Dark Water, Book One of the Cooper M. Reid series, by Barry Napier intrigued me from the onset. Cooper has been missing for three years, but he’s not sure where he’s been or why he’s back. Most of his friends and colleagues think he’s dead. The only things of which he is certain are that he is still in love with Stephanie, and he is supposed to solve paranormal mysteries. His motive is no longer research, but a desire and confidence he is supposed to help those beset by them.
The first “case,” although Cooper doesn’t call the situation a case, involves the death of a young boy in the ocean off California next to two large, forbidding rocks. The last thing his parents heard him yell was “Dark Water!” When they looked, he was gone. Since the death of their child, Jenny and Sam Blackstock have been beset with odd happenings: childish laughter at night, damp footsteps leading across the deck and headed toward the beach, objects in the house moving or being moved. Needless to say, they are freaked out.
As he’s researching Henry’s death, he finds similar cases-Kevin and Amy. And the next door neighbor, Mary Guthrie, has had communication with them through Scrabble tiles. Way spooky. As Cooper, sometimes aided by Stephanie, continues his research and explores the area where the kids were lost near the rocks, he wonders if there is perhaps a cave. The closer he comes to the answer, the more visions he has and the more odd things occur. Four stars.
I couldn’t put Dark Water down. Napier made Cooper come alive for me and made me believe his story. You may wonder why a Christian blogger is writing about the paranormal. I believe Satan is alive and well in this world and uses all sorts of people and devices to entice people into his world. But God through Christ will win in the end. I believe we need to know about these things so we can guard against the temptation to think we can dabble in them unharmed. And you’ll walk with Cooper as he acknowledges his belief in God and the weak faith he has starts to become stronger.
Dark Water is the first book in the series. Napier plans at least five or six books to follow Cooper Reid on his journey. You will want to walk with him too.
Barry Napier is an author, ghostwriter, stay-at-home dad, and prolific writer. His speculative fiction borders on horror but always carries a hint of redemption. Two of his other books I’d recommend are Break Every Chain and Bound. Barry and his family live in Virginia.
Barry Napier gave me a copy of Dark Water, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.