I read "The Drowning" by J.P Smith a few months ago, thanks to NetGalley (as I've been getting all my books recently) and it surprised me in more ways than one.

the drowning jp smith

Publisher's Summary

It doesn’t take long for a little boy to disappear. Joey Proctor can’t swim, but that doesn’t stop camp counselor Alex Mason from leaving him out on a raft in the middle of the lake in a fit of rage. Alex only meant to scare the kid, teach him a lesson. He didn’t mean to forget about him. But now Joey is gone… and his body is never found.
More than twenty years later, Alex is a success. The proof is there for anyone to see, in the millions of dollars he makes, his lavish house, his beautiful wife and daughters. And no one knows what happened that summer at camp. At least, no one should know. But it looks like Joey Proctor may be back to take his revenge…

My Thoughts

When I first read that publishers summary I was incredibly intrigued. A boy is left on a raft at camp and then no one can find him - surely he drowned? Who was haunting Alex ... was it actually Joey or someone else?

When you meet Alex as an adult his personality is so-so. I remember not being crazy about him but also not totally hating him. He is the typical macho, businessman who is a semi-family man but also a bit of a sleaze. 

As Alex is close to nailing a business deal, he starts to get weird signs that relate to Joey Proctor, the boy who he left out on a raft all those years ago. You definitely can see how the signs/haunting would be Joey but there is also an underlying feeling that something more sinister is going on.

Throughout the novel, you want to scream at Alex for being such an idiot and not going about things the way he should've but that was really the only complaint I had ... but in reality, what is a book if you don't want to yell at the protagonist at least once? 

At first, I thought the book was going to be a typical ghost story with a twist or two but Smith takes Alex on a journey I never would've figured out. The plot twists that occur are really wild; there are a lot of deaths, cover-ups, and fake outs plus the ending is not what I expected. 

I flew through this book because it kept me on the edge of my seat and kept everything really interesting. If you need something thrilling and to keep you guessing, you will obsess over "The Drowning."


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