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In 1978, two tortured corpses were discovered in the sea off Guatemala. Hooded, bound with ropes and weighted down with heavy engine parts, Chris Farmer and his girlfriend Peta Frampton were still clinging to life when they were thrown from a yacht on which they had been crewing. This is the gripping account of how Chris's family painstakingly gathered evidence against the In 1978, two tortured corpses were discovered in the sea off Guatemala. Hooded, bound with ropes and weighted down with heavy engine parts, Chris Farmer and his girlfriend Peta Frampton were still clinging to life when they were thrown from a yacht on which they had been crewing. This is the gripping account of how Chris's family painstakingly gathered evidence against the boat’s Californian skipper, Silas Duane Boston, working alongside the FBI, Interpol, and police in the UK and the USA. Almost four decades later in 2015, there was a major breakthrough in the case when, using Facebook, Chris’s sister Penny tracked Boston down. Following the testimony of his two sons who, as young boys, had witnessed the horrific murder of Chris and Peta at the hands of their father, Boston was finally arrested and charged with two counts of maritime murder. Chillingly, Boston was later linked to several other killings on US soil―at one point he was even the FBI’s prime suspect in the notorious Golden State Killer case, until DNA ruled him out. The list of crimes for which he was suspected put him in the league of America’s most prolific and elusive serial killers. Not just a story of murder on the high seas, Dead in the Water is a tale that offers insights into the minds of the killer and his two sons. And it reveals a family’s fortitude and diligence in tracking down a monster of a man, a task which ultimately fell to the author to complete. It exemplifies that life can be senselessly snuffed out but love never dies.


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In 1978, two tortured corpses were discovered in the sea off Guatemala. Hooded, bound with ropes and weighted down with heavy engine parts, Chris Farmer and his girlfriend Peta Frampton were still clinging to life when they were thrown from a yacht on which they had been crewing. This is the gripping account of how Chris's family painstakingly gathered evidence against the In 1978, two tortured corpses were discovered in the sea off Guatemala. Hooded, bound with ropes and weighted down with heavy engine parts, Chris Farmer and his girlfriend Peta Frampton were still clinging to life when they were thrown from a yacht on which they had been crewing. This is the gripping account of how Chris's family painstakingly gathered evidence against the boat’s Californian skipper, Silas Duane Boston, working alongside the FBI, Interpol, and police in the UK and the USA. Almost four decades later in 2015, there was a major breakthrough in the case when, using Facebook, Chris’s sister Penny tracked Boston down. Following the testimony of his two sons who, as young boys, had witnessed the horrific murder of Chris and Peta at the hands of their father, Boston was finally arrested and charged with two counts of maritime murder. Chillingly, Boston was later linked to several other killings on US soil―at one point he was even the FBI’s prime suspect in the notorious Golden State Killer case, until DNA ruled him out. The list of crimes for which he was suspected put him in the league of America’s most prolific and elusive serial killers. Not just a story of murder on the high seas, Dead in the Water is a tale that offers insights into the minds of the killer and his two sons. And it reveals a family’s fortitude and diligence in tracking down a monster of a man, a task which ultimately fell to the author to complete. It exemplifies that life can be senselessly snuffed out but love never dies.

30 review for Dead In The Water

  1. 4 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    Dead in the Water: My Forty-Year Search for My Brother's Killer This is the new edition which has been updated for the US release. I read the original UK edition in August 2018 and you can find my original review for the first book below-  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... I recommend this for real true crime readers as it is well written and researched since the author is an experienced journalist. Meet Penny and learn of her family's decades-long heartbreak and grief behind this incredib Dead in the Water: My Forty-Year Search for My Brother's Killer This is the new edition which has been updated for the US release. I read the original UK edition in August 2018 and you can find my original review for the first book below-  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... I recommend this for real true crime readers as it is well written and researched since the author is an experienced journalist. Meet Penny and learn of her family's decades-long heartbreak and grief behind this incredible tale. Besides this being such a riveting story to follow, although gritty at points, there are still some things happening in regards to the story and you will find them added in this new edition. I don’t give many books 5 stars, so that’s saying something I hope. Thanks to NetGalley and especially to Penny Farmer along with the publisher for the eARC copy. Also on my BookZone blog: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog20...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. his was an incredible read that I just couldn’t stop until I finished. Author Penny Farmer and her family had such a wrenching loss when her 25-year-old new doctor brother Chris, and his lawyer girlfriend, 24-year-old Peta Frampton, from Manchester UK were tortured and killed in 1978. They loved to travel and had chosen to take a year off from studies and see the world. While on their trip they were good about calling and Peta wrote very long letters that she mailed when she got the chance. When his was an incredible read that I just couldn’t stop until I finished. Author Penny Farmer and her family had such a wrenching loss when her 25-year-old new doctor brother Chris, and his lawyer girlfriend, 24-year-old Peta Frampton, from Manchester UK were tortured and killed in 1978. They loved to travel and had chosen to take a year off from studies and see the world. While on their trip they were good about calling and Peta wrote very long letters that she mailed when she got the chance. When a long period went by without word from either one of them, their families knew something was very wrong. The parents reported the couple missing in Belize after getting Peta’s last letter saying that’s where they’d been and waited for any kind of word from authorities. Not knowing was the hardest thing, and everyone was on edge waiting to find something out about what happened to them. But back then it was so difficult to get information from other countries, especially when they’d been traveling on someone’s private boat. Penny’s parents did all they could though, making calls to anyone they thought could get somewhere. Her father found out that two European bodies were found floating in the sea near Guatemala, tied to heavy metal parts and were recovered in roughly the area that the missing pair had been reported missing. They were eventually identified by dental records as Chris and Peta and the wondering turned to devastation and shock. This book is about the nearly 40 years it took for the families to get any kind of justice on the murders, as the person responsible seemed to have an uncanny kind of luck when it came to getting away with his crimes. Its an astonishing story with so many twists and turns that I was up all night reading it. Extremely moving, and for me, heartfelt, as I felt such a bond and connection having lost a brother too at a similar age, my only sibling…under awful circumstances in his late 20’s. I was in tears for the family by the third chapter, and cried for them all the way through. I know the pain and it’s enduring power. I’m so impressed by their strength and all they did to bring about the resolution they did get. This is an amazing book, hard to read at times though how sadistic this killer was.. I lost my place and I grimaced at having to go back through the bad parts again to find where I’d left off. Reading it once was bad enough! Then I imagined how the families felt learning how their loved ones endured that and having nightmares about it afterward and my heart goes out to them. The least I can do is read about it. My thanks for the advance electronic copy that was provided by author Penny Farmer, and the publisher for my fair review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lou

