Sunday, January 30, 2022

Review: The Drowning Kind by Jennifer McMahon

by Jennifer McMahon
Release Date: April 6, 2021
2021 Gallery/Scout Press
Kindle Edition; 319 Pages
ISBN: 978-1982153922
Audiobook: B08DG5DQW8
Genre: Fiction / Horror / Mystery
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

When social worker Jax receives nine missed calls from her older sister, Lexie, she assumes that it’s just another one of her sister’s episodes. Manic and increasingly out of touch with reality, Lexie has pushed Jax away for over a year. But the next day, Lexie is dead: drowned in the pool at their grandmother’s estate. When Jax arrives at the house to go through her sister’s things, she learns that Lexie was researching the history of their family and the property. And as she dives deeper into the research herself, she discovers that the land holds a far darker past than she could have ever imagined.
My Thoughts
The Drowning Kind is one of those novels that I enjoyed reading, and the atmosphere was amazing, but I really didn't connect with any of the characters and thought the overall plot was weak.  To be honest, I think the swimming pool almost took on a personality of its own and I was fascinated by its descriptions and haunting stories.  

The main character in this novel, Jax, returns home for her sister Lexie's funeral and learns that her sister had been researching the history of their home and the legends that surround their family and the curse that has whispered about the springs on their property for years. I didn't really connect with any of the characters simply because of the way they were written; it was more of an info-dump with lots of explanations rather than allowing the reader to figure things out as they went.  This takes away from the suspense of the story, something that is crucial in a horror novel. Instead of making the family's compulsion to be near the springs and the pool mysterious and creepy, it just seemed silly at times because you knew too much.  

While I know the 1929 timeline is important so that we understand a bit of the history of the family, I didn't particularly enjoy it, and I didn't like Ethel.  Honestly, I think if I read, "And I am Mrs. Monroe..." one more time... I understand her desperation, but I don't understand her choices, considering her knowledge of the springs and the price you have to pay.  

While I did enjoy the overall story, I did find it repetitive and I definitely did not find it creepy or very suspenseful.  Yes, there were the occasional creepy sounds and the occasional sightings, but horror? No. Jax was a bit frustrating as well; I am not a big fan when a character absolutely refuses to even consider the paranormal when something happens, even for a couple of seconds.  Furthermore, all of her sister's research was sitting in the house, and all of the characters were questioning what was happening, yet no one goes and looks in the boxes to see what Lexie had already uncovered? I can't stand it when the obvious is right there in front of you, but is ignored as if the reader won't notice.  

And that ending? I read it twice just to make sure I understood what I read. Nope, nope, nope. I really thought the author took the easy road out.

The Drowning Kind is one of those novels that I did enjoy, but it was a also a slow burn as I wasn't a fan of the characters and the ending just didn't work with the rest of the story.  While there is no question that this author can write eerily atmospheric novels with mounting dread, something was just missing in this one. I definitely think this is one you need to check out for yourself.



  1. great review and i find it fascinating the you connected with the pool. you have made me curious. lol you don't think whatever was happening in their pool can make its way to mine?
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. I wouldn't want that happening in my pool. No thank you. LOL