Review of Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer

ThickerThanWaterThicker Than Water 
By: Brigid Kemmerer
Release Date: December 29th 2015
Publisher: Kensington Books
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.


My Rating:

On his own

Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.

Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…

My Thoughts:
Thicker Than Water was my first Kemmerer book to read- throughout my blogging career I have heard really wonderful things about her writing and books so I was so thrilled to receive a copy for review. This wouldn’t normally be something I’d pick up (that cover is not to my liking) but I was willing to give it a try due to all the positive things I’d heard.

This book started off very strong. The story was told in first person by two separate people- I love when books are set up this way because I feel we get to see things from several perspectives. This usually has me feeling more invested in the story and this book was no different. I formed an attachment early on to Thomas- this poor boy had been through so much so early and I could feel his sadness radiating from the pages. I was so sad for him and hated the way he was treated in this small town. It made me love Charlotte because she could look past the rumors and see (or try to see) who he really was- how brave of her to be able to look past society’s perception of him.

The chemistry between these characters was electric and kept me flipping the pages. I was eager to see who was actually responsible for the crime and see justice served. There was true suspense for the first section of the book and I was riveted…then things changed for me. I thoroughly thought this book was a mystery/contemporary but about 3/4 in things the tone and genre shifted. All of a sudden paranormal aspects started showing up. They felt abrupt and SO not in character for the book. I don’t know if it’s because I didn’t expect it or if it really felt disjointed but it made the last section of the book feel completely different than the start. I was so disappointed (and confused) by this shift.

The ending felt contrived due to the shift in genre and things seemed to fall in place a bit too easy. I had expected something so much different- sure I didn’t see the twist coming but it wasn’t a feeling of ‘a-ha!’ it was more, ‘what book am I reading?’ Hopefully other readers won’t be pulled out of the story as badly as I was and can enjoy the strong writing and character chemistry- but for me, it lowered my over-all feel for the book a good amount.

Final Thoughts:
Thicker Than Water had a strong start for me- I felt the character chemistry, tension and suspense but the last section of the book threw me off and felt disjointed from the rest of the book. This was still an enjoyable read but it isn’t a favorite. I will want to check out more from Kemmerer because her character portrayals were done very well.

 Have you read Thicker Than Water? What did you think of the genre shift?


  1. says

    I’m trying to figure out the spoiler in the review. Do you think that saying that paranormal elements come up at the end is a spoiler? I mentioned that in my review, but didn’t hide it under spoiler protection because I felt like it was vague enough. I mean, the turn the book takes was so out-there that I don’t think in a million years I could have guessed it, even if I’d known ahead of time that the genre was shifting. In fact, I think I might have enjoyed the book more if I’d been expecting the shift.

    If that’s what you meant, huge credit to you for being more careful than most of us — there are a lot of people out there who hate spoilers (though I’m not one of them…)

    • says

      Yeah, I thought that some folks might see that as a spoiler? I don’t know- better safe than sorry, lol. I have no clue it really counts as one but oh well. I’ll have to go look at your review. I was so THROWN OFF by that aspect of the book. It seemed so out there. I don’t mind spoilers if I’m aware I’m about to read one (sometimes I go out looking for them) but hate being spoiled and not expecting it.

  2. says

    I am not a huge fan of this cover either, but I do enjoy this author’s Elemental series. I had no idea this was a paranormal type book… that would have surprised me too! I am not sure I will read this, but we shall see.

    • says

      I have heard so many great things about the ELemental series so I’ll have to check it out one of these days. I was really bummed I didnt’ love this one more.

  3. says

    I LOVE Brigid Kemmerer’s books and I really enjoyed Thicker Than Water (I gave it 4 stars) but I totally agree with you on the paranormal aspect of the book. This is what let it down for me, as it seemed to just come out of nowhere. I think the book could have done a lot better without it, and for the murders to have been explained otherwise.

    Other than that, I found Thicker Than Water to be a really fun, suspenseful read with a lot of great dialogue and characters! I hope you pick up her Elementals series sometime in the future!

    • says

      I’m glad I’m not alone on the paranormal stuff seeming so strange! I think I’d enjoyed it much more had they been incorporated throughout the novel or not at all.

  4. says

    Gorgeous review Kristen. <3 But aw. I am so sorry it ended up pretty disappointing 🙁 The beginning sounds so awesome. Sigh. I'm curious about this book, but doubt I would like it, lol. Thank you so much for sharing your honest thoughts about it sweetie. <3 I'm glad you liked it a lot, despite not loving it 🙂

    • says

      I’d be curious if you would like it. Did you read her other series? I’ve always heard such awesome things I was so eager to read this one (regardless of that cover, haha)

  5. says

    AHA! I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought that weird twist towards the end of the book was weird! Like, out of place weird. I rolled with it in general but I had to reread that one part several times before it hit me that we’re no longer in Kansas… so to speak. I gave this one 3.5-4 stars, and I’m really hoping Kensington contracts at least one sequel!

    WHAT DO YOU MEAN THIS IS YOUR FIRST KEMMERER BOOK!? I’m sorry it wasn’t the best start! However, I ADORED Storm (of the five of that series, Storm is my favorite), and the series overall is really good. A long-ish series, but one of my favorite ever!

    Anywayyyy! Lovely review, Kristen. 🙂

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • says

      YAY WE ARE NOT ALONE. I’m so glad others were like, huh? Because it REALLY threw me off. I will most def check out the Elemental series. I know, it’s awful I’ve not read it yet!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *