Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Beneath the Water” as Want to Read:
Beneath the Water
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Beneath the Water

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,482 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Munro House is the new start Stella needs. But it will also draw her back to a dark past…

Devastated by a broken engagement, Stella Jackson leaves her old life behind for a new start in rural Scotland. But when she arrives in the remote coastal village of Arisaig, nothing is what she expected.

At the edge of Arisaig sits Munro House; grand, imposing and said to be cursed by
Audio CD
Published February 8th 2018 by Brilliance Audio
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Beneath the Water, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Beneath the Water

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,482 ratings  ·  110 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Beneath the Water
Sigh....... this is what I get for having twitchy exciting fingers on Netgalley.

Beneath the Water is a novel that definitely should STAY under the water. YIKES. I feel bad because I realize how much work writing a book is.... but this was a HOT MESS.

I'm not sure where to begin with this review. Should I talk about wanting to poke my eyes out with boredom. I struggled multiple times trying to read this book. I should have DNF with this one.

Stella is our main character that we are introduced to t
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Downstairs, her second mug of coffee was on the low table in the living room, cold, and the television was playing, the sound muted. At once, Stella knew she couldn't stay in this house any longer. She had managed four months, had imagined that she had turned a corner, was on an even keel - and a million other trite phrases for the ability to get through the day without falling into a black hole - but the jacket had shattered that illusion. 'I am not okay,' Stella said to the table. The ...more
3 Stars. Review to follow.

Although I enjoyed the first half or this book, but the second half didn't make much sense.
The bad guy was a cardboard cutout of a bad guy. His grudge seemed ridiculous and his motives didn't add up as we're never given the full story. At the same time we're also handed the mystery of some old letters belonging to an ancestor of Stella's employer, written by a woman who's husband apparently caused her death. None of these mysteries are satisfactorily explained or revea
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-netgalley
I received this from in exchange for a review.

Stella is starting a new life in rural Scotland. She finds a job at Munro House and is intrigued by her employer, Jamie.

This book just never got going for me. There were too many loose threads at the end which made me feel like I wasted my time reading a mystery book that was really not much of a mystery.

Linda Hill
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it
A break up with her unfaithful boyfriend sees Stella running away to old university friends Rob and Caitlin in Scotland.

I’m going to be totally honest and say that Beneath the Water is not a perfect book for me. There are times when I felt Stella would have been more confrontational or straightforward with Rob, Jamie and Caitlin, so that I did need to suspend my disbelief on occasion and I would have liked a more equitable balance between present and past events, giving the subplot greater statu
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sarah Painter writes great books and this is no exception. What starts as a story about lost love and heartbreak turns into one about a mystery, discovering the past, friendship, love, secrets and danger.
A great read.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Munro House has been surrounded by rumors in the small town of Arisaig, with mysterious deaths over the decades to the strange families that have lived there. With a promise of eeriness and mystery, this certainly caught my attention.

The story opens with Stella going through an awful breakup between her and her fiance Ben. The way things happened, I felt just awful for her too. She packs up some of her things, and goes to stay with a friend and her husband in a small town in the highlands of
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc
3.5-4 stars

Fast reading novel that takes a lot of twists and turns before you get to the last page! It’s dark, unexpected and a little romantic with a wonderful Scottish village atmosphere. I enjoyed the time spent with Stella and her friends. The characters are all a bit unusual, which adds interest the to storyline. Most of the plot threads are wrapped up by the end, and the others I guess are meant to decided by the reader. I will definitely read more by Sarah Painter!

**Thanks to NetGalley, L
Rachel Burton
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, first-read, 2018
When Stella leaves London for Scotland after a broken engagement, she's looking for a solace. But after she finds a bundle of old letters in her new employer's attic, she is thrown into a mystery and family secrets that go back over 100 years.

I absolutely loved this book, a mix of mystery, romance and adventure, but I particularly loved the exploration of chronic illness and self control.

Highly recommended.
I received a free copy via NetGalley.

When I first finished the book, I wasn't sure what kind of genre it was supposed to be in. It was a weird mix leading to an okayish read but ultimately, it didn't work for me.

