Dark Water by Sara Bailey

MoMo’s Book Diary loved this psychologically intense novel and highly recommends “Dark Water” as an excellent read.                     

Sara Bailey’s debut novel, Dark Water tells an exceptional and intriguing story set in beautiful, mysterious Orkney.

I was drawn to the book as I have, myself, recently moved to Orkney and love reading fiction set in the islands. I did not know what to expect but was quickly drawn into the powerful story being told. The author describes the eerie ship-wrecks in such a way that you can visualize them – or maybe that’s just because I have seen them so many times. Beautiful as they sound I would not be willing to jump in and swim around them!

Dark Water focuses on Helena’s story, alternating between being a teenager and the adult she is today. Helena grew up in Orkney but left the island after her best friend, Anastasia was lost to the sea on a late night swim. Helena is returning now after her father is taken ill. Returning to the island is difficult for Helena, as much as she loves her dad, she has been running from the memories of her teenage years and losing her best friend, Anastasia. Helena knows as soon as she arrives she will be overwhelmed by memories of that night. The author excellently describes the conflicting feelings of the adolescent years and the insecurities we take with us into adulthood.

I would like to thank the author, Sara Bailey, and Jacqui Lofthouse of Nightingale Editions for the opportunity to read and review this book prior to its release date.


Sara Bailey’s haunting and lyrical debut: a psychologically intense portrait of adolescent yearning and obsession, set in the beautiful Orkney Islands.

When Helena returns to her childhood home in Orkney to care for her father after a heart attack, she is forced to face memories that she has spent half a lifetime running from. Still haunted by the disappearance of her best friend, the charismatic Anastasia – who vanished during a daredevil swimming incident – Helena must navigate her way through the prisms of memory and encounter not only her ghosts but also her first love, Dylan, the only one who can help her unravel the past and find her way back to the truth of what really happened that night.

AUTHOR Sara Bailey
PUBLISHER Nightingale Editions            (imprint of Blackbird Books)
ISBN Number (13 digits)
OBTAINED: Where from and when?







Sara Bailey website

Sara Bailey on Twitter

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Sara Bailey on GoodReads

Sara Bailey on Amazon

Dr Sara Bailey is a writer, consultant and lecturer who has been working with authors and screenwriters for many years, in Richmond-upon-Thames, Winchester and Southampton. She has a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from Bangor University.

Her first book was published by Bloomsbury in 2013, Writing the Horror Movie, which she co-authored whilst hiding behind a cushion. Recently she has returned to her home of Orkney, the setting of her debut novel, Dark Water.

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