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3.43  ·  Rating details ·  246 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Amanda Clarke is dead.

Her body was found floating facedown by the riverbank, and no one knows what happened. As rumours fly and fear grows, it seems that everyone suspects Lyndon, one of Amanda's friends. He's known for his temper, his cruelty and his criminal family - and now the police want to talk to him.

It's the end of summer, 1973, the heat is enough to melt asphalt
Paperback, 278 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Random House Australia
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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  246 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Feb 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Darkwater is a languid, atmospheric novel about murder and coming of age in 1970s Australia. It draws much of its strength from Blain’s use of setting; she paints an authentic and vivid picture of life in that time: summer days swollen with heat, the tick of ceiling fans through the interminable school hours, front doors left open and unlocked, skateboarding and joints under the underpass.

It’s an accurate rendering of a different time, and Blain’s attention to detail is notable, though I do wond
Nina {ᴡᴏʀᴅs ᴀɴᴅ ᴡᴀᴛᴇʀ}
I read this only last night and forgive me if I seemingly cannot remember anything. So, I stopped reading a book I really want to read to read this.

It was, to my utmost surprise, startling good. I can't even remember why I picked this book up, but the emotions drawn out by Winter, and the conflict she feels, it felt real. It was all very brief, but I liked this briefness. God, I'm not explaining it well. Put it this way, if something can confuse me this much, it must be good right?

Who am I kidd
John Gilbert
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Georgia Blain was a wonderful writer, her voice is certainly missed. This was her one venture into YA fiction, narrated by Sydney high schooler Winter, who is an admirable lead, especially in learning to skateboard as a female high schooler. The story is often sad and dark, but always enthralling.

Ironically I read this at the same time as 'One of Us is Lying', where the mystery of the death by drowning of a classmate turns into a murder investigation. I have been looking to find this book for a
May 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Nicely understated for a YA mystery: it's Australia in the early 70s, a girl is dead, and the protagonist grows increasingly convinced that the police (not to mention the community) are targeting their suspect for class reasons rather than because he actually did it.

