Title: THE BOY IN THE WELL
Author: DAN CLARK
Publication Date: APRIL 13, 2021
Genre: MYSTERY THRILLER
ABOUT THE BOOK
A time to mourn. A gruesome find. A race for the truth.
After her husband and son are killed in a tragic car accident, Carolyn goes to stay with her mother in a quiet, rural town. She hopes the break will help her cope with her loss.
Soon, Carolyn discovers that the small town holds unforgivable secrets. One she stumbles upon when she discovers the body of a young boy down a well—only to find he has disappeared when she returns with the police.
The local residents, including Carolyn’s mother, doubt her discovery and blame it on her current state of mind. Rumors begin to spread.
With somebody determined to stop Carolyn uncovering the truth, she knows she needs to prove what she saw. Not just for the boy and his family but also for herself.
Will Carolyn be able to find the proof she needs? Or will her life be in danger if she continues her search?
***THE REVIEW CONTAINS A FEW SPOILERS***
What a surprising story this one is. I never thought I would enjoy it but I did. This story was really amazing from the start until the end. I admit that I wasn’t sure about it when I was only five chapters in and was wary that it won’t get interesting but glad that I keep on reading. This book was really worth the read, especially those who loves reading thrillers you’ll enjoy this one.
This is a story about a woman who is still grieving the death of her husband and son, and whose life changed the moment she started staying with her mother in her mother’s hometown.
From the synopsis alone, I felt the story was intriguing which turns out it did. This story was a bit eerie, and the setting was chilly and yet I can feel the sense of serenity in it. The storyline, the plot and the whole setting of this book made this book looks like one of those Nordic Noir books. It gave quite a similar vibe but not exactly the same.
I liked how this story was plotted and written. There are great twists and turns in the story to keep up the suspense which put me on the edge of my seat. Usually when I read a book, I can put it down to take a break and continue the next day but this one kept me going. That’s how good this book is, but of course I did take a few breaks too and I did sleep too but not as early as I did before I read this book.
The flow and pacing are done well too which made it easy for me to read this book at the fastest speed. I didn’t had a hard time trying to understand the whole story. I find that the story was easy to understand and it wasn’t really complicated like I thought it would be. I admit that thriller isn’t my usual genre, and I don’t read too many thriller books hence why I thought this book might have a lot of complications and that I would end up confused but thankfully it didn’t come to that. I was so worried I wouldn’t understand a single thing, but gladly I can understand just fine.
In this crime thriller book, one can expect a murder; a few kidnappings; a few cold and deadly truths; and a non-detective/investigator doing all the investigation. Stakes are high in this book and the main characters are not truly safe. I was nervous the whole time for worrying about the fate of the female protagonist of the story, Carolyn Hill.
I was so absorbed with the story and I feel strongly attached to two characters in particular: Carolyn and Barry. I wanted to see how everything plays out and how this whole thing will end. I was satisfied by everything that is going on in this book and how the story ended.
The death of Carolyn’s husband and son, the corpse of a boy that she saw in the well behind her mother’s house, her mother and the priest acted so suspicious, finding out about the kidnapping of Elwyn and Dylan, relentlessly investigating the missing cases of the two boys on her own with a help from Barry later on, met with the boys’ parents, had a little conversation with a very suspicious candle shop owner, a surprise attacked from an unknown person, learning the truth about the murder of one boy and the kidnapping of the other boy, and then fighting for her freedom.
A lot has been going on in this book. It was a wonder how I managed to absorbed all of the informations without a single struggle. I’m proud of myself for being able to follow and understand all of those. There are some unexpected surprises that shocked me. I didn’t know who to suspect or who the real bad guys are because many of the characters that appeared in this book acted so suspicious. I can only trust Carolyn and Barry in this book.
My main suspect was the priest, Joseph. He has been acting very suspicious since the first time he appeared in the story. The way he was looking at Carolyn seems like he was plotting her downfall. I wasn’t wrong actually for suspecting him. His motive wasn’t strong but he was proven to be dangerous. He went to a great length just to shut her up.
I knew he was involved in one of the boys’ disappearance but what I was puzzled about is how about the other boy, and how did Joseph get tangled in that case too? Well, turns out he didn’t and it was a totally different man. I didn’t even know there’ll be two different bad guys but two is better than one for this book because it will give more depth to the story.
