Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Review: Soft as Water by B. Robert Conklin


Genre: Mystery/Suspense


“Following a life-shattering accident, conscience-stricken Will Archer seeks refuge in a small Ohio River town, where he plans to live out his life as a virtual hermit. But a chance encounter with Essence Warner, orphaned daughter of a jazz saxophonist and an aristocratic socialite, entangles him in a quest to discover the truth behind the cold case of her parents’ mysterious deaths.

As Will deciphers clues, he becomes romantically entwined with Essence, forming a relationship that draws him into a sordid underbelly of small-town existence that threatens his own life. At the same time, he uncovers a dark secret that could set Essence free from her own path of self-destruction—or does she have a plan of her own?

Soft as Water is a novel about bridges—between strangers across a river—and the dangers of mutual attraction when worlds divided by race, wealth, and culture collide. In the end, though, the novel offers a glimmer of hopefulness that survivors of trauma—physical, emotional, and sexual—can transcend their circumstances and find redemption through connection.”


The author describes himself as thus:

“I live in Columbus, Ohio, where I navigate the unpredictable moments of family life with my spouse, three kids, four cats, and a ferret. I enjoy nature walks, reading everything from Pop-Tart labels to Proust, and cartooning. I’m also an avid coffee drinker but try to limit myself to five cups a day. My debut novel, An End to Etcetera, placed as a finalist in the suspense category of the 17th Annual National Indie Excellence® Awards.”


This is a unique story with elements that you don’t see very often.. That starts with a protagonist that while one of the good guys, is far from perfect with lots of skeletons in his closet that impact the story in many ways. Then you’ve got multiple people with some strange histories who are challenging to figure out in many ways, from whether they’re good people, what they’re doing and why, and how all of that is going to impact others. Then throw in a few strange things (what appeared to be a ghost or other supernatural element at play a few times and some pet tigers for a couple examples) and you’ve got a story that is not likely to be like one you’ve read before. At least it was stretching my normal reading material. In spite of this, I didn’t find myself unable to suspend disbelief and go along with what was happening. A very entertaining read.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK


A small amount of relatively mild adult content.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 95-100,000 words

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