Reading the blurb for 'Beneath the Water' I expected foremost a mystery novel mixed with romance. Or some kind of historical novel thrown in there.
It's the story of Stella who recently ended her engagement to her long-term boyfriend Ben. After not doing much for a couple of weeks and
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes! Castles, romance, and mystery! Sign me up. This didn’t disappoint and was just as good as I wanted it to be. Twisty and interesting - kept me hooked throughout the whole book. I loved the unexpected turns it took, definitely was not expecting any of it to happen.
Susan Corcoran
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Lake Union Publishing, the author Sarah Painter and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for the ARC of Beneath The Water in return for an honest review.
My favourite thing about this historical/contemporary mix was the way the connection was made between the past and the present, with each chapter starting with a letter from Jessie, a troubled Victorian women whose life reaches out into Stella Jackson’s present. The affect these letters have on current events, is what gives this
Mar 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a very enjoyable read. It featured a solid, steady plot and interesting characters.

*I received a complimentary ARC of this book from NetGalley & Lake Union Publishing in order to read and provide a voluntary, unbiased and honest review, should I choose to do so.

#BeneathTheWater #NetGalley
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a copy from netgalley in exhange for an honest review.

Wow this book kept me hooked. I love anything that has to do with scotland and castles. Add romance and i am all yours 😍😍😍 i definitely reccomend this is tou like a blend of mystery and romance.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#netgalley #beneaththewater "I suggested that he might smile more and he held my hand over a candle until I cried and agreed that smiling was for fools." I thoroughly enjoyed Beneath the Water, which I received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. A bit gothic, a bit mystery, a bit love story, it suddenly takes a wicked turn towards the end. I found Stella to be a funny, sympathetic, warm and down to earth character, and her pain at the beginning of the book is palpable. Painter also ...more
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can always rely on Sarah Painter to come up with something a little bit quirky, with a touch of the supernatural. In Beneath the Water there are two parallel stories being told. Letters from new wife Jessie back to her family from 19th century Edinburgh and the very modern tale of Stella. Having recently had her heart broken by fiance Ben she decides to take up an offer from her friends Caitlin and Rob to visit them at their home in Scotland.
The remote coastal town of Arisaig is a welcome br
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stella was born with a heart defect that was repaired at birth but caused her some serious issues as a young adult. A new valve gave her a new lease on life, but only partially so; she’s skimming through things, working as a temp, engaged to Ben, who is good but not perfect, as if in a reflection of her understanding of the shorter time she might have to live. When Ben dumps her (a typical start to any contemporary romance, sure) she heads off to coastal Scotland to visit her friends from Uni, C ...more
Alison Eden
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book had lots going on. Heartbreak, mystery, A curse, old grudges, medical aspects, friendship and romance all set in a beautiful Scottish village with dramatic scenery. On the whole I felt that the different elements went together well. Stella was a well developed character and I was rooting for her and Jamie to get together. There were lots of twists and turns that kept me gripped to the very last page. What stopped me giving 5 stars for this was some loose ends that I didn't feel were ad ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
2.5 stars rounded to 3

Beneath the Water sounded like a promising gothic story with an atmospheric setting - a mystery set in the grand old house in the Scottish Highlands, complete with a curse and a brooding enigmatic owner. I was very excited to read it. Unfortunately the book left me disappointed. I wasn't a fan of the writing style, it was flat and choppy. This may sound like an oxymoron but what I mean is it was flat because it elicited zero feelings (except boredom) or emotional response
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this story about secrets in the past and present. Sarah Painter created a great sense of place in the village of Arisaig with the cold and wet weather adding to the atmosphere of the book, creating a sense of claustrophobia in this small place where everyone knows everyone. A close knit community, rumours abound and grow and spread so quickly. 

I particularly liked Stella. It was interesting to see how the heart condition she had as a child still affected her decision making, ho
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The book starts out with Stella visiting her friend Caitlin after a devastating breakup with her fiance. However much to everyone's horror the hotel she is staying at (the Munro house) is the exact same one where a local girl mysteriously died. The house they say was tied to a string of unsolved murders. Not long after she gets a job as an assistant to the eccentric Jamie Munro. It is around this time that she keeps hearing about the bad history between the Munro's and the Lockharts. However eve ...more
Stella has had a rough four months after her fiance leaves her. She takes a friend up on an offer to escape for a while to the Scottish Highlands. There, she finds herself working for a slightly manic, shut-in rich 'selp-helf' author who lives in the village's 'cursed big house' and takes ice baths. The writing was steady and effective, the story's pacing matching its overall feel.

