In his review of The Weight of Water, Roger Ebert has this to say:
Another problem is that psychological conflicts get upstaged by old-fashioned melodrama. The storm at the end, which I will not describe in detail, involves violence and action which would be right at home in a seafaring thriller, but seems hauled into this material only to provide an exciting action climax. It is not necessary to the material. And the revelations in the historical story would have more depth and resonance if we'd spent more time with the characters--if all of their scenes were not essentially part of the set-up.
This is something I needed to hear. With After the Fire, I kept trying to force a gun-fight, car chase, abduction and/or lying in wait--none of it was necessary to the material, which my critique group kept telling me, Kate Sykes in particular. It is gratifying to hear Ebert say the same thing. A book as psychological as mine does not need the trappings of melodrama. The material and the story must mesh--when they don't--you get a mish-mash of distractions, like The Weight of Water.