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The Water’s Dead by Catherine Lea


The body of a young Māori woman is found in a volcanic rock pool in Northland, New Zealand. DI Nyree Bradshaw begins investing the case, and it becomes a race against time when she discovers that Lily, a six-year-old child who is diabetic, was last seen in the care of the murdered woman. Nyree must find the killer in the hope of finding Lily.


But from the outset, everything is working against finding the child alive. Everyone has something to hide, and no one is telling the police the truth. The murdered woman’s parents are acting strangely, the boyfriend is on home detention for drugs and is openly belligerent, people at the local marae say they are helping but seem to be closing ranks. And then there is the problem of one of her own officers, who is undermining the investigation…


Nyree takes this case very personally, and it brings back things she’d rather not think about from the past. She feels she has failed her own son, so she must make amends by finding this diabetic girl alive.


The Water’s Dead is a compelling, page-turning read, with characters to care for and a great sense of place. It’s full of twists and turns, and it’s lovely to read a book set in New Zealand’s beautiful far north. It’s the first in a new series, and I can’t wait to read the next case that DI Nyree Bradshaw tackles.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Breaklight Press