amongst The Traveling Friends.

For our reviews

Bring Me BackBring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Norma read Bring Me Back with our Traveling Sisters a while back.  Lindsay, Jan and I caught up by reading this one with our Traveling Friends.

Norma’s Review

Beasts of Extraordinary CircumstanceBeasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

This one was read by two of our Traveling Sisters leaving some of us wanting to read it.  It’s off to a really good start for us.



Summit LakeSummit Lake by Charlie Donlea

Because we loved both The Girl Who Was Taken and Don’t Believe It we have decided to read Summit Lake.  Norma and I have just started it with our Traveling Friends.

Our Review for The Girl Who Was Taken

Have you read any of these titles? Drop us a comment.

Want to read and discuss these books with the Traveling Friends? Find us on Goodreads to join in.

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