    Well, they do say that the truth is stranger than fiction; this book tends to verify that as we journey with one family through a rollercoaster of emotions and their journey to find out the truth once and for all. Penny Farmer's brother Chris was left for dead alongside girlfriend Peta in 1978 off the coast of Guatemala. This book examines the impact of the tragedy on his family and the manhunt for a psychopathic killer who took a sick pleasure from torturing his victims before discarding them l Well, they do say that the truth is stranger than fiction; this book tends to verify that as we journey with one family through a rollercoaster of emotions and their journey to find out the truth once and for all. Penny Farmer's brother Chris was left for dead alongside girlfriend Peta in 1978 off the coast of Guatemala. This book examines the impact of the tragedy on his family and the manhunt for a psychopathic killer who took a sick pleasure from torturing his victims before discarding them like trash. Penny tells the story with heart, hope and sometimes hopelessness. However, there was quite a lot of repetition throughout, which meant my overall enjoyment waned in places and I found the pace was a little hit and miss. There is no doubt that what his family have been through is a brutal, harrowing and heartbreakingly awful time being privy to the police incompetence and subsequent closing of the case without a conviction as although they had a suspect they simply couldn't prove his guilt due to a lack of evidence. I am so glad they now have closure, however, that is the only silver lining to arise from such a hellish scenario. This is a great read for those interested in true crime. Many thanks to Diversion Books for an ARC.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    When Chris Farmer and his girlfriend Peta Frampton went missing in the late 70's, their families were desperate to know where they were. Chris and Peta kept in them informed as to their activities and experiences through letters and cassette tapes but when they suddenly stopped, unease grew. In 1978, 2 tortured corpses were discovered in the sea off Guatemala, hooded, bound with ropes and weighed down with engine parts, were these the bodies of the missing couple? What follows is the, almost, 4 DE When Chris Farmer and his girlfriend Peta Frampton went missing in the late 70's, their families were desperate to know where they were. Chris and Peta kept in them informed as to their activities and experiences through letters and cassette tapes but when they suddenly stopped, unease grew. In 1978, 2 tortured corpses were discovered in the sea off Guatemala, hooded, bound with ropes and weighed down with engine parts, were these the bodies of the missing couple? What follows is the, almost, 4 DECADE search for the truth. Penny Farmer continued the dogged investigation, started by her parents and from where her father left off when he passed away, to uncover the truth of what happened to them. Chris and Peta's last known location was on a boat, owned and captained by Silas Duane Boston, an American who, along with his 2 young sons, sailed around Central America, picking up passengers and following the whim of Silas, a horrible, violent and odious man who believed he was above others and his actions had no consequence. This is a fascinating and immersive story, the passion and resilience of Penny, her family and the family of Peta, not to mention the detectives involved is breathtaking. The hurdles they had to jump and the wait for answers is heatbreaking at times but they stayed their course and hoped for justice. I love true crime books, we hear a lot about the perpetrators of these crimes but hear less from survivors and families of the victims so when I see a book like this I have to pick it up to see the love, passion and, hopefully, justice being served. This harrowing story is a must read for true crime fans as it shows the obstacles they had to overcome when trying to find answers and, ultimately, the truth. *Huge thanks to Penny Farmer, Diversion Books and NetGalley for this copy which I chose to read and all opinions are my own*

