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The Man in the Water

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  26 reviews
When Shaun finds a dead body floating in the lake of a quiet mining town in outback Queensland, he immediately reports it to the police. But when he returns to the site with the constable, the body is gone.

Determined to reveal the truth, Shaun and his best friend, Will, open their own investigation. But what they discover is far more sinister than a mining mishap or a
Paperback, 250 pages
Published October 1st 2019 by University of Queensland Press
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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The Nerd Daily
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Annie Deo

The Man in the Water is a coming-of-age YA thriller set in a rural mining town in Queensland and follows a teenager who launches an investigation into a mysterious dead body which promptly vanishes after he leaves to report it.

The author mentions that this book was based on his time in regional Queensland where he experienced a new and different culture in their mining towns, inspiring its depiction in the form of the issues Shaun and
Trigger warnings: death, grief, mental health, death of a parent (in the past), (view spoiler).

I am 100% here for more novels set in small town Australia, especially when they're not straight up contemporaries. I also thoroughly enjoyed that this had a 14 year old protagonist rather than the typical 17 year old protagonists that YA is riddled with of late.

Anyway. I really really liked this. I liked the characters. I liked the setting. I liked the
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: loveozya, uqp
Woven throughout The Man in the Water is the reoccurring theme of mental health, community responsibility and removing mental illness discrimination, especially in traditionally male dominated workplaces. While Australia strides towards inclusion and equality, toxic masculinity is an issue rarely acknowledged or discussed. Young men are expected to appear stoic and detached and to appear otherwise is often seen as weakness. This is especially prevalent in male dominated workplaces where ...more
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shaun is a kid in a small mining town in rural Qld. One day, he spots a man floating face down in a lake. He rushes to report his finding to the police, but when they come back, the body is gone. While the adults brush off the death, Shaun & his mate Will are forced to open their own investigation. Their adventures will take them all around town in their race to find justice for the Man on the Lake.
The protagonist Burton has created is one young boys will connect with. Shaun is just an
Sarah Fairbairn
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The story kicks into action immediately with POV character Shaun finding a dead body floating in the lake. He runs (literally) to the cop shop for help, but by the time a Copper comes back with him to the lake the body is gone, and Shaun looks like a liar.

Only Shaun's best mate Will believes him and together they mount their own investigation. The fast who-done-it pace pushes you through the story, rapidly flipping to the pages to find out the who's, whats, whens, and hows.

After some sleuthing,
This is a mature crime thriller, entirely appropriate for senior boys. David Burton, author of his memoir, How to be Happy, has composed a realistic and familiar story, set in a Qld mining town. His main character Shaun solves the mystery without too many incidental or contrived situations. Shaun is invested because he discovers the body, is attracted to a family member, and has little else to do with his time in this small community. Plus, there’s the distraction it offers from the ongoing ...more
Gretchen Bernet-Ward
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
David Burton has written a tightly woven and highly readable mystery story. He keeps the pressure up, and keeps it real. Shaun sees a man’s body floating in the local lake and when he returns with Constable Charlie Thompson the body has gone. Shaun begins to investigate the mysterious death and uncovers far more than he ever imagined.

A tenacious young man, Shaun is determined to solve the puzzle but the subtext throughout the story is ‘Who believes Shaun actually saw the man in the water?’. Not
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it
The Man In The Water follows Shaun, a high school kid, who discovers a body floating in the local lake. After going to the local police station to report it, he returns to the site with the constable to find the body is gone, and now no one seems to believe that there was ever a body there to begin with.

