Deep Water

Deep Water by Sarah Epstein AU cover

Three months ago, thirteen-year-old Henry disappeared from The Shallows during a violent storm, leaving behind his muddy mountain bike at the train station.

While Mason doesn’t know who he is or what he’s capable of, he knows the one thing binding him to this suffocating small town is his younger brother, Henry.

Why would Henry run away without telling her? One of Chloe’s friends knows something and she’s determined to find out the truth.

As Chloe wades into dangerous waters and Mason’s past emerges, a chilling question ripples to the surface: how far would you go to keep a secret?

YA Mystery/Thriller
Ages 14+ | 400 pages

ISBN: 9781760877286
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

• Shortlisted in the Davitt Awards for Best Young Adult Crime Novel 2021
• Shortlisted in the Queensland Literary Awards 2020
• Notable Book in the CBCA Book of the Year Awards

A Note from the Author

Dear Reader,

This book was a long time in the making. I first started writing it around thirteen years before it was published when I had an idea about a small-town mystery involving reunited friends, guilt, and secrets. Could I write this story? I’d never written a novel-length work before and didn’t know how to go about it. It took many, many false starts before I found my voice and figured out the story I was trying to tell. And even when I finally finished the manuscript, it wasn’t really finished at all.

I revised and polished the story, shared it with beta readers for feedback, and then ended up rewriting it all over again. I sent the new version to more readers and realised I still hadn’t nailed it, and part of me wondered if I ever would. It got shoved aside in frustration, in favour of shiny new ideas. It waited patiently for me to finish another manuscript, and then another. Every now and then I’d pick it up again to tinker with a scene here and there, never fully able to let the story go.

After my debut novel Small Spaces was released, I was able to sit down and look at this story with fresh eyes and the writing skills I’d improved along the way. I could see a way to fix some of the problems I hadn’t been able to before, but it would mean rewriting the entire story from the ground up…again.

Through all the different iterations of the story, the core characters have never changed: a missing boy named Henry, his older brother Mason, and the girl who refuses to stop looking for her missing friend. In Deep Water, I’ve finally managed to tell their story in a way I wasn’t capable of when I first started writing it. I really hope you enjoy it.

– Sarah Epstein

“Epstein is an expert in the well-paced unravelling of a mystery, and this novel is filled with edge-of-your-seat tension.”


“Clever writing and believable voices. Keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s insightful and engaging.”


Deep Water is full of dark twists and turns and relatable characters trying to navigate their way to the truth. An intense mystery.”


“Perfectly pitched for older teens, but adults will still find this an excellent read. Fast-paced and cleverly avoiding any overblown angst.”

Herald Sun

“Written for young adults but would be an equally thrilling read for any adult who enjoys a good suspense/thriller story. I enjoyed every moment in this book. It was riveting and I was kept guessing until the very end.”

Glam Adelaide

“Echoes of Melina Marchetta swim through this story of mysterious small-town secrets and the lengths friends will go to keep them. A wonderful follow-up to Small Spaces — Sarah Epstein proves she’s really in the game.”

Ellie Marney, YA Author

“Full of secrets and lies, Deep Water is a truly complex and brilliantly written puzzle that keeps you guessing until the end.”

Fleur Ferris, YA Author

“Cleverly plotted and compelling, with characters so vivid you can almost hear their hearts beating, Deep Water will get under your skin. I loved this book.”

Rebecca James, YA Author


Australia – order paperbacks online from:
Booktopia | Readings | Dymocks | QBD Books | Angus & Robertson | Boomerang Books | The Book Depository

Australia and New Zealand – order ebooks from:
Amazon | Kobo | Apple Books | Google Play

Other international locations – order paperbacks from:
The Book Depository



French Edition
Ages 14+ | 448 pages

ISBN: 9791036325342
Publisher: Bayard Editions

Avant la tempête
Sept amis. Mason, Chloé, Henry, Tom, Raf, Rina et Sabeen se sont trouvés. Ils se savent liés à jamais et ne se cachent rien. Leurs vies ne sont pas toujours faciles mais ils restent ensemble, malgré les épreuves.
Lorsqu’une nuit, l’orage éclate.


Henry a disparu. Fugue ? Enlèvement ? Meurtre ?
Tout le monde le cherche, tout le monde se méfie, tout le monde est suspect.
Chacun a des secrets à protéger. Coûte que coûte…

Que s’est-il passé la nuit de la tempête ?

Un thriller australien hautement addictif.

WHERE TO BUY: | Fnac | | | Furet du Nord


German Edition
Ages 14+ | 400 pages

ISBN: 9783737358217
Publisher: Fischer Sauerländer

Sechs beste Freunde: Einer von ihnen fehlt. Alle sind schuldig.

Wie immer kehrt Chloe in den Ferien in die Kleinstadt zurück, in der sie aufgewachsen ist. Und wie immer trifft sie ihre besten Freunde am ersten Abend in der alten Pizzeria. Sie kennen sich seit dem Kindergarten und sind wie eine Familie. Besser als Familie! Doch heute ist alles anders. Denn seit Henry vor drei Monaten in einer Sturmnacht verschwunden ist, sitzen die Übriggebliebenen zum ersten Mal wieder alle zusammen. Und das Misstrauen steigt wie Nebel zwischen ihnen auf.

In jener Nacht sind Dinge geschehen, über die keiner von ihnen sprechen kann. Jeder hat etwas zu verbergen. Alle sind schuldig.

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