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Berry

    This is a true crime book, told from the perspective of the sister of one of the victims. After being let down by the authorities, Penny Farmer spends decades hunting down the person (or persons) who murdered her brother and his girlfriend. With a plot like that, and with such a gorgeous book cover and title font, this book promised to please my true crime sweet spot. I have to be honest in this review, as much as it pains me given the sensitive nature of this story. In a nutshell, the writing d This is a true crime book, told from the perspective of the sister of one of the victims. After being let down by the authorities, Penny Farmer spends decades hunting down the person (or persons) who murdered her brother and his girlfriend. With a plot like that, and with such a gorgeous book cover and title font, this book promised to please my true crime sweet spot. I have to be honest in this review, as much as it pains me given the sensitive nature of this story. In a nutshell, the writing did not do this story justice. Maybe, similar to "a lawyer representing himself has a fool for a client", an author shouldn't write something so personal without some serious, unbiased editing. I'll start with the positives, because there really were great aspects of this book. I like how the author pays respect to both her late brother and his longtime girlfriend. It's probably easy and natural to just focus on the blood relative who's been murdered, but Penny Farmer made sure to tell both victims' stories. And although the subject matter is depressing, it's neat that the author was able to use the girlfriend's detailed letters to her family to put together a timeline with the authorities. It would have been even better if those letters could have been scanned in and copied right into the book, but they weren't. Also, I love how this case was just waiting for modern technology to come around and solve it, although the length of time for which this case was cold is heartbreaking. Here's what I really didn't like. I feel that sometimes the author jumps around a bit too much, and some of her paragraphs have sentences that don't exactly blend well, but overall, I think some more detailed chapter titles and sub-headings would have done this book a service. Instead, the author used nautical-themed headings in an attempt to be abstract or poetic, which doesn't work for such a factual, detail-oriented book like this. The use of explanation marks was ridiculous. She also introduces facts way before she actually describes them, which is confusing. And when she meets certain people that she's been waiting decades to meet, she doesn't describe it for the reader in a way that makes it interesting. So throughout the whole book I'm wondering if she will ever meet certain people in real life or through video chat, she finally does, and she barely describes how it felt. What a wasted opportunity to allow the reader connect to this story on another emotional level. Basically, the author the fails at finding a balance between suspenseful build up and factual retelling. I found this nonfiction book to be more interesting, but less suspenseful, than I'd predicted. I give it 3 stars because I didn't remain riveted or desperate to finish this book, but I did enjoy and respect it. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for this honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Clarke

    A fascinating, gripping and often moving account of a brutal double murder and the impact of that crime on the families of both the victims and the perpetrator. In 1978, Chris Farmer and his girlfriend Peta Frampton, were murdered whilst travelling in Central America. Although there was a clear suspect in the case, Silas Duane Boston, the American captain of a boat they were travelling on, the crime went unsolved for almost four decades. The book is written by Penny Farmer, sister of Chris, who A fascinating, gripping and often moving account of a brutal double murder and the impact of that crime on the families of both the victims and the perpetrator. In 1978, Chris Farmer and his girlfriend Peta Frampton, were murdered whilst travelling in Central America. Although there was a clear suspect in the case, Silas Duane Boston, the American captain of a boat they were travelling on, the crime went unsolved for almost four decades. The book is written by Penny Farmer, sister of Chris, who tracked Boston down via Facebook in 2015 and, through her determination to see justice done, got the case reopened. ‘Dead in the Water’ is a really compelling read, and the challenges of the investigation of a 38 year old crime by police forces from more than one country are skilfully described. What really comes across is the vast cultural differences that exist between 1978 and the present day. At the time Chris and Peta’s families relies in intermittent letters for updates on the couple’s travels and the agony of waiting for more information when it becomes clear that something is wrong is palpable. Also fascinating is the role that Boston’s sons play in the story, the stark contrast between the two main family units in the book is subtly brought across, but very impactful. Boston was a suspect in the Golden State Killer crimes that were the subject of Michelle McNamara’s book ‘I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’ and ‘Dead in the Water’ serves as an interesting companion piece to that book. Farmer’s prose isn’t always as immediate as McNamara’s, but ‘Dead in the Water’ is a better structured and paced book, with a passion and emotion that hook the reader again and again. It’s a brave and very personal account, and all the better for that. Farmer doesn’t spare any detail in her description of the crime, or the terrible impact that it had on her family. Her tenacity and drive are quite inspirational, and the love she and her family felt for Chris is clear on every page. I couldn’t put it down and am very glad to have read it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    richard

    How many more criminals are alive who should be locked up but are not due to police incompetence? Hard to put down and i was moved to tears on many occasions. There is undoubted risk in traveling the World but we should be able to trust the police to at lease follow leads and information. Sadly my recent experience of ask8ng the police for help is that,like water, they take the path of least resistance to make their lives easy. How many more criminals are alive who should be locked up but are no How many more criminals are alive who should be locked up but are not due to police incompetence? Hard to put down and i was moved to tears on many occasions. There is undoubted risk in traveling the World but we should be able to trust the police to at lease follow leads and information. Sadly my recent experience of ask8ng the police for help is that,like water, they take the path of least resistance to make their lives easy. How many more criminals are alive who should be locked up but are not due to police incompetence? Hard to put down and i was moved to tears on many occasions. There is undoubted risk in traveling the World but we should be able to trust the police to at least follow leads and information. Sadly my recent experience of asking the police for help is that,like water, they take the path of least resistance to make their lives easy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Gregory

