Dead Water Zone


170 pages
ISBN 1-55074-112-8
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Dean Reeds

Dean Reeds is a freelance journalist in St Catharines.


An urgent phone call lures Paul out of the aseptic safety of
Governor’s Hill and into the shady goings-on in Watertown. His brother
Sam has gone underground to complete his research, and now he needs
Paul. But why? The mystery slowly unwinds as Paul searches for his
ailing brother, who believes that the tainted water could save him from
the disease that is eating away at his body. In the past, the water gave
strength to those who drank it, but inevitably the addiction proved
fatal. Now Sam believes that he can purify the water to save himself,
and he’s willing to force his brother into helping him prove his

Set in the near future, the plot has its roots in today’s problems of
pollution, uncertainty, harsh economic realities, and drug abuse. It
thus presents many opportunities for further discussion about everything
from drugs and disease to economics and the environment. At the centre
of these themes is Paul’s journey to come to terms with his
relationship with his sickly brother and, ultimately, with himself. The
reader is swept along to a no-holds-barred climax that pits brother
against brother.

This first-rate novel is filled with realistic characters who struggle
and grow as the story unfolds in a world that is simultaneously
believable and extraordinary. Strongly written, the book provides just
the right mix of action, dialogue, and reflection. Highly recommended.


Oppel, Kenneth., “Dead Water Zone,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024,