The synopsis of this story drew me in, I love a good shut-in and the setting of the book interested me as well. HOWE
Kathleen Gray
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 21st century doesn't lend itself easily to gothic- modern technology and knowledge undermines the mystery and aura they need to be successful. That said, a castle in Scotland like Munro House with its long history of tragedy and secrets is a good start. Painter does her best to recreate the novels some of us grew up with. There's Stella (the woman at loose ends and mourning a romance), there's Jamie (the tormented "master of the house"), there's a ghost of sorts, there's Ben (Stella's former ...more
nikkia neil
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks Lake Union Publishing and netgalley for this ARC.

A mystery, gothic horror, and modern story all jumbled up and thrown out like puzzle pieces.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
*Sigh* I really wanted to like this book. I really wanted my boredom of the story to pass and the plot suddenly change to be exciting and drawing me in completely. I really wanted to be able to give a review for a Lake Union Publishing book that I enjoyed recently. There are have been many in the past but that was before I found NetGalley. But none of what I really wanted was going to happen during this book. I'm so disappointed. The story just fell. I could never figure out why the characters d ...more
Erin Haslett
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beneath the water opens with Stella, our main character recently broken hearted. Her fiancé broke up with her unexpectedly and she is surrounded by memories in their dream home. To get away from her sadness, she decides to travel to Scotland to visit with college friends. After over staying her welcome a bit, her friend/hostess Caitlyn decides that it's time for a change of scenery for her friend and sets her up with a job interview at a local estate as an assistant to a young author and rumored ...more
Having survived major medical issues in her life, Stella Jackson is confident and over the moon with the life she shares with her fiancé Ben. When Ben breaks their engagement, Stella, unable to cope with the breakup moves from the home they shared in London to the rural Scotland coastal village of Arisaig at the invitation of old college friends Caitlan and Rob.

When Caitlan submits Stella’s resume to Jamie Munro of Munro House and Stella is hired on as his assistant things really begin to heat
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Update - 29/11/2020
The more I think about this book the less I think I liked it and the more problems I have with it so I am dropping my review to 2 stars.

When I first read the blurb I thought it would be more of a thriller than a drama. It certainly had elements that I’d associate with a thriller and Sarah Painter did a good job of making me as the reader feel uneasy. But overall I thought it was too slow paced for a thriller so felt more like a drama. I enjoyed the themes of the book and thoug
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Quantum Curators and the Enemy Within
  • The Quantum Curators and the Fabergé Egg
  • The Healer's Curse
  • The Book of Peril (The Last Oracle, #2)
  • The 13th Witch (The King's Watch, #1)
  • Wonderland (Wonderland #2)
  • The Seventh Star (The King's Watch #7)
  • The Passage (Wonderland #1)
  • The Inheritance
  • The Eleventh Hour (The King's Watch #3)
  • The Book of Secrets (The Last Oracle, #1)
  • The 12 Dragons of Albion (The King's Watch, #2)
  • The Green Man's Silence (Green Man #3)
  • The Wonders of Vale (Modern Magick, #7)
  • Eight Kings (The King's Watch #6)
  • Nightborn (The Hollow King, #2)
  • Nine of Wands (The King's Watch #5)
  • The Lost Child of Lychford (Lychford, #2)
See similar books…
Sarah Painter is the author of the bestselling magical novel, The Language of Spells, and its follow-up, The Secrets of Ghosts.

She has written 'book club' fiction with atmospheric settings and historical elements (In The Light of What We See and Beneath The Water), and a 'wonderfully dark and twisty' supernatural thriller, The Lost Girls.

Sarah's latest venture is an exciting new urban fantasy seri

Related Articles

  Some people love books. Some people fall in love. And some people love books about falling in love. Every month our team sorts through...
38 likes · 8 comments
“there is a compound in red wine called resveratrol which has been shown to extend the life of yeast cells. It’s” 0 likes
More quotes…