Water Under the Bridge by Britney King has a very telling, prediction like sentence early in the story: “We didn’t pretend we were something we weren’t until we did …” (p.11). This novel is all about pretending up until the time reality is forced upon the main characters. This is a story about the tumultuous relationship between Jude (or Ryan) and Lydia (or Kate or Callie ). Their relationship has gone obviously bad since we join them the beginning of the tale in a courtroom where they have just been sentenced to marriage. They wanted a divorce and the judge was willing to grant it, conditionally. They would first have to go through several weeks of marriage counseling. The judge’s final decision would be based on a doctor’s report of the results. Character reflections on the origins of their relationship and their divergent paths leading to the courtroom provide readers great story content in this psychological thriller.
Jude and Lydia have a common background that includes the acceptance of death. They have seen and caused a lot of it. Jude can pass off his killings as an occasional necessity of his job. He is a type of bounty hunter, the job is dangerous and sometimes killing is a byproduct. After accepting Lydia as his assignment, Jude wants to neither kill nor arrest her. Jude is literally in love with his work. Lydia doesn’t have such a socially accepted rationale; she just likes killing. True, it is also a quick way to financial independence but there is also the fun of it. And after a while, the fun turns into a need.
The occupation or hobby of Jude and Lydia require a lot of secrecy. Duh. But a healthy marital relationship requires trust and honesty. How can these two develop a good relationship without giving up secrets that might get each of them killed? How much can they reveal to each other and when? Some secrets might take years to come out. This is a very twisted tale and worth reading for readers with devious minds. The only characters that are fully developed are the two main characters who may appear as any of the five names they share. The reader will have to pay attention to each chapter title in order to know who the narrator is. The narrator will then say things such as “You smile as you consider …” It is easy to get lost. I read the book in one session of just over three hours. The action propels the reader along a very fast moving path.
Water Under the Bridge was/is available for free on Amazon. I think other novels in the series are a bit pricey but I will buy at least one other. As King writes in an afterword to this novel, this one is not for everyone, but I found the twisted, very devious mind of Jude admirable. I thought he was more devious than Lydia, something I definitely did not expect. I want to read more.