“Beneath Cruel Waters is an intense, gripping, exceptionally written mystery thriller that everyone must read. Bassoff has always been one of the best, but this unputdownable novel catapults him to another level.” —Jason Starr, internationally bestselling author of The Next Time I Die
A wrenching psychological thriller in the vein of Tana French’s In the Woods, Jon Bassoff’s Beneath Cruel Waters reminds us that the sins of the mothers are the sins of the sons.
Holt Davidson, a Kansas firefighter, hasn’t been back to his hometown of Thompsonville, Colorado, for more than two decades, but when he learns that his estranged mother has taken her own life, he returns for the funeral, hoping to make peace with her memory. He spends the night at his childhood home, rummaging through each room, exploring the past. But instead of nostalgic souvenirs, he discovers a gun, a love letter, and a Polaroid photograph of a man lying in his own blood.
Who is the dead man? Was his mother the one who killed him, and, if so, why? Who sent the love letter? And what role did his sister, institutionalized since she was a teenager, play in this act of violence? As his own traumatic memories begin to resurface, Holt begins an investigation into his mother’s and sister’s pasts—as well as his own.
“The antidote to every sappy, saccharine story you’ve ever read. Jon Bassoff is the master of the bleak. No one makes desperate characters and their miserable plights so entertaining.” —Mario Acevedo, author of the Felix Gomez vampire-detective series
“A haunting, lyrical tale of family madness and the sins of the past from which we can never wash ourselves clean. Beneath Cruel Waters is a twisty, page-turning novel that asks profound questions—what are we willing to do for those we love? And what happens to our souls when love leads us to sin?” —Barbara Nickless, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Sydney Parnell crime novels
“Jon Bassoff only gets stranger, and better, with each novel. I don’t know what to do with his hypnotic, earthly, yet always surprising voice. I only know there isn’t anything else like it out there. Part mystery, part heartland crime, part horror…Let’s call it nouveau-noir Americana. If you’ve got the stomach for riding the original underbelly of modern fiction and want it high octane, Bassoff’s latest will scratch the itch like only the finest of 100-proof bottles can do.” —Christopher Ransom, internationally bestselling author of The Birthing House and The People Next Door
“Jon Bassoff proves he’s not only a master of horror but can weave a chilling noir. A slow-burning tale of generational suffering that inches its way toward heartbreaking reveals for a family in desperate need of hope and deliverance.” —Aaron Philip Clark, author of Under Color of Law
Jon Bassoff was born in 1974 in New York City and currently lives with his family in Colorado. His mountain gothic novel, Corrosion, has been translated in French and German and was nominated for the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, France’s biggest crime fiction award. He is a connoisseur of tequila, hot sauces, psychobilly music, and flea-bag motels. Beneath Cruel Waters is his ninth novel.
Chris Henry Coffey is a film and television actor known for his role in David Schwimmer’s film, Trust. He has also had roles on Broadway, including the play Bronx Bombers. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, he divides his time between New York and Los Angeles.