Dead Water Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Dead Water

Bantam, Aug 2004,
ISBN: 0553109642

In 1836 Bank of Louisiana President Hubert Granville wearily and depressingly informs his friend free man of color Benjamin January that his four thousand dollars is gone and the bankrupt firm can only make good with three hundred dollars. Hubert believes that bank manager Oliver Weems stole the specie and note reserves.
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Ben learns that the crooked Oliver is leaving town on the steamboat Silver Moon. He and Rose also go on the steamboat hoping to catch Oliver with the loot. Ben acts as a valet to a white friend while Rose goes below, as required, to stay with the other free female Negroes and slaves. However, finding the stash proves difficult when someone tosses Weems into the Mississippi while the Underground Railroad works a watery route. As Ben gets involved with freeing slaves, battling with a so-called abolitionist, and a few other major sidebars, he has little time to concentrate on learning who killed weasel Weems and what happened to the money.

Harriet Klausner
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Dead Water

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   60% Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   minority/women/gay rights Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   private investigator Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   Black


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Deep South

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Barbara Hambly Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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