{Free} ó Boy in the Water õ eBook or E-pub free

2.5 starsI ve for quite a long time kept Stephen Dobyns name filed away as someone to try, after fellow suspense writer and fellow Stephen King lauded DobynsThe Church of Dead Girls in King s Entertainment Weekly article That title wasn t available at the library butBoy In The Water was.The set up was really well done A prologue introduces the titular boy floating dead in a swimming pool, then gives us a glimpse into the lives of a really creepy, joke telling assassin for hire, then an 2.5 starsI ve for quite a long time kept Stephen Dobyns name filed away as someone to try, after fellow suspense writer and fellow Stephen King lauded DobynsThe Church of Dead Girls in King s Entertainment Weekly article That title wasn t available at the library butBoy In The Water was.The set up was really well done A prologue introduces the titular boy floating dead in a swimming pool, then gives us a glimpse into the lives of a really creepy, joke telling assassin for hire, then an underage stripper, then our protagonist, clinical psychologist Dr Jim Hawthorne, who s trying to rebuild his life after losing his wife and daughter in a fire in San Diego that he feels responsible for and takes a badly underpaid, thankless job as headmaster for a a failing reform boarding school acoss the country in New Hampshire We learn that Dr Hawthorne s got his work cut out for him, with plenty of jealous dissension of the other teachers, a board of trustees that is rud to be closing the school soon, whilst contending with his own personal demons I was riveted throughout much of the first half of this, trying to figure out where Dobyns was going with this thing Creepy lurid thriller Ghost y old school goings on A psychological examination into greed and malfeasance All of the above, most likely, but my attention really started waning at about the midpoint, when it became painfully clear Dobyns had no idea how to end this thing A book that.was already feeling a little bloated not unlike the condition of boy s body floating in the svhool s natatorium really started getting stinky when Dobyns kept having his protagonst Dr Hawthorne present the same facts over and over again perhaps to wring every drop from the suspense dishrag All I know is, what started out an engaging and interesting thriller began boring me with every repetition of Dr Hawthorne s actions, with every reiteration of a factoid Oh yeah, and that endingyikes Yet, there was enough good stuff here to keep me entertained throughout much of it The premise was somewhat original, and I was a bit creeped out at times While I didn t love this, I will definitely try one of Dobyns well over a dozen other titles in the future I read The Church of Dead Girls about 20 years ago and I remember liking it Stephen Dobyns name made an indelible impression in my memory I was exposed to some of his poetry about a year ago and I was incredibly impressed I deliberately soughtof his work and, sadly, this is what I stumbled upon It is not the best example of what he is capable of, in my opinion If not for his rich, descriptive vocabulary, which I fully appreciate, I would have given this book just one star I thought I read The Church of Dead Girls about 20 years ago and I remember liking it Stephen Dobyns name made an indelible impression in my memory I was exposed to some of his poetry about a year ago and I was incredibly impressed I deliberately soughtof his work and, sadly, this is what I stumbled upon It is not the best example of what he is capable of, in my opinion If not for his rich, descriptive vocabulary, which I fully appreciate, I would have given this book just one star I thought it was incredibly boring I didn t find it remotely intriguing until I was about 250 pages into it, which isn t the type of impression a suspense thriller should make And while we are on the suspense topic, I want to mention that I never felt this book was remotely suspenseful The outcome was relatively predictable You know who the antagonists are from the start Because I am sure that the author has some better work out there, I won t abandon his books all together, but I definitely wouldn t recommend this particular one to a friend I almost stopped reading near the beginning of the book because there was an unpleasantly graphic scene at a strip club, followed by a scene where one low class thug kills another low class thug with an icepick Neither seemed to have any connection to the promised locus, a New Hampshire prep school for troubled youth But I stuck with it and I m glad I did, since Dobyns writing is many notches above your average thriller fare As with The Church of Dead Girls, he creates a very sympathetic pro I almost stopped reading near the beginning of the book because there was an unpleasantly graphic scene at a strip club, followed by a scene where one low class thug kills another low class thug with an icepick Neither seemed to have any connection to the promised locus, a New Hampshire prep school for troubled youth But I stuck with it and I m glad I did, since Dobyns writing is many notches above your average thriller fare As with The Church of Dead Girls, he creates a very sympathetic protagonist Jim Hawthorne is a psychologist whose wife and daughter were killed in a fire set by a juvenile delinquent he had been trying to help He comes east to take a job as headmaster of a boarding school for problem kids, partly because he thinks he can help them, partly to punish himself for not being able to save his family He begins changing the school for the better, but most faculty and staff are resentful of the changes and begin passive aggressively plotting against him The school turns out to be a rather sick nest of vipers At about the one quarter point, I couldn t put the book down and read through to the end, stopping only to prepare snacks and admire myself in the mirror, as is my wont Well written, but oddly uninvolving. It dragged a bit and a few things were spelt out unnecessarily I really liked the mystery and I m very proud that I figured it out 3 chapters in. I ve come to really like this writer I love his humor, the way he describes things, and his plots I have not been disappointed yet I ve loved all his books I ve read dearly This was an excellent mystery It kept me in suspense It actually had some excellent points on raising children and handling problems too The characters are amazing Some I really like and some are so aggravating, but they are supposed to be The intensity with which the bad guys bothered me is a good sign of the writin I ve come to really like this writer I love his humor, the way he describes things, and his plots I have not been disappointed yet I ve loved all his books I ve read dearly This was an excellent mystery It kept me in suspense It actually had some excellent points on raising children and handling problems too The characters are amazing Some I really like and some are so aggravating, but they are supposed to be The intensity with which the bad guys bothered me is a good sign of the writing I really enjoy how the mysteries unfold and trying to figure out who was involved It was so fun Not as satisfying as I d hoped, though it was still a decent read. Scooby Dooby Doo, Where Are You We got some work to do now Oh wait, you mean this isn t a new episode about that meddling gang from Mystery, Inc and their dog Well damn, I must have been absent the day that memo was handed out because what we have here kiddies is a true blue suspense story that must have leaked out from the cartoon network Crazy, supernatural pranks check Murder mystery that unravels as the characters literally stumble upon clues check Players that have absolutely no co Scooby Dooby Doo, Where Are You We got some work to do now Oh wait, you mean this isn t a new episode about that meddling gang from Mystery, Inc and their dog Well damn, I must have been absent