Harrison, DeSales. The Waters & the Wild. New York: Random House, 2018. 320p. ISBN 978–0-8129-8954-0. $27. Fiction
Daniel Abend, a psychoanalyst and single father living in New York City, pens a confession to a priest he barely knows about an affair years earlier with a woman in Paris, the mother, we are led to believe, of his teenage daughter Clementine. Multiple suicides have begun to trouble the doctor, fears that increase when Clementine, who has begun to ferret out the truth of her past, disappears just as an unknown nemesis threatens vengeance against the family. When enigmatic photos and letters arrive in the mail, Daniel is led via a series of disturbing revelations to an unimaginable conclusion. VERDICT Harrison’s debut is more lyrical effusion than taut psychological thriller—poetical self-analysis marked by verbal repetition, endless questions, lengthy rumination, and similes that are sometimes far-fetched ("The road had sought me out, I thought, like a penetrator cable hoisting a downed pilot up through jungle canopy."). Still, patient readers who favor literary mysteries, along the lines of Carol Goodman’s The Lake of Dead Languages, will enjoy the effusive language and the plot’s tightening web.
Library Journal, 143, no 2 (February 1, 2018), 93.