Paul JohnstonPaul Johnston
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Water of Death
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Water of Death

Now available as an ebook.

Author's Introduction

Water of Death was the last book I wrote when I was still doing academic research full-time. I had a lot of problems with the plot - complexity being something that I've always had a penchant for - and I don't have happy memories of the time I spent resolving them. In fact, as soon as I'd done so, I gave up research to devote all my time to fiction. Which isn't to say that I think the book sucks. On the contrary, it was as good a novel as I could write at the time and it did very well critically and in the marketplace.

If Body Politic was my (oblique) take on the serial killer novel and The Bone Yard was a homage to Conan Doyle, Water of Death is where I tip my hat to Alfred Hitchcock. His movies made a great impression on me when I was a kid - they appeared regularly on TV in the UK back then, which is amazing considering how downright perverse and vicious many of them are (I'm using perverse and vicious as compliments, you realise). Without giving the plot of the novel away, I make use of a major plot twist Hitchcock presented in a much more original and shocking way (all right, it was in Psycho, if you insist). The old master was seriously mixed up when it came to male-female relationships and that is a major theme of Water of Death.

Closer to home, as ever I wanted to reflect contemporary issues - so there is global warming, a compulsory lottery (don't worry, it'll happen) and an ironic look at alcohol and nicotine consumption. Oh, and Quint's love life is even more messed up than usual.

UK Hardback ISBN 0340717033 published June 1999
UK Paperback ISBN 0340717041 published November 1999
Foreign editions    
USA St Martin's Press 2001 
Germany Knaur 2001

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