The Boy in the Well by Dan Clark review: A twisty murder mystery

HONG KONG, HONG KONG - JANUARY 18: In this photo illustration, a young lady using a Mac book pro as she uses Amazon website on January 18, 2017 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. (Photo by S3studio/Getty Images)
HONG KONG, HONG KONG - JANUARY 18: In this photo illustration, a young lady using a Mac book pro as she uses Amazon website on January 18, 2017 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. (Photo by S3studio/Getty Images) /

If you love cozy murder mysteries with a few twists and turns, you’ll want to check out The Boy in the Well by Dan Clark. Here’s my honest review.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of The Boy in the Well by Dan Clark through Voracious Readers Only in exchange for an honest review.

If there’s one genre of books that I love the most, it’s murder mysteries. They don’t need to be gory. They just need to be well planned, with clues along the way and a great mystery to follow throughout.

The Boy in the Well certainly offers that. In fact, the twist at the end is what made me smile. I’d figured it out before I got to the end, but that is partly because I think like a writer. I question what I’d do to keep a reader going through the book and how I’d add a surprise at the end. If it wasn’t for that, there wasn’t anything that really stood out in a way that screams the twist.

What is The Boy in the Well about?

The story is mostly told through the eyes of Carolyn. After losing her husband and son in a tragic accident, she heads to a small town in Wales with her mother. One night, she comes across the body of a boy in a well by her mother’s house.

By the time she gets to the police station and brings up the officers, the boy has gone. Part of the book is told through the eyes of this person who placed the boy there and removes the body because Carolyn sees it.

Of course, the police think Carolyn is crazy, but she knows what she saw. There was definitely a boy down there, and it leads her on a mystery of her own. It turns out two boys have gone missing from the local area over the course of eight years, and she needs to find out whether the boy in the well was one of those boys.

While Carolyn is drawn to the mystery, she’s also drawn to bringing closure for the two families. She wants to bring answers to the parents knowing what it’s like to be a grieving mother.

However, there is someone out there determined to stop Carolyn from digging. Her life is in danger, but will anyone believe her?

Twists, turns, and connections

One of the things that I love about the novel is the connections that are made. We have the stereotypical characters, like the police officers, and there’s the cold priest who seems to want to protect Carolyn’s mother from being the talk of the town. However, there are also some positive connections made.

The main connection is with a man Carolyn has down as a potential suspect at first. He turns out to not be linked to the cases at all, but he does harbor his own secrets. Rather than trying to stay away, he quickly gets himself involved, which puts his own life at risk. However, by this point, there’s no way he’s stopping his own search into this mystery and he wants to make sure Carolyn is kept safe. I won’t say which character this is for those who want to have that surprise in the novel.

The story is also one of grief. Carolyn is a grieving wife and mother, and from the outside, it probably looks like she is trying to avoid that grief. We know immediately that she has definitely seen something, though.

In a way, that does lead to Carolyn questioning herself getting annoying at times. The book may have been stronger by us not knowing that Carolyn definitely saw something at first. It could have been brought in over time.

I could also have done with a little more on the grief aspect throughout. While it was mentioned now and then, the car crash was so fresh, it should have probably been a bigger part of Carolyn’s thoughts.

Clues for murder mystery fans

There are plenty of clues in The Boy in the Well to help you get to the end of the story. Once you know the ending, you’ll have seen all those clues throughout.

Because you’re put in the eyes of Carolyn, you get to know what she knows. You see the story play out as she learns it. The benefit of being a reader is you know that not everyone is telling the truth and that there will be clues added in to link together.

It all leads to a big ending that leaves you wondering if Carolyn will be safe. You’ll read the novel within a couple of days, and then you’ll want to go back to see all the clues you definitely missed.

Star rating: 4 stars out of 5

Next. A Year in the Life of Leah Brand review. dark

What did you think of The Boy in the Well by Dan Clark? Which books are on your radar right now? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

The Boy in the Well by Dan Clark is available to buy on Amazon.