Blood and Water
Goodreads ratings
4.1 / 5

"Blood and Water" Summary

By Beth Daley

Dora lives by the sea. Dora has always lived by the sea. But she won’t go into the water. The last time Dora swam in the sea was the day of her mother’s funeral, the day she saw the mermaid. Now she’s an adult, a respectable married woman, and her little sister Lucie has come home from university with a horrible secret. Dora’s safe and dry life begins to fray, as she is torn between protecting her baby sister and facing up to a truth she has always known but never admitted. And the sea keeps calling her, reminding her of what she saw beneath the waves all those years ago… of what will be waiting for her if she dives in again.


Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A gripping tale of secrets and betrayal that unfolds against the backdrop of a small coastal town.


In "Blood and Water" by Beth Daley, readers are transported to the small coastal town of Port Stirling, where the lives of two families are forever entwined by a dark secret. This gripping novel explores themes of family, loyalty, and the lengths we will go to protect those we love. With its atmospheric setting and complex characters, "Blood and Water" is a thrilling tale of suspense and redemption.

Brief Synopsis

"Blood and Water" is set in the fictional town of Port Stirling, a close-knit community nestled along the rugged coastline. The story revolves around two families: the Hamiltons and the Martins. The Hamiltons are a wealthy and influential family who own a successful fishing company, while the Martins are hardworking fishermen struggling to make ends meet.

The plot kicks into motion when a mysterious body is discovered on the shores of Port Stirling. As the town is rocked by this shocking event, long-buried secrets begin to surface, threatening to tear apart the fabric of the community. The lives of the Hamiltons and the Martins become deeply intertwined as they grapple with the consequences of their choices.

Main Events

Chapter 1Introduces the Hamilton and Martin families.
Chapter 2The body of an unidentified woman is found on the beach.
Chapter 3Detective Sarah Lawson is assigned to the case.
Chapter 4The Hamiltons and the Martins are questioned by the police.
Chapter 5A flashback reveals a secret affair between two members of the families.
Chapter 6Tensions rise as suspicion falls on the Hamiltons.
Chapter 7The Martins discover evidence that could incriminate the Hamiltons.
Chapter 8A storm hits Port Stirling, further complicating matters.
Chapter 9The truth about the woman's identity is revealed.
Chapter 10The Hamiltons and the Martins must confront the consequences of their actions.

Main Characters

  1. Sarah Lawson: A dedicated detective assigned to the case of the unidentified woman. She is determined to uncover the truth, even if it means facing difficult choices.
  2. Emily Hamilton: The matriarch of the Hamilton family. She is a powerful and influential figure in Port Stirling, but her past holds dark secrets that could unravel everything she has built.
  3. Jack Martin: A hardworking fisherman struggling to support his family. He becomes entangled in the mystery surrounding the unidentified woman and must grapple with the consequences of his actions.
  4. Lila Hamilton: The youngest daughter of the Hamilton family. She is torn between loyalty to her family and her growing feelings for Jack Martin, which further complicates the already tangled web of secrets.

Themes and Insights

Family and Loyalty

"Blood and Water" delves into the complicated dynamics of family and the lengths individuals will go to protect their loved ones. The Hamiltons and the Martins are bound by blood and history, and their choices are driven by a deep sense of loyalty. However, this loyalty is tested as the truth threatens to unravel their tightly woven fabric of secrets.

Secrets and Consequences

The novel explores the consequences of keeping secrets and the ripple effect they can have on individuals and communities. As the truth about the unidentified woman and the affair between two members of the families is revealed, the characters must face the fallout of their actions. "Blood and Water" serves as a reminder that the past always has a way of catching up with us.

Redemption and Forgiveness

Amidst the darkness and turmoil, "Blood and Water" also offers a glimmer of hope through its exploration of redemption and forgiveness. The characters are forced to confront their own flaws and mistakes, and they must decide whether they are capable of change and growth. The novel suggests that even in the face of tragedy, there is always the possibility for redemption and a chance at a better future.

Reader's Takeaway

"Blood and Water" is a captivating and atmospheric novel that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Through its well-developed characters and intricate plot, Beth Daley explores complex themes of family, loyalty, and the consequences of our actions. This book serves as a reminder that the truth can be both liberating and destructive, and that sometimes, in order to find redemption, we must first confront our darkest secrets.


"Blood and Water" is a compelling and thought-provoking novel that will leave readers reflecting on the power of family, the weight of secrets, and the possibility of redemption. Beth Daley's masterful storytelling and vivid descriptions transport readers to the coastal town of Port Stirling, where the lives of the Hamiltons and the Martins are forever changed. With its gripping plot and well-drawn characters, "Blood and Water" is a must-read for fans of suspenseful and emotionally resonant fiction.

Blood and Water FAQ

  1. What is 'Blood and Water' about?

    'Blood and Water' is a gripping thriller novel about a small coastal town haunted by a series of mysterious disappearances and a dark secret that threatens to tear the community apart.

  2. Who is the author of 'Blood and Water'?

    The author of 'Blood and Water' is Beth Daley.

  3. Is 'Blood and Water' part of a series?

    No, 'Blood and Water' is a standalone novel.

  4. What genre does 'Blood and Water' belong to?

    'Blood and Water' belongs to the thriller genre.

  5. Is 'Blood and Water' suitable for young readers?

    Due to the intense and suspenseful nature of the book, 'Blood and Water' is recommended for adult readers.

  6. Where can I purchase 'Blood and Water'?

    You can purchase 'Blood and Water' from major book retailers, both online and in physical stores.

  7. Can I read 'Blood and Water' on an e-reader or tablet?

    Yes, 'Blood and Water' is available in e-book format and can be read on various e-reader devices or tablets.

  8. What are some similar books to 'Blood and Water'?

    If you enjoyed 'Blood and Water', you might also like 'Gone Girl' by Gillian Flynn, 'The Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins, and 'The Silent Patient' by Alex Michaelides.

  9. Are there any content warnings for 'Blood and Water'?

    Yes, 'Blood and Water' contains scenes of violence and suspense, which some readers may find disturbing. Reader discretion is advised.

  10. How long is 'Blood and Water'?

    'Blood and Water' is approximately 350 pages long.