This is an enjoyable “YA whodunnit” read, that also tackles issues of suicide, mental health and grief. It’s quite emotionally raw at times, and it seemed like a very realistic take on the
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs, blog-tours
Actual rating: 3.5/5
Danielle {halfdesertedstreets}
Delicious outback noir for a young adult audience. Review soon!
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Even though this book is aimed at teenagers, I couldn’t put it down! I was so enthralled by the adventures of Shaun and Will & the mystery of The Man In The Water. This is the kind of book that will encourage teenagers, particular boys, to read...and to really enjoy it! In amongst the drama, fun, and intrigue is a serious and familiar story about mental health, particularly regarding men in rural Australia. The resources at the end (beyond blue etc), for anyone experiencing tough times, are ...more
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, this is the perfect cover for the story behind it. I absolutely love the vibrant blue colour and the swirling details. And the font is quite different, though I find it really pretty.

When I read the blurb of 'The Man In The Water' by David Burton, I simply knew that I need to read this book. The author's writing style is actually quite refreshing with its typical Australian accent, which I could easily imagine while reading.
For me, this story was completely new ground but the
Tim Arundell
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A page turner from start to finish I enjoyed the persistence of the main character (young Shaun) in following his conscience to solve the mystery of the dead body he encountered in the lake in his rural home community.
Cass Moriarty
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Author David Burton is well-known for his playwriting, his work with the Queensland Music Festival, and his award-winning non-fiction book for young people, How to Be Happy. His first novel, The Man in the Water (UQP 2019), is a page-turning and suspenseful YA story that combines a coming of age narrative with the mystery of a murder to be solved. The book opens with the line: ‘On the first day of Year 10, Shaun sees a dead body.’ A great opening, which leads us directly into the lives of the ...more
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Fun little murder mystery that keeps you guessing."

This book was sent to me as part of The Man In The Water blog tour in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This novel follows the story of Shaun, an Australian high schooler who finds a body in a lake on a hot afternoon. After running to the police to tell them of what he found, the body goes missing and no one believes he saw a body in the first place. So Shaun decides to investigate to see if he can figure out the mystery
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed reading The Man In The Water by David Burton, it was a fast paced easy read that instantly transported me to a small mining town in North Queensland, Following Shaun and his best friend Will as they to figure out who the dead man is, how he came to be in the lake and where he has dissapered to.

I really liked how David Burton touched on many issues that are effecting regional towns in Australia and also life issues as Shaun is navigating life after the loss of a loved one This is very
Sandra Shannon
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Set in a small Australian outback mining town. Shaun has not recovered from the death of his father nine months ago. His mother is concerned for his wellbeing, so when Shaun reveals he has seen a dead body in the local waterhole, no-one believes him. Shaun went to the police to report the body but when they returned the body had gone. Shaun and his best mate Will are determined to find out who dead man is and how he came to be floating in the waterhole.
Melissa Kate
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
At first I didn’t think I’d like this book. I only read the first 2 chapters and put it back down for a few days before picking it up again. Once I got a few chapters in, I started getting intrigued and got into the story abit more. Will and Shaun we’re both very likeable characters and it was a fun little mystery that kept me guessing until the end.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: whodunnit
Good, well-told story set in a small Australian mining town. The usual small town one-employer problems surface to create a mystery and a tense situation for two Y10 lads.

Recommended to good readers from Y9-Y13. Plenty to relate to, but not an in-your-face-full-of-grit story.
Kieran Humphreys
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a gripping mystery with an extremely satisfying ending. I will never get sick of reading books set in Australia, this book feels like home. I also greatly appreciate the list of mental health resources at the end of the book :)
Stephanie Strachan
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Classified as a YA novel, this mystery deals with some gritty issues - suicide in particular. A page turner. Well written and most suited to children over 15.
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Another YA mystery novel, but this time a convincing one. The characters were real and the plot almost believable. I didn’t pick the villain before the big reveal at the end.
Sep 26, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars!
Review to come 5/10/19.
Liz Derouet
Nov 20, 2019 rated it liked it
A good mystery for teens, started off strong, dipped a little for me at about 3/4 way but then came back and ended strongly. Wish this book was around when I was in my last job!
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable read.

Full review:
The Purposeful Prose
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Nov 22, 2019
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Dec 23, 2019
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Nov 26, 2019
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