    A story to be told Saw Penny's interview on This morning wanted to know the full details so downloaded the book read in one sitting. Heartbreaking and thoughtful that some people are fated to pack such a lot into their short lives they're passion for travel and experiences was consuming in a time where trust was openly given ......to the wrong person .This is a tale of Facebook being used for the good. Interesting read A story to be told Saw Penny's interview on This morning wanted to know the full details so downloaded the book read in one sitting. Heartbreaking and thoughtful that some people are fated to pack such a lot into their short lives they're passion for travel and experiences was consuming in a time where trust was openly given ......to the wrong person .This is a tale of Facebook being used for the good. Interesting read

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    title: Dead In The Water Author : Penny Farmer Genre: Nonfiction- true crime Netgalley ARC pages 288 Book synopsis In July 1978, two bodies were discovered in the sea off Guatemala. They were found to be the remains of Chris Farmer and his girlfriend Peta Frampton, two young British graduates. Having been beaten and tortured, then thrown, still alive, into the sea, their bodies had been weighted down and dumped from the yacht on which they had been crewing. For nearly forty years, no one was charged title: Dead In The Water Author : Penny Farmer Genre: Nonfiction- true crime Netgalley ARC pages 288 Book synopsis In July 1978, two bodies were discovered in the sea off Guatemala. They were found to be the remains of Chris Farmer and his girlfriend Peta Frampton, two young British graduates. Having been beaten and tortured, then thrown, still alive, into the sea, their bodies had been weighted down and dumped from the yacht on which they had been crewing. For nearly forty years, no one was charged with these brutal murders. This is the shocking and compelling story of how Chris's sister, Penny, and her family tracked down his and Peta's killer. For decades they painstakingly gathered evidence against Silas Boston, the yacht's American owner, working alongside police in the UK and the USA, as well as the FBI, until he was finally arrested and charged with two counts of murder in 2016. Astonishingly, Penny was able to track down Boston's son, whose bravery in testifying against his own father was the key to bringing down Chris and Peta's killer after so many years. Dead In The Water is the story of a murder almost unimaginable in its cruelty and one ordinary woman's unwavering determination to find justice for her brother. My thoughts rating: 5 would I recommend it: yes Why : because its a story that needs to be read Feeling mixed emotions right now, sad that it took almost 40 years for this case to be closed and for the families to find out what happened and get the justice for their last ones, but also angry that instead of getting the justice the families deserved the killer took the easy way out and dead of natural causes even if he was in custody, its a story that must be told and read , with that said I want to thank Netgalley for letting me read and review it in exchange for my honest opinion.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these “it might have been” This is a story of one family and their unwillingness to give up finding answers as to why and who killed their son and his girlfriend while they were traveling abroad. What I cannot fathom about this chilling story is how many people knew and did nothing! And when sons of the killer went to the police on numerous occasions as witnesses to the crime no one listened. Only when 37/38 years later when also trying to find For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these “it might have been” This is a story of one family and their unwillingness to give up finding answers as to why and who killed their son and his girlfriend while they were traveling abroad. What I cannot fathom about this chilling story is how many people knew and did nothing! And when sons of the killer went to the police on numerous occasions as witnesses to the crime no one listened. Only when 37/38 years later when also trying to find the golden state killer did this man be put at the top of their list. I am glad these families (both the sons of the killer; also victims and the families of the deceased)have had closure finally!! It was definitely due time. .

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sue Wallace

    dead in the water by Penny Farmer. this was a great read it was very moving in places and I was close to tears in places too. very hard to put down. 5*.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kathrene Snyder

    I did not like this book and would not have finished it at all if I weren't reading it for book club. The only thing it has going for it in my opinion is it's a quick read. She spends the first 17 pages of the book talking about what a saint her brother was, what a saint her father was, what a saint her mother was the only member of her family she doesn't seem to try to canonize is herself. What happened to her family is a tragedy. She didn't have to convince me they didn't deserve it. After rea I did not like this book and would not have finished it at all if I weren't reading it for book club. The only thing it has going for it in my opinion is it's a quick read. She spends the first 17 pages of the book talking about what a saint her brother was, what a saint her father was, what a saint her mother was the only member of her family she doesn't seem to try to canonize is herself. What happened to her family is a tragedy. She didn't have to convince me they didn't deserve it. After reading what happened, no one deserves that. I just hated the writing style. My favorite portions were the parts taken from interviews because she didn't write them. Her prose is overly verbose and it feels like she repeats herself a lot. Why all the explanation points? For a story like this I feel like the author needs a little bit of distance because you are writing for an audience not yourself, but this whole book felt like Penny writing for Penny. She has no distance and no one would expect her to, but that makes it a very difficult disjointed read. I'm sorry for your loss Penny. And I'm sorry I didn't like your book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Irene Young

