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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Water Keeper

The Water Keeper

ISBN: 0785230912

Pub Date: 05/05/2020

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars + Top Books of 2020 Elevator Author Q&A Ride A riveting new story of heroism, heartache, and the power of love to heal all wounds.

Murphy Shepherd is a man with many secrets. He lives alone on an island, tending the grounds for a church with no parishioners, and he’s dedicated his life to rescuing those in peril. But as he mourns the loss of his mentor and friend, Murph himself may be more lost than he realizes.

When he pulls a beautiful woman named Summer out of Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, Murph’s mission to lay his mentor to rest at the end of the world takes a dangerous turn. Drawn to Summer, and desperate to find her missing daughter, Murph is pulled deeper and deeper into the dark and dangerous world of modern-day slavery.

With help from some unexpected new friends, including a faithful Labrador he plucks from the ocean and an ex-convict named Clay, Murph must race against the clock to locate the girl before he is consumed by the secrets of his past—and the ghosts who tried to bury them.

With Martin's trademark lyricism and poignant prose, The Water Keeper is at once a tender love story a heartrending search for freedom, and a reminder that the needs of the one outweigh those of the ninety-nine.


Elevator Q&A with the Author

May 5, 2020

The Water Keeper

Congratulations to the Book Giveaway Contest Winner!

Susan Marshall

Jupiter, Florida

The Water Keeper

My Review

One of my favorite authors, Southern master storyteller and New York Times bestselling author Charles Martin, kicks off an extraordinary new evocative series in celebration of his 20th anniversary of stories. This one gets ALL the stars from me and then some.

Beautifully executed, with power and precision, Charles Martin is at his finest (his best book yet) in this latest novel of forgiveness —THE WATER KEEPER. Hands down, The BEST Book of 2020! This book has it ALL! For guys and gals, young and old alike.

The author takes us on a (boat) “ride of your life” adventure from the Atlantic coastal NE Florida ICW to the Southernmost part of the US— Key West. (Floridians will find a lot to like here).

With classic Charles Martin's signature style, fans have come to expect. Combining a perfect blending of a poignant Nicholas Sparks-The Notebook (love story romance) meets action-packed thrills and suspense of Greg Hurwitz (Orphan X series) and Harlan Coben. An intriguing, moving, and memorable journey with heartfelt and broken characters seeking redemption and forgiveness.

The people and enemies they encounter along the journey are reminiscent of the works of authors: Richard Paul Evans (The Walk Series), and Catherine Ryan Hyde (Take Me With You and Stay).

The lyrical prose and stunning metaphors will draw you into the world of a complex broken man. David Bishop Murphy Shepherd (a priest, a recluse, a man who loves deeply, a fictional writer, and a powerful government agent). He is resilient and will stop at nothing to save those sheep who have fallen astray from the fold to lead them back to their loved ones and freedom.

However, he needs to be the kind of shepherd who will leave the warmth of the fire and the safety of the flock to risk the cold, the rain, and the sleepless nights to "find the ONE."

The historical and literary elements will remind you of (Ernest Hemingway) adventures, infused with literary icons, rich historical details, and vivid settings with an Old Florida flair.

From characters, Murphy meets along the way: Angel, a sixteen-year-old girl, pulled into sex trafficking and human slavery.

A mother recovering from an Opioid addiction in search of her missing daughter before she is sold to the highest bidder.

An African American older ex-con gentleman barely surviving, fighting to see the love of his life who has passed to make things right.

A tenacious white Labrador retriever, Gunner, who has nine lives and is the captain of this ship.

A young girl who is desperately trying to find her birth mother and father, a woman who is dying hiding from a world due to shame, leaving just enough crumbs for someone to see her.

A convent and Sister trying to protect.

A mentor, a fellow agent, a rescuer, and just one more sheep to be saved before it is too late.

Martin intertwines humor, page-turning suspense, intense emotions, an endless love story, and unforgettable characters that reach into your heart and soul, searching for the healing power of love, forgiveness, and freedom.

