This thriller by articulate writer, Joan Brady, presents characters who swiftly move the story along. It involves water and the control of it and power derived from it. Her protagonist, David Marion, is a complex mixture of hero and anti-hero. He is his own man. He is an unrepentant murderer, a thing we learn in the first few pages of the novel with the death of Alyosia Gonzaga. He is a man without a community who marries into one of the most elite families of Springfield, Illinois. He constantly rubs that elite the wrong way. By taking Helen Freyl to wife he continues to alienate the powerful of this town. Brady writes, "They saw hatred in his eyes. They saw contempt. They sensed something feral, predatory, held back by only the thinnest of threads."
Along with a host of other interesting characters comes a plot that is intriguing, most timely, and full of twists. The privatization of water, a resource that has historically been one of the most basic parts of the commons, uncovers the dark side of the human soul. Callousness and skullduggery abound. There are deaths aplenty, too. The plot twists and turns as power shifts between people and entities. It's a fascinating read that swiftly propels the reader along to its satisfying conclusion. There are fun and interesting jaunts along the way. A very good read all around.