Review: The Drowning Girls by Paula Treick DeBoard

Goodreads/Amazon/Author Website
Release date: April 26, 2016

Publisher: MIRA

Genre: Psychological Thriller/Mystery 

Goodreads blurb:

Critically acclaimed author of The Mourning Hours and The Fragile World, Paula Treick DeBoard returns with a tale of dark secrets, shocking lies and a dangerous obsession that will change one neighborhood forever.

Liz McGinnis never imagined herself living in a luxurious gated community like The Palms. Ever since she and her family moved in, she’s felt like an outsider amongst the Stepford-like wives and their obnoxiously spoiled children. Still, she’s determined to make it work—if not for herself, then for her husband, Phil, who landed them this lavish home in the first place, and for her daughter, Danielle, who’s about to enter high school. 

Yet underneath the glossy veneer of The Palms, life is far from idyllic. In a place where reputation is everything, Liz soon discovers that even the friendliest residents can’t be trusted—and almost everyone has secrets they’d do anything to protect. So when the gorgeous girl next door befriends Danielle, Liz can’t help but find sophisticated Kelsey’s interest in her shy and slightly nerdy daughter a bit suspicious. 

But while Kelsey quickly becomes a fixture in the McGinnis home, Liz’s relationships with both Danielle and Phil grow strained. Now even her own family seems to be hiding things, and it’s not long before their dream of living the high life quickly spirals out of control… 


Have you ever just been instantly drawn to a book and known that you were going to love it? The moment I laid eyes on this stunning cover and read the blurb I just knew that this book would be something that I would like. 

The Drowning Girls opens with Liz waking up to the sounds of screaming. Something terrible has happened to their teenage neighbor, Kelsey. But what events led to this point? Quickly the story flashes back to a year prior, always something I enjoy. It’s told primarily from Liz’s point of view, but there are brief yet important chapters from her husband, Phil. It always intrigues me when an author shows two very different perspectives about the same series of events. 

I don’t want to say too much about this one as it’s a captivating tale of obsession and domestic suspense. Treick DeBoard is an absolutely beautiful writer, she draws the reader in little by little with every turn of the page, dragging and pulling you in deeper and deeper, much like the characters are being pulled into a dark and dangerous web of deceit and betrayal.

 I was found myself so frustrated, yet fascinated with Liz, Phil and Danielle’s lack of communication with each other. Though so many terrible things could have been avoided  had the family actually talked to each other, it was very easy to understand what led each of them to keep their secrets, they definitely had their reasons. 

This book is mesmerizing, thrilling, and utterly gripping. Characters are completely understandable and easy to identify with, but again I fear discussing their growth would divulge too much. This is my first time reading anything by Treick DeBoard but it most definitely will not be my last. 

Overall rating: 5/5

A huge thank you to the author and MIRA for my copy in exchange for an honest review.

7 thoughts on “Review: The Drowning Girls by Paula Treick DeBoard

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