Something in the Water is one of the best novels I’ve read in years

Something in the Water turned out to be Nazi U-boats, and the effort by these remote Maine islanders to protect themselves and others resulted in one of the best novels I’ve read in years.

Author Peter Scott gives us both history and suspense, with very realistic characters, lots of emotion, and enemies both near and far. I loved the main character, Amos Coombs, who reminded me of some old lobstermen that I have known in my lifetime.

Down East Books did us a real favor in publishing Something in the Water. I am also grateful to my local librarian, Mary Ann Libby, for recommending the book to me.

Scott definitely has a talent for storytelling, but this novel is much more than that. It’s real, very real. You will feel the ocean wind, taste the saltwater (and Demerara rum), understand the strong emotions circulating through the islanders , see the ghosts, and know the fear.

Set in the midst of World War II, when the Maine coast was assaulted by Nazi war boats and many ships were sunk and people killed off our coast, Scott immediately pulls us into that horror. But it’s the islanders who fascinate me, a small isolated community where both lifelong friendships and strong disagreements abound.

Another main character, Maggie, will tear your heart out.

This is a book I will read more than once, because I raced through it the first time, unable to stop reading. And I’ll bet you will too.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.