The Drowning Kind
By: Jennifer McMahon
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 4/6/2021
My Rating: 4 Stars
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Invited and The Winter People comes a chilling new novel about a woman who returns to the old family home after her sister mysteriously drowns in its swimming pool…but she’s not the pool’s only victim.
Be careful what you wish for.
When social worker Jax receives nine missed calls from her older sister, Lexie, she assumes that it’s just another one of her sister’s episodes. Manic and increasingly out of touch with reality, Lexie has pushed Jax away for over a year. But the next day, Lexie is dead: drowned in the pool at their grandmother’s estate. When Jax arrives at the house to go through her sister’s things, she learns that Lexie was researching the history of their family and the property. And as she dives deeper into the research herself, she discovers that the land holds a far darker past than she could have ever imagined.
In 1929, thirty-seven-year-old newlywed Ethel Monroe hopes desperately for a baby. In an effort to distract her, her husband whisks her away on a trip to Vermont, where a natural spring is showcased by the newest and most modern hotel in the Northeast. Once there, Ethel learns that the water is rumored to grant wishes, never suspecting that the spring takes in equal measure to what it gives.
A haunting, twisty, and compulsively readable thrill ride from the author who Chris Bohjalian has dubbed the “literary descendant of Shirley Jackson,” The Drowning Kind is a modern-day ghost story that illuminates how the past, though sometimes forgotten, is never really far behind us.
"The Drowning Kind is satisfying on every level: Marvelously chilling, elegantly written, a true page-turner. I couldn’t wait to get to the end; I also wanted to savor every page. Jennifer McMahon is a master of mood.” —Janelle Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Things and Watch Me Disappear
"McMahon has a gift for creating creepy atmosphere and letting spooky suggestions linger in the mind. She’s also adept at weaving legends and stories into the fabric of what feels like real life, because her characters are so believably vulnerable. For best results, read it on a dark and stormy night—in a well-lit room, far away from the water.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"The Drowning Kind is both a haunting exploration of grief and a tale that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. You'll stay up late reading, but take my advice: whatever you do, don't go in the water." —Simone St James, New York Times bestselling author of The Sun Down Motel
"[A] taut supernatural thriller . . . McMahon’s skills in crafting captivating plots and building suspense shine.” —Publishers Weekly
"In The Drowning Kind, Jennifer McMahon weaves a blisteringly suspenseful tale that will keep you up at night wondering what is real, what is otherworldly, and most of all, what in the name of all that’s unholy is in the water." —Wendy Webb, #1 bestselling author of Daughters of the Lake
"This streamlined supernatural thriller is built on gifted storytelling and has the atmosphere of a fireside ghost tale, woven with strands of longing and regret.” —Booklist
"Careful reading McMahon's latest novel, The Drowning Kind, after dark. This book will suck you down to its bottomless black depths. Fast-paced and creepy, it bubbles over with revelations, twists, and turns, not to mention wet footsteps of the dead leading right to your door. You are warned!" —Erica Ferencik, author of The River at Night and Into the Jungle
"To read The Drowning Kind is a haunting experience. This novel strikes a perfect balance between past and present, concealing and revealing, language to linger over and a compulsive tale unfolding. At the core, vividly rendered relationships and a central question: can the past ever really stay buried?" —Jess Kidd, award-winning author of Things in Jars
"Past and present, the real and the imaginary intertwine like ribbons on a maypole in this beautifully haunting story of familial love and loss. For those who crave magic in their everyday lives, Jennifer McMahon will make you believe." —Alma Katsu, author of The Deep
"Lush, dark and relentlessly eerie—a fast-paced tug of war between suspicion and the supernatural." —Sue Rainsford, author of Follow Me to Ground
About the Author
I’m the New York Times Bestselling author of ten suspense novels including The Winter People and Promise Not To Tell. My latest, The Drowning Kind, will be out in April. I’ve written about ghosts, serial killers, shape shifting monsters, an evil fairy king, a kidnapping rabbit, and now, a terrifying swimming pool.
My first novel was, at its heart, a ghost story. That novel drew me to write about the unexplained, the dark side, the fears that keep me awake at night, the way the past haunts the present. When studying writing in college and grad school, again and again I was told: Write what you know. But over the years, I have developed my own mantra, one which is so vital to who I am and what I do that I had it tattooed on my wrist: Write what scares you.
I live in Vermont (in a creepy old Victorian on a hill) with my partner, Drea, and our daughter, Zella. When I’m not writing, I spend a lot of time exploring the dark Vermont woods and seeking out haunted places, real and imagined. Website