“a dark and twisty tale of female friendship that commands your attention from start to finish. An unforgettable plot, a stunning cast of characters, and vivid portrayal of the Scottish countryside. Elle Connel is a novelist at the top of her game.”

Claire L. Heuchan

Seven friends gather at a castle in the Scottish Borders for one last weekend before Georgina’s wedding. Near the castle, through a path in the woods, is a loch. After a few drinks, they head down to the water to take photos. The loch is wild, lonely, and stunningly beautiful, so they set their camera to self-timer and take some group shots.

Later, looking back at the pictures, they see something impossible. They see that behind them a small, drenched boy had emerged from the water.

But none of them saw him, and nobody knows where he went. They’re miles from the nearest town. How did he get there? Where did he go? As the weekend unravels and terrible secrets come to light, it soon becomes clear that their perfect weekend is turning into a perfect nightmare. They’re desperate to leave – but someone won’t let them.

“Tense, mesmerising and heartbreaking, I was truly gripped.”

Susi Holliday

“Down By The Water takes the reader on a weekend trip from hell… I loved the classy writing and ever-growing sense of unease in this clever subversion of a classic country house mystery – I’m certainly never going on a hen party again.”

Harriet Tyce

“Sinister and atmospheric, peeling back the superficial veneers of friendship to reveal the darker truths that lurk beneath.”

Christopher Brookmyre

“What starts as a cheerful romp turns into a chilling drama about betrayal and revenge.”

Sunday Times Crime Novels of the Month

“A psychological thriller with both depth and drive, Down By The Water is a thrilling mystery debut.”

Naben Ruthnum

“Elle Connel picks away the veneer of old friendships in this sinister and compelling tale of sorrow, secrets, and betrayal.”

E. S. Thomson