There are quite a few subplots at play, and they intersect in ways I didn't always see coming, which I appreciate. Plus: romance of the mild, realistic type rather than 'we're in high school and we love each other madly and we're gon
Penni Russon
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Georgia Blain's Sydney is sharply real to me. This novel has stayed with me, residing at the edge of my consciousness. Potent, stark. ...more
Ann Tonks
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not in the YA category by many decades but I read this out of interest because of the author and the Sydney setting and found it an engaging read. However, given than I'm not the target audience, my opinion won't matter that much but for the record, I enjoyed the feisty young lead and the descriptions of Sydney Harbour and the narrative journey. ...more
Jan 31, 2018 rated it liked it
An easy, engaging read.
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good book, interesting storyline, that kept me wanting to find out more.
Aimed at older teenagers. In saying that a good read just the same
Your typical 'who-dunnit' plot, but what added the extra star on this read for me was the empathy and the guts of the main character. ...more
I thought Darkwater would be an intense mystery and while there are mystery parts the main focus isn’t on clues and the investigation but on Winter and the events surrounding Amanda’s mysterious death.
I quite enjoyed Darkwater and I managed to read it in a day because the pages tend to read quite fast and the story is pretty engrossing. I was able to guess who had played a part in Amanda’s death although the why wasn’t what I had thought it would be.
I felt that there was one part of the story th
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a really compelling mystery. I like that I couldn’t guess who the killer was. I thought it was well written.
Jul 05, 2011 rated it liked it
the character in this novel who interested me was the main character Winter because the novel was written in her view but i could still not understand her and i could not figure out her emotions.
The setting in the story was weird because the some particular characters who played a big part in this text were where their friend died so why would they be there, that part was hard to understand.
I think i just keep on reading this because it was a mystery book and i wanted to know who killed who.
I wo
Feb 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011, kids-ya
This isn't what I expected. First, I wasn't aware that it was YA even though the main character is a teenager. Secondly, I thought this would be a meatier mystery. After all, a girl has died under suspicious circumstances and the local bad-boy is the prime suspect. Despite Blain's skill the tension just didn't build the way it should have. Nevertheless, this should please many: the characterisation is good--even if MC Winter is just a tad too perfect--and the crime's perpetrator is well conceale ...more
My main problem with this novel was that I didn't really understand why the author chose to tell the story from Winter's point of view. I guess I didn't really understand what Winter had to do with this Amanda girl being found dead. Sure her brother had a somewhat close tie to her but it just didn't work for me in this aspect. It lost a fair bit of the impact of the death by watering it down to being in Winter's POV, I think.
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
When Amanda Clarke is found dead near the riverbank of a small Sydney town in 1973, rumours of how her death occur start flying. 'Darkwater' follows fifteen-year old Winter's journey as she tries to find out what really happened to Amanda. However, whilst there are lots of red herrings throughout the book the author does not give any clues to allow the reader to guess who the perpetrator really was. I also found the characters under-developed and the book lacking any real intrigue. ...more
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Darkwater is an incredibly suspenseful and captivating story. Winter is left terrified by the murder of a school girl. She no longer feels safe in her own town. Neither does her friends. Determined to find Amanda’s killer, Winter and her friends begin to join the pieces together, to get justice, for Amanda, and for her family.
Sep 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Having gone to high school during the 70s there was a real 'ring of truth' about this book for me. The way the characters interacted and the self-consciousness of teen years was really convincingly portrayed. I really liked the writing and found the mystery and tension built really well. Enjoyable read! ...more
Sep 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I really enjoyed the story and liked the pace and development until the end. The story was progressing and when it was revealed who killed Amanda the story came to a quick conclusion and an abrupt end. I didn't want a lot more of the end, the length was great, it just would have been nice if the reveal could have been better developed. ...more
Aug 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: hard-copy, 2014
It was good, not great. Some plot points kinda came out of nowhere, with no link to anything else and not much explanation or follow up. This didn't detract too much from the story however, just kinda threw me a little as I was trying to figure out what they meant. And turns out - nothing. Oh well.
An easy read.
Sep 04, 2014 rated it liked it
I was forced to read this novel, first term at school. What I wasn't forced to do was read it so quickly in less than 3 days. I loved the suspense in the novel and the plot. I am a big fan of mysteries and I assure you this book one. I very much enjoyed the plot twist am so glad I was 'forced' to read it. ...more
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
The book started out slow. Most of the time I was having a hard time trying to figure out Winters thoughts and trying to keep up with all the characters. Besides that I really enjoyed reading this book because it was descriptive, captivating and all in all a good read.

Feb 24, 2012 rated it liked it
I really dig that 70's vibe, where it's still safe to let your kids roam the streets (that's a bit shattered though, after the death of Amanda), before mobile phones and social web pages and other technology clogged our attentions. ...more
Clare Snow
I loved this book - with skateboarding and nature writing, how could I not.

Georgia Blain evokes the sticky heat of summer and latent fear of 1970s suburbia in her singular writing.

My full review
Nov 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
amazing book. One of my all time favourites. Georgia Blain is one of my few role models. Darkwater is moving, exciting and exhilerating. This book should be a classic. A MUST READ!!
Jan 27, 2011 added it
This was a great read. I read it two nights, It was a pageturner I couldn't stop reading. ...more
Jun 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
A well-conceived mystery story, atmospheric and suspenseful.
Really cool and pretty cover, but a fairly average story. :)
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Interesting plot, liked the mystery about it, predicted the ending though so that was disappointing. But overall a good book and was hard to put down at times.
Angelina Yin
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
The story was interesting in finding how Amanda's death occurred with all the characters involved with her. Unfortunately, I found it to be slow and tedious until the ending happened. ...more
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Georgia Blain has published novels for adults and young adults, essays, short stories, and a memoir. Her first novel was the bestselling Closed for Winter, which was made into a feature film. She was shortlisted for numerous awards including the NSW and SA Premiers' Literary Awards, and the Nita B. Kibble Award for her memoir Births Deaths Marriages. Georgia's works include The Secret Lives of Men ...more

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