Book Review: Mr. Nobody

A man washes up on a British beach having no idea who he is, where he came from, or where he’s going. The press (and medical professionals) call him Mr. Nobody. Dr. Emma Lewis, a neuropsychiatrist, is asked to assess him, and she has a keen sense to know what might be wrong. 

While Mr. Nobody is advertised as a thriller, it doesn’t unfold in an edge-of-your-seat way. There is a steady transmission of fragmented information about both Dr. Lewis and Mr. Nobody, and, as the reader, you’re constantly trying to figure out why and how these two people are connected. That in itself is a mystery.

It isn’t a nail-biter, but it’s still an interesting medical (and criminal) journey that’s good enough to take you away from the present time.

I prefer Catherine Steadman’s other book, Something in the Water, over Mr. Nobody, but I liked this new one enough that I’ll read the third book she writes. I appreciate her prose. As an actress, Catherine Steadman understands how to keep an audience’s attention, whether it’s on film or on the page. 

Even though Mr. Nobody wasn’t gripping minute-to-minute, it still kept my attention and provided a satisfying end.

Book Review: Something in the Water

Catherine Steadman is a British actress known for her role as Mabel Lane Fox in season 5 of Downton Abbey, though I recognized her immediately as Joan Bulmer from season 4 of The Tudors. Whatever show or movie you may recognize her from, she holds her own as a novelist.

Something in the Water begins with the narrator, Erin, digging a grave. You soon realize she’s not an experienced grave-digger because she’s had to Google the most effective way to do it in a pinch.

Chapter Two begins by taking us back to the beginning of Erin’s journey, when she and Mark decided to get married and how their lives went from swimmingly delightful to horrific when they find something in the water while scuba diving on their honeymoon in Bora Bora. From that moment, the tone shifts from tense to nail-biting.

There is plenty else going on in addition to the discovery in Bora Bora – trouble for Mark, a financier, following the economic downturn, Erin’s curious relationship with an incarcerated gangster whom she features in a documentary she’s working on, and other myriad characters whom the reader can’t discern as essential or red herrings. The pacing is slower than I prefer, but it’s steady, and the subject matter is enticing enough that you want to reach the end if only to find out what happens. (Which is the point, right?)

The audiobook is narrated by Steadman, an appropriate choice if only for the fact that she can play the part of Erin perfectly. Her voice and writing style are equally fluid, which meant all the short and long runs I went on while listening to this book were easy (a good sign). If you’re into suspense/thrillers with a strong female lead, read this one.