    An absorbing story I had never before heard the story of Dr Chris Farmer and Peta Frampton but what a story it was.How cruel it was that these young people with such potential were murdered in this most awful manner. A book I could not put down.Penny Farmer did a great job in bringing this case to a conclusion but what had luck the murderer died before justice was really done.Dr Chris Farmers mother is a remarkable women and I am so glad she lived a long life so she would know the true story of th An absorbing story I had never before heard the story of Dr Chris Farmer and Peta Frampton but what a story it was.How cruel it was that these young people with such potential were murdered in this most awful manner. A book I could not put down.Penny Farmer did a great job in bringing this case to a conclusion but what had luck the murderer died before justice was really done.Dr Chris Farmers mother is a remarkable women and I am so glad she lived a long life so she would know the true story of the young people's death. Altogether a great read and a lesson on how careful young people must be on exploring the world.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Roberts

    I read this book in one weekend. As a True Crime book, it is not my usual genre but this book is really well put together; a memorial for two young, intelligent people murdered on a boat whilst travelling the world. I would recommend it. The tasteful story-telling takes the reader through the trials and tribulations of the families during and after (38 years after) the horrendous fate of Chris and Peta. It provides an understanding of the events leading up to the murders and an insight to the mi I read this book in one weekend. As a True Crime book, it is not my usual genre but this book is really well put together; a memorial for two young, intelligent people murdered on a boat whilst travelling the world. I would recommend it. The tasteful story-telling takes the reader through the trials and tribulations of the families during and after (38 years after) the horrendous fate of Chris and Peta. It provides an understanding of the events leading up to the murders and an insight to the mind of a monster.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Geeta Ramani

    This is truly one of the best books I have read in the true crime genre. Dead in the water, is Penny Farmer's search for her brother's killer. The lives of such killer psychopaths about whom I used to read in true crime books, not only filled me with sadness but also made me think if ever there was any hope for redemption. Along with Penny, I too found the answer to my question and in that sense, found a closure., The hero in the book is Russel, who provides evidence and helps the police and the b This is truly one of the best books I have read in the true crime genre. Dead in the water, is Penny Farmer's search for her brother's killer. The lives of such killer psychopaths about whom I used to read in true crime books, not only filled me with sadness but also made me think if ever there was any hope for redemption. Along with Penny, I too found the answer to my question and in that sense, found a closure., The hero in the book is Russel, who provides evidence and helps the police and the bereaved family bring the killer to book. In a strange way, he also provides consolation and solace to a family who feels let down by the justice system. Russel is the son of the perpetrator of the crime. Russel reaffirms our faith in human goodness. In spite of having lived with a killer father, who had killed his mother and bearing witness to two horrific manslaughters, Russel grows up into a likeable, an admirable individual. Russel says, " I wasn’t dealt the best hand when it comes to family, but I’ve made up for it with my choice of friends and how I live my life.” Whenever he felt hatred or anger, he would "push it out of my head. I’ve always believed that hate only harms". “I do my best to make the world a better place!"Thank you Russel for your kindness and Penny Farmer for sharing your story.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    One of the most chilling, awful crimes even when compared to other true crime books in this genre. The writing was engaging and I appreciated the fact that the author was able to give a front row perspective, being the sister to one of the slain victims. The book had the perfect amount of detail, not falling into the trap of repeating the story at each level, i.e. crime, investigation and court appearances. It is truly a travesty that this evil murderer was able to stay outside prison walls for One of the most chilling, awful crimes even when compared to other true crime books in this genre. The writing was engaging and I appreciated the fact that the author was able to give a front row perspective, being the sister to one of the slain victims. The book had the perfect amount of detail, not falling into the trap of repeating the story at each level, i.e. crime, investigation and court appearances. It is truly a travesty that this evil murderer was able to stay outside prison walls for decades and cause severe trauma to those impacted by his murders. Recommended to all who read true crime or nonfiction books.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Ahyee

