Review: “The Same Deep Waters As You” by Brian Hodge

2 of 5 stars.

This tale elaborates on the 1936 Lovecraft novella “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” in which the federal government raided the Massachusetts seaport taking prisoners that were never heard from again.

Almost a century later, star of the cable show The Animal Whisperer, Kerry Larimer, has been enlisted by the Department of Homeland Security as a consultant. Unfortunately for her, this entails choppering out over open ocean to a small Aleutian island-prison long-forgotten and deeply secret. She has no answer Why her?, but Colonel Daniel Escovedo will let her know–on a need-to-know basis.

Kerry, not a fan of the ocean and without experience with non-mammals and possibly the occasional bird, has been summoned to communicate with the 63 surviving captives of Innsmouth. They are ancient abominations with significant fish-like features and not aging nor communicating. However, they are acting stranger than normal, facing out to sea [or to the prison wall] and all at the same angle.

Kerry meets with a third of the inmates individually. She talks to them and receives mental images back–of the sea, always of the sea. On the second day, she tries to open the trust by meeting the eldest prisoner in a coastal pool of water. He turns to the sea and calls out far and loudly . . . but to whom or what? . . .

While the descriptions of the island are evocative, the actions and timing of the prisoners are left not fully explained. The later actions by Kerry after returning to the mainland are even more curious and inexplicable. The abrupt jump between the scenes on the island and back on the mainland leave little clue as to her motivations.

“The Same Deep Waters As You” appears in New Cthulhu 2: More Recent Weird edited by Paula Guran after originally appearing in Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth (2013). I’ve previously reviewed Hodge’s “Dead Giveaway”.
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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