Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Deadly Waters by Dot Hutchison

From the bestselling author of The Butterfly Garden comes a suspenseful new series for the #MeToo era about vigilante justice, close friends, and getting away with murder.

Florida journalism undergrad Rebecca Sorley is like any other college student. She tries to keep up with her studies, her friends, and her hot-tempered roommate, Ellie, who regularly courts trouble with the law.

When a male student’s remains are found in alligator-infested waters, the university warns students to stay away from the reptiles. But then a second body shows up, and the link is undeniable. Both men belonged to the same fraternity and had a reputation for preying on and hurting women.

Ellie has previously threatened to kill men who don’t take no for an answer. Rebecca and her friends thought Ellie was kidding. But now a vigilante killer is roaming campus—someone who knows how to dispose of rapists. Someone determined to save female students from horrible crimes.

With each passing day, those who know Ellie become more convinced she’s responsible. But if she is, stopping her might not be in everyone’s best interest…


Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~


Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Deadly Waters is mostly told from the perspective of journalism and criminology student Rebecca, but we also get snippets of our killer as he/she commits their crimes. From the very first chapter, where the killer cleverly kills a victim by having him eaten by an alligator, I knew there was no way I wasn't finishing this book.

Fiona and her roommates have dealt with some horrible sexual assaults in their lives, and the behavior of some of the male students and the things they get away with at this college campus are disgusting. When they go out, these young women like to look out for other women who are being harassed by men and help them. Her friend Ellie, in particular, is not afraid to use violence on unsuspecting douche bags in bars and does so regularly.

The impact of male violence on the female college students is front and centre in this story and it is hard to conjure up much sympathy for the males that are being taken out. I found the misogyny on the campus and the lengths the female students go through to mitigate the threat posed by the men around them to be confronting and it made me angry.

I found the pacing of this story to be slow but there was no way I was putting the book down. I had to know who did it and honestly, watching these men get their comeuppance was pretty satisfying. I'm a sucker for a good mystery and Deadly Waters was a great read. A solid 4 stars.

3.5 stars of murder mystery

This is definitely a book with a message. The female students of this college have been treated appallingly by a significant and utterly unchecked predatory male population. Someone has decided that enough is enough and is starting to fight back... with a little help from the resident alligators.

The immersion into college life, and the group of women who are central to the story, is instant and takes a little bit of unravelling. Once that has been accomplished, we have chapters told mainly by Rebecca, interspersed with ones from the perpetrator. We get clues, as well as predictions and suppositions as to who the murderer is, and every time someone is out on a bike, one has to wonder...

I thought that the buildup was clever, and the outpouring of sentiment and honesty about the level of damage done was highly disturbing. I really hope that life is not truly that awful in all colleges, because if so, why would any woman go, let alone any parent let them. And the authorities are surely not all run by misogynistic men who would allow it to continue... I did have to allow my imagination to accept that which I found to be implausible (having worked in the sector for years).

Overall, a very readable book, with an amusing twist at the end.


Dot Hutchison is the author of A Wounded Name, a young adult novel based on Shakespeare's Hamlet, and the adult thriller The Butterfly Garden. With past experience working at a Boy Scout camp, a craft store, a bookstore, and the Renaissance Faire (as a human combat chess piece), Hutchison prides herself on remaining delightfully in tune with her inner young adult. She loves thunderstorms, mythology, history, and movies that can and should be watched on repeat.

Connect with Dot

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Thomas & Mercer


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Deadly Waters by Dot Hutchison to read and review.

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