    Publisher’s description: “In 1978, two tortured corpses—hooded, bound, and weighted down with engine parts—were found in the sea off Guatemala. Junior doctor Chris Farmer and his girlfriend, Peta Frampton, were still clinging to life when they were thrown from the yacht they’d been crewing. “Here is the gripping account of how Chris's family worked alongside police, the FBI, and Interpol to gather evidence against the boat’s Californian skipper, Silas Duane Boston. Almost four decades later, in 2 Publisher’s description: “In 1978, two tortured corpses—hooded, bound, and weighted down with engine parts—were found in the sea off Guatemala. Junior doctor Chris Farmer and his girlfriend, Peta Frampton, were still clinging to life when they were thrown from the yacht they’d been crewing. “Here is the gripping account of how Chris's family worked alongside police, the FBI, and Interpol to gather evidence against the boat’s Californian skipper, Silas Duane Boston. Almost four decades later, in 2015, Chris’s sister, Penny, used Facebook to track down Boston. Following the detailed, haunting testimony of his own two sons—who also implicated their father in a string of other killings—Boston was finally arrested and charged with two counts of maritime murder. “A story of homicide on the high seas, Dead in the Water is also a tale of a family’s fortitude and diligence in tracking down a monster.” Penny Farmer’s “Dead in the Water” is a tragic story of a brutal double murder that took much too long to solve. Occurring at a time without the Internet and when long-distance, international calls were expensive and difficult, the author’s family waited nearly 40 years to understand what happened. The story is sad and gruesome. That said, I almost didn’t bother to read past 30% or so. I don’t read true crime very often, but I will read a story that grabs me. I have read about Manson and the Zodiac. I love watching crime-solving television shows and movies. This had all the elements of something that would grab my interest, but the writing style was just too hard to get past. Understanding that this was probably extremely cathartic for the author, I had to force myself to finish. I get the sense that she really wrote it for herself, and I found it difficult to read because it was not written well. I wanted to hear Chris and Peta’s story. While we got pieces of their correspondence, I think the book would have been better taken almost chronologically. Let the audience read the letters and “hear” the tapes they sent. It felt like we didn’t get to know Chris and Peta because the author just told us what they were like. She broke the classic rule of writing: show, don’t tell. I’m giving this two stars because it is an interesting story about a case where no one in law enforcement took control. It’s mind-boggling to me how much this case was bungled over the years. But the writing just blew it for me. I had a very hard time staying on track to finish this. Thanks to NetGalley and Diversion Books for an advance digital copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 5 out of 5

    A W

    In 1978, recently qualified doctor Chris Farmer and his fiancée Peta Frampton disappeared whist on a round the world trip. A few months later their horribly mutilated bodied were found floating in the sea off Guatemala. Penny Farmer tells the story of the thirty-eight-year hunt for Silas Duane Boston, the man who killed them along with maybe thirty other people over his criminal career. . The true crime shelves of the average bookshop are crowded with titles, most attached to books engaged in a sa In 1978, recently qualified doctor Chris Farmer and his fiancée Peta Frampton disappeared whist on a round the world trip. A few months later their horribly mutilated bodied were found floating in the sea off Guatemala. Penny Farmer tells the story of the thirty-eight-year hunt for Silas Duane Boston, the man who killed them along with maybe thirty other people over his criminal career. . The true crime shelves of the average bookshop are crowded with titles, most attached to books engaged in a salacious race to the bottom aimed at satisfying our desire to have someone make our flesh creep. Penny Farmer brings to what is often the province of hacks and ghouls the ultimate insider’s perspective, one of the victims was her beloved brother. This makes Dead in the Water a timely reminder that behind every crime statistic is a victim with a family that is forever changed by the misfortune visited upon it. As a journalist with years of experience Farmer describes with meticulous accuracy the epic investigation, including the failures on the part of law enforcement agencies on both sides of the Atlantic that allowed Boston to evade justice for decades. She also writes with clarity and compassion about his two sons, both of whom have struggled hard to break free from their wrong beginnings. Real life seldom offers the neat endings available to writers of fiction, Farmer does though find a measure of closure after years in which she and her parents struggled against the odds to see justice done. In writing this book she has produced a timely reminder that no life is ever wasted if its owner is remembered by those by whom they were loved.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Videoclimber(AKA)MTsLilSis

    This is the story of a sister and her love for her family. She must find out what happened to her missing brother. The whole family spends years searching for answers. They look for help wherever they can get it. Many years later the perpetrator is caught, but justice is never served. I appreciate the fact that the author was aware of how hard it was for Boston's children to help her. I also found it revealing that Boston's extended family knew the things he had done, but hid them away. I had a ha This is the story of a sister and her love for her family. She must find out what happened to her missing brother. The whole family spends years searching for answers. They look for help wherever they can get it. Many years later the perpetrator is caught, but justice is never served. I appreciate the fact that the author was aware of how hard it was for Boston's children to help her. I also found it revealing that Boston's extended family knew the things he had done, but hid them away. I had a hard time connecting with the writing. At times the story was repetitive and disjointed. I have a feeling that the editor went a little easy on the author because of her personal connection to the story. *Thank you to Penny Farmer, Diverson Books, and Netgalley for providing me with a free advanced ebook.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Margot

    While I found this book really interesting and moving, it was repetitive in some parts. It’s disturbing that someone is so evil, but shielded by some family members. Also disturbing is the absence of thorough investigation from the start. Spoilers? It is non fiction.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christine - LifeWithAllTheBooks