Ultimately uplifting and hopeful, leaving fans anxiously awaiting the next in the series. Prime for a TV series or the wide screen. Flawless and irresistible, profoundly moving, and endlessly emotional. Fans continue to love the warmth and inspiration they draw from Martin's books and characters. They will be richly rewarded.

I highly recommend all his books (both fiction and nonfiction). Crossing multi-genres, Charles Martin proves that he is at the TOP OF HIS GAME! An Outstanding Achievement. More, please


"Love does that. It erases the pain. The darkness. The stuff that wants to hold our head under the water. Love reminds us who we are and who we were always meant to be. And there never has been nor ever will be anything that can kill it.” —David Bishop Murphy Shepherd


In celebration of Charles 20th Anniversary of stories, my favorites:

I love them (all 5 Stars); however, if I must pick:

Favorite Characters: Unc, Chase, Miss Ella, Tucker Murphy, Clay, Gunner (dog)

On a side Note:

Being a Floridan, I have resided and worked along the coast of SE Florida (ICW and A1A) from St John’s, Volusia, Monroe and Palm Beach counties over the past twenty years, I immensely enjoyed revisiting familiar, memorable landmarks and the rich Florida history. (great job) Being a Georgian before Florida, I devoured Martin’s earlier novels, as well.

I really enjoyed the boating/water elements in THE WATER KEEPER, having lived and worked in the Florida Keys selling waterfront condos for boats and condo-hotel residences with marina clubs and currently reside along ICW in West Palm Beach. Every time I see a yacht across the street, I think of this book.


“I’m telling you, it’s an action-packed, classic Charles Martin romance novel, unlike anything I’ve ever read. And remember . . . the day you pick up this book is the day you become temporarily unavailable to the world.”

—Charlie Martin, son of Charles Martin

“Charles Martin fans rejoice because he’s done it again . . . a multilayered story woven together with grace and redemption, and packed tight with tension and achingly real characters.” —Lauren Denton, USA TODAY bestselling author of The Hideaway

“In The Water Keeper Charles Martin crafts a compelling story with skill and sensitivity. Open the pages of this book and you’ll enter the world of characters caught up in a real-life drama that grips the heart. As with all of Charles’s books you never finish it—you continue to live there in your own imagination. Current fans won’t be disappointed; new readers will understand why Charles Martin is on the shortlist of contemporary authors I recommend above all others.”

—Robert Whitlow, film-maker and best-selling author

“Charles Martin understands the power of story and he uses it to alter the souls and lives of both his characters and his readers...”

— Patti Callahan Henry, NYT Bestselling author

'Martin (The Mountain Between Us) explores themes of grace, mercy, and forgiveness in this sweeping love story. . . In this relatable tale of recovery from physical and emotional trauma, Martin beautifully captures the essence of Christian principles of sacrifice and forgiveness.'

—Publishers Weekly STARRED for "Send Down the Rain"

Instead of endeavoring to prove the historical accuracy of the Bible or outlining how to defend the Christian faith, novelist Martin (The Mountain Between Us) examines how life would be different if the Bible was taken to be literally true in this meticulous work…Deeply reflective and heartfelt, Martin’s book offers readers much to meditate on and provides encouragement for those who desire to follow the biblical mandate to work out their faith “with fear and trembling. —Publishers Weekly for "What If It's True"


About the Author

Charles Martin

About the Author

Photo Credit: Kerry Lammi

CHARLES MARTIN is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 14 fiction novels, including his most recent, The Water Keeper to be released May 5, 2020. His novel, The Mountain Between Us, was made into a major motion picture, starring Idris Elba and Kate Winslet.

He is also the author of two non-fiction books, and his third to be released, Jan. 5, 2021—They Turned the World Upside Down: A Storyteller's Journey with Those Who Dared to Follow Jesus, by Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Martin is celebrating his 20th year of writing and stories. The author's work is available in 30+ countries and languages. He resides in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife, Christy and their three sons. Read More






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