The other man clearly had a good intention because he just wanted to be with the woman he love and their son but his way of doing it was wrong on so many levels that it made him look like a psychopath and eventually turn him into one. He’s a great addition as the second bad guy in the story. It has always been the most unexpected character that ended up being the bad guy.
Carolyn Hill is the main protagonist of the story and she is a cake decorator who owns a shop. She’s not a detective or an investigator and yet she did all the investigating in this book. The police are unreliable in the story but they did take things seriously in the end.
Despite doesn’t have any experience in investigating crimes, Carolyn is still a smart woman who is also a quick thinker. She may not know where to start and how to handle solving crimes but that doesn’t stop her from trying to find out the truth. I was amazed by her smartness and cleverness. She lack the skills of a detective and an investigator but she possessed the power of knowledge which is also important and it helps her a lot in solving the crimes.
She wasn’t wrong the whole time, she was right but not many believed her, not even her own mother and the police. She had to do everything on her own up until Barry saved her that one night someone tried to hurt her and became her partner in solving the crimes. I really find Carolyn’s character so interesting. She just lost a husband and a son, and thought moving to her mother’s hometown for awhile would do her good. Little did she know that something eerie will happen and that she was the one who will have to find out the truth.
The only thing I had a problem with was how her grief and the progress she made to help her move forward with her life fell short. She doesn’t have enough grieving time and then so suddenly, she went out to investigate some crimes. I would like it more if she’d been given a proper grieving period then after that see the progress she slowly make in trying to move forward and see what steps she’ll take to get better again.
The solving crimes part was just a distraction to her just like as she stated in the story, but now that I really think about it, this distraction could be her way of dealing with her own pain from losing her family. I guess I just have to take it as it is. The epilogue was really beautiful, it shows that she’s happy again and finally able to move on although it was slow but at least she’s working on trying to get better. That’s all that matters to me, Carolyn and her newfound happiness.
Barry Cookson on the other hand was a bit mysterious when he first appeared but thankfully he is a good man. I was really charmed by him after he saved Carolyn and wanted to find out more about what is so mysterious about him. Learning the truth helps me see and understand him much better.
His life before he moved to Llanbedr was not really as good as one would think, but his life after that was much better than the one in the past. What I liked the most about him is how he was the first ever person to believe Carolyn’s claim on seeing the corpse of a boy in the well while everyone painted her as a liar. Every time she needed his help, he was there in a heartbeat. He literally helped her for the most part in the second half of the book. He may questioned her at some points and thought her plans was bizarre, but he never tried to leave her alone. He was also quite smart too especially during the final scene in the final chapter when he was searching for Carolyn. He was thinking so quickly and it was good to see that smart side of Barry.
Barry is an overall a good man with a kind heart who just wanted to save her daughter from his irresponsible ex-wife. I’m glad he got what he wanted and started a new life in Leeds working for Carolyn. These two have been spending a lot of times solving crimes together, and their friendship was so precious. I liked how these two lonely souls found one another under unexpected circumstances and found happiness again by having each other in their respective lives. The epilogue was perfect not only for Carolyn but also for Barry and his daughter.
This book was interesting and very much intriguing. I was surprised, keep on turning the pages to continue reading, and so invested in the story. The story was pretty engaging which was really great but Carolyn and Barry are the two main characters who made the experience of reading this book a lot more enjoyable. If you’re into a small-town crime mystery/thriller story with some twists, a chilly setting and characters who aren’t a detective or investigator are the ones who solved crimes, then you’ll enjoy this book.
Dan was born in the North West of England. He started reading Stephen King from an early age and is still a committed fan today, believing this is what inspired him to start writing.
After leaving school, he studied Accounting before realising working with numbers wasn’t for him. He has done numerous jobs which include, working in retail, in busy restaurants as a Chef, driving a taxi and moving on to driving lorries.
Dan lives with his fiancé, Rachel, and easily annoyed cat, Burt. In his free time he loves to find a comfortable chairwith a large cup of tea and read thriller and horror novels. He enjoys walking and being out in the countryside and devotes most of his time to his passion: writing his own stories