    I’ve been meaning to read this one for ages so I’m glad to have finally gotten around to it. It’s a true crime book which covers the long search for justice after the brutal murder of a young couple travelling together. I always think there’s something different about true crime written by the victim’s family as is the case here (Dead In The Water is written by the male victim, Chris’, sister). When the story is told by the family it just feels so much more raw and forces the reader to face the I’ve been meaning to read this one for ages so I’m glad to have finally gotten around to it. It’s a true crime book which covers the long search for justice after the brutal murder of a young couple travelling together. I always think there’s something different about true crime written by the victim’s family as is the case here (Dead In The Water is written by the male victim, Chris’, sister). When the story is told by the family it just feels so much more raw and forces the reader to face the true cost of taking a life. A book written by a reporter, author or prosecutor, whilst fascinating in other ways, can never really demonstrate how completely a murder can affect so many people and how it is a never-ending struggle with grief for the victim’s friends and family. Something which I found particularly interesting and shocking whilst reading Dead In The Water are the difficulties surrounding jurisdiction and all the different authorities causing so many complications and in many ways allowing a terrible person to escape justice for an unthinkably long time. It really is a shocking story with so many facets to it. I really liked that the author also looked at the impact on the killers family which is sometimes a touch overlooked in true crime but it helped to understand how these extraordinary and incredibly unfair and tragic circumstances arose. Overall I think Dead In The Water is a complex and genuinely heartbreaking story which has so many twists and turns that it almost seems unreal. Sadly, the story is very real and the loss of life it explains is so terribly sad. The author has shown what sort of people Chris and Peta were and the strength and determination her family have managed to sustain is mightily impressive. I would absolutely recommend this one.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Joss Du Trevou

    A shocking true story about a young couple who get murdered at sea by a serial killer whilst traveling the world. I thought this book would have been a better read had it been written in the style of a novel rather than a sequence of events. Heart breaking nonetheless.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mccluskey1

    Very good sad that it’s a true story

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    I chose to read this book because of a brief newspaper article I read about this true crime story. My expectations were fairly low, but I just wanted to know about the story. I wasn't looking for anything beyond that. But it was actually well written and enjoyable. It is a tragic story and very sad. But I'm happy that the families of the victims and the sons of Silas Duane Boston were able to uncover the truth and heal as best as possible. It is a really interesting read. If you are interested i I chose to read this book because of a brief newspaper article I read about this true crime story. My expectations were fairly low, but I just wanted to know about the story. I wasn't looking for anything beyond that. But it was actually well written and enjoyable. It is a tragic story and very sad. But I'm happy that the families of the victims and the sons of Silas Duane Boston were able to uncover the truth and heal as best as possible. It is a really interesting read. If you are interested in real-life crime stories, read this.

  25. 5 out of 5

    HollyLovesBooks

    I was sucked into this story due to the nature of the genre, it being a true crime that remained unsolved by LE. And while I have a great deal of compassion for the family going through this horrific experience, I don’t think the book is as well written as it could have been. Maybe a few more edits would have been all it needed. Making it more professional and less jumbled of a storyline. #DeadInTheWater #NetGalley

  26. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Roff

    The story obviously comes from a place of grief and passion and is a really heartbreaking series of events. It was a little repetitive however that is understandable with such a complex case.

  27. 4 out of 5

    MJ LaBeff

    An intricate true crime story with a startling final twist. It’s hard to imagine the agony and anxiety, terror and fear, hopelessness and sadness the Farmer and Frampton families experienced over the last thirty nine years; however, author Penny Farmer left an imprint on my heart with her exquisite writing that conveyed her parents journey and then her quest to find the murderer of their much beloved son and brother, Dr. Christopher Farmer and his girlfriend, Peta Frampton. The author does an exc An intricate true crime story with a startling final twist. It’s hard to imagine the agony and anxiety, terror and fear, hopelessness and sadness the Farmer and Frampton families experienced over the last thirty nine years; however, author Penny Farmer left an imprint on my heart with her exquisite writing that conveyed her parents journey and then her quest to find the murderer of their much beloved son and brother, Dr. Christopher Farmer and his girlfriend, Peta Frampton. The author does an excellent job of weaving together the story which starts in 1978 with Christopher’s and Peta’s trip to Mexico and other towns along the coast of Central America which was to be a year of respite and relaxation but turned deadly upon the unlikely meeting of their killer in Belize; Silas Duane Boston- a sociopath who eluded the law and justice for nearly four decades. Penny deftly takes us through this tragic story first sharing the lovely letters Peta sent home to England sharing the adventures she and Christopher were enjoying in the mild waters and crewing for Boston, little did the couple know they had boarded a vessel with a vicious and manipulative killer, and then the letters stopped. The young couple’s whereabouts plagued the Farmer and Frampton families, forcing Mr. Farmer to launch an investigation into the disappearance of his son and girlfriend, during a time when the Internet, cell phones and other forms of electronic communication were nonexistent, causing the wheels of justice to turn ever more slowly, but Mr. and Mrs. Farmer refused to give up hope. If it were not for their persistence and that of their daughter, Penny (the author), I’m certain the truth about Christopher’s and Peta’s tragic demise would have never been fully known. They tirelessly worked with British and American law enforcement professionals from the Greater Manchester Police, FBI, Interpol, Sacramento and San Francisco Police Departments. Penny’s grit and bravery is to be admired as she sought out the killer on FB and then reached out to his sons who had witnessed the murders of Christopher and Peta- and who her family desperately wanted police to interview. Boston’s sons had even gone to police on numerous occasions, concerning the mysterious disappearance of their mother and the brutal murders of Christopher and Peta, but their pleas were unmet. It is truly amazing how Boston eluded so many branches of law enforcement for nearly four decades. He was a criminal mastermind, escaping justice by hiding out throughout California and often fleeing to Mexico. International crimes involve many law enforcement agencies and a variety of laws regarding jurisdiction etc. often make prosecution a slow process. Before taking the investigation too far on her own via the Internet, Penny wisely reached out to detectives originally involved in the case and who with the help of others eventually bring Boston to justice. Unfortunately he was a very sick, demented, but head-strong old man, intent on making a final stand until the very end. There were several moments when I had to pause from reading and take a deep breath, shed a few tears and say a prayer not only for the grieving families Boston left behind in his evil wake, but for those whose lives he selfishly took.

