Daniel and Vanessa Parker are an American success story. He is a Washington, DC, power broker, and she is a physician with a thriving practice. But behind the gilded façade, their marriage is a shambles, and their teenage son, Quentin, is self-destructing. In desperation, Daniel dusts off a long-delayed dream—a sailing trip around the world. Little does he know, the voyage he hopes will save them may destroy them instead.
Half a world away on the lawless coast of Somalia, Ismail Adan Ibrahim is living a life of crime in violation of everything he was raised to believe—except for the love and loyalty driving him to hijack ships for ransom and plot the rescue of his sister, Yasmin, from the man who murdered their father. There is nothing he will not do to save her, even if it means taking innocent lives.
Paul Derrick is the FBI’s top hostage negotiator. His twin sister, Megan, is a celebrated defense attorney. They have reached the summit of their careers by savvy, grit, and a secret determination to escape the memory of the day their family died. When Paul is dispatched to handle a hostage crisis at sea, he has no idea how far it will take him and Megan into the past—or the chance it will give them to redeem the future.
Across continents and oceans, through storms and civil wars, the paths of these individuals converge in a single, explosive moment. It is a moment that will test them and break them, but it will also leave behind an unexpected glimmer of hope—that out of the ashes of tragedy and misfortune, the seeds of justice and reconciliation can grow.
Continue reading for my thoughts of The Tears of Dark Water and also for an excerpt from it.
I have to admit that this is a book that was NOT on my “I’ve got to read this!” list. I looked at it, looked at it again and, needing something to read and review for this particular week, finally downloaded a copy. Once I began reading it, however, I found it difficult to stop. The tension began to build almost immediately. There are scenes of Daniel and Quentin as they depart from The Seychelles, a location I imagine must be idyllic. You can tell there’s some strain between them as Quentin unburdens himself to his father, and it all feels like the hardest part of their voyage must be over. But it isn’t, because you know that, at some point, they’re going encounter Ismail and his gang. Once that happens, you then wonder how everyone can have a happy ending. Even Ismail is written in such a way that he’s a sympathetic character despite his actions.
The Tears of Dark Water is up there with similar tension-filled action novels. It’s topical, the characters are appealing, the pacing is good, and it makes you think. What it isn’t, however, is a Christian novel. It’s published by Thomas Nelson, a Christian division of Harper Collins, but I’m curious as to why Thomas Nelson did publish it. I don’t think I saw any specific Christian content in it. The Quran was quoted several times, but not the Bible. There’s also violence, but I suspect it’s the language that will put off some Christian readers. It’s realistic but, let’s face it; you don’t expect to see the F word in Christian fiction. It appears early on in the book which means, sadly, that those who put it aside at that point miss out on what is otherwise a good novel.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson for my complimentary electronic copy of The Tears of Dark Water, which I downloaded from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read The Tears of Dark Water? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (a division of Harper Collins)
Publication Date: 13 October 2015
Page Count: 464