New Crime Fiction Novel by Author E.J.Kay Explores the Evolution of Murder

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Murder mystery “Watermark” explores a controversial theory of human evolution and the good and not-so-good of humanity

Two murders a million years apart. Murder evolves.

Author E.J. (Liz) Kay’s new murder mystery “Watermark” ( opens as a team of university archaeologists find the remains of a pre-human who was murdered in the ancient past, in present day Kenya. Soon after their discovery, the story takes a dark turn as a member of the archaeology team is murdered in a strikingly similar way.

“Watermark” unfolds as police and the remaining members of the team try to uncover who did it—before the killer strikes again.

Woven into this captivating tale is the idea that one of the driving forces of human evolution was water. Not just a quick wade through a stream every now and again—but a long period of partial immersion. The book draws on the aquatic ape hypothesis, a controversial and often-dismissed notion that ancestors of modern humans spent a period of time adapting to life in a wet environment, leading to fundamental changes in physiology, including the ability to control breathing, a basic requirement for speech. The hypothesis is best-known through the writings of Elaine Morgan.

“I’ve always been fascinated by evolution theory and archaeology, but the ideas can sometimes be dry and difficult to grasp,” author E.J. Kay confessed. “With this story I’ve made these themes accessible by telling a story with a light touch.”

Also explored in “Watermark” are some less attractive human traits like jealousy, delusion, selfishness and bigotry.

“If we’re going to take a good look at ourselves, we should be prepared to look at the bad bits too,” Kay said.

Readers of “Watermark” have said:

“The book had me hooked right from the first page. And it isn’t a typical ‘butler did it’ mystery. I found the book to be erudite and have to commend the author for researching the subject so well.”

“The background subject matter (the science of evolution through archaeology) is presented in an interesting and understandable way allowing the book to remain a page turner with the main characters in the foreground and their various interests and relationships providing depth.”

“Having decided to read a few pages this morning before I went out I found I couldn’t put it down and got nothing done until the book was finished.”

“Watermark is available now in both Kindle and paperback formats and can be purchased from ( and (

About the Author:
In addition to writing and being an avid reader of crime novels, author Elizabeth Jane Kay (pen name) is a Professor and Director of the Education Innovation Centre at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK.

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