  28. 4 out of 5

    h

    Dead In The Water is the story of a brutal double murder that was committed in 1978 but remained a mystery to the family for nearly four decades, written by one of the victims's sister. The story itself is brutal and tragic, and serves as a reminder of the senseless tragedy that occurs every day and affects countless lives. The author meticulously pieces together the many pieces of the puzzle that were found over so many years to finally complete the story decades later and produce a compelling r Dead In The Water is the story of a brutal double murder that was committed in 1978 but remained a mystery to the family for nearly four decades, written by one of the victims's sister. The story itself is brutal and tragic, and serves as a reminder of the senseless tragedy that occurs every day and affects countless lives. The author meticulously pieces together the many pieces of the puzzle that were found over so many years to finally complete the story decades later and produce a compelling read. Dead In The Water narrates not only the crime itself but the subsequent investigation both by authorities and the surviving family, including how at times the police completely blundered the investigation. It is truly horrific that justice was not able to be received sooner, if one considers this resolution justice at all. Despite the gruesome and horrific tragedies that have befallen her family, Penny Farmer manages to tell her story thoroughly and accurately, culminating in a testament to the undying nature of love and loyalty. Throughout the book, she provides abundant detail about the lives and childhood of the victims, particularly her brother. While not always particularly relevant to the crime itself, the love and care that went into fully documenting her brother's life is clear, and helps preserve his memory as more than a victim. However, at times the book was repetitive, and it would occasionally go back and forth between when or what she was talking about, which could be confusing. I hope that in writing this book and finally being able to piece together the pieces of this puzzle, the author finds some catharsis/comfort, and knows that others will remember her brother and their loss.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anupama C K(b0rn_2_read)

    True crime is something which I started reading last year. I have always been intrigued by serial killer novels, but now when I read these true crime accounts I realise that I agree with the quote "Truth is stranger than fiction" . Last year I had read "I'll be gone in the dark by Michelle McNamara and when I came to know that the main suspect of this case was also suspected to be GSK I had to read this. Fortunately @diversionbooks approved my request on @netgalley and I got to read this Back in 19 True crime is something which I started reading last year. I have always been intrigued by serial killer novels, but now when I read these true crime accounts I realise that I agree with the quote "Truth is stranger than fiction" . Last year I had read "I'll be gone in the dark by Michelle McNamara and when I came to know that the main suspect of this case was also suspected to be GSK I had to read this. Fortunately @diversionbooks approved my request on @netgalley and I got to read this Back in 1978, the author's brother, Chris and his girlfriend, Peta were murdered. They had gone on a trip to see the world, but they never came back. The family was devastated by the loss but the police didn't make any headways. Though the main suspect was the boat owner, Silas with whom they were last seen the police didn't have enough to charge him. 38 years later Penny manages to get the case reopened in the light of new evidence Will Chris and Peta get justice? Why were they murdered? What was the new evidence? Read to find out It was a fascinating and equally horrifying read.The events are narrated in order and I couldn't stop reading. It does contain graphical descriptions of violence. My heart broke for Chris, Peta and their families. At times I couldn't believe this was a true story. The fact that the killer was at large even after so many incidents is frightening.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pat Pullum

    This true narrative tells of two families anguish when their children disappear. What starts out as a wonderful adventure for Chris and his girlfriend Peta ends in mystery and heartbreak. Chris had just got his degree from medical school and decided he wanted to see some of the world with Peta. They travelled from the UK and planned to go through Mexico and Central America. When mail communication suddenly stopped, Peta's family knew something was wrong as she wrote regularly keeping them updated This true narrative tells of two families anguish when their children disappear. What starts out as a wonderful adventure for Chris and his girlfriend Peta ends in mystery and heartbreak. Chris had just got his degree from medical school and decided he wanted to see some of the world with Peta. They travelled from the UK and planned to go through Mexico and Central America. When mail communication suddenly stopped, Peta's family knew something was wrong as she wrote regularly keeping them updated on where she was. Chris' family started contacting the local police in Manchester and then the police in America. This was long before computers were used, before cell phones and shared communications between different law enforcement. Interpol got involved, but due to lost documents and the Alantic ocean's distance between the disappearances and the families involved, decades passed. It is a heartbreaking story of two families trying to get the answers they so desperately need. I thank the publishers and author for giving me an ARC through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review.

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