Welcome to today’s stop where I will be reviewing this amazing mystery book by Ermisensda Alvarez. Firstly, a bit about the book, if you don’t yet know anything about it. If you do, just skip down to the review 😉
About the Book
Poisoned Waters by Ermisenda Alvarez
Bloody mistakes, ugly scars, and beautiful lies. A tale of corruption.
Helen Gardener is murdered on a trans-Atlantic cruise. The Diamond Royale sails from Southampton to New York with her murderer aboard. Set in the 1950s, Poisoned Waters follows the stories of seven unfortunate characters and how they are affected by her death. Was it merely an accident? Mr Phillips, the owner of the ship, and sponsor of the cruise, rules with an iron fist, in search of something or someone.
Lies spiral out of control as the suspects try to survive the final days on board. Conflicted by their sense of morals, greed, and lust, they realise what kind of people they really are. Who will rise? Who will fall? Who was Helen’s murderer?
For some reason this book reminded me for Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. It’s not quite of the same calibre but it is dark and sinister and played upon that particular human nature which proved too great a temptation to many of us. It is mostly their settings which are somewhat similar in that they are isolated and outside assistance is not available.
Set in the 50s on a trans-Atlantic cruise ship, the scene first began with a dinner where the first class passengers are dressed to a t. I can just imagine the glamour, the backless shimmering dress, the bright red lipstick, the black & white contrast of the gents’ tuxedos, the tinkling of polished cutlery, the vivid redness or sparkling clearness of wine in glasses… what a beautiful world to be in! Unfortunately, things very quickly deteriorated as darkness descended upon these passengers. A woman was murdered, an investigation instigated, and no secrets can remain safe.
There were so many things happening and so many greatly flawed characters that it was hard to decide if there is one thing to focus on. I think the most amazing thing about this book was that each character from different walks of background was confronted with their own brand of temptation and was faced with a choice and for some, deadly choices. I wasn’t expecting this book to be so sinister, so heartbreaking (despite the blurb) because this is so much more than a murder mystery. It’s about the dark-side of human nature which comes to light when overcome with temptation.
Humanity was like any animal under pressure, whether it was for love, money, or life. When it counted, the dark monsters inside of ourselves, the part of us we denied, would shed our compassion, feast on blood, and consume our hearts.
4 out of 5 stars
Along with numerous solo works, Ermisenda began writing on role play sites at fourteen and completed her first crime novel at fifteen. Driven by the desire to evoke the kaleidoscope of emotions her favorite authors are able to, she kept writing. Growing up bilingual amongst her Spanish family in Australia, she found a love and deep appreciation for language and the power it wielded.
Now she’s working on a joint project with coauthor Eliabeth Hawthorne. Ermisenda has written Leocardo’s perspective of Blind Sight #1, the first book in an urban fantasy series that changes depending on whose perspective you’re reading. So the question is, “whose eyes will you read through?”
This post has been part of the Poisoned Waters Blog Tour. Poisoned Waters is a thrilling mystery set on a trans-Atlantic cruise where a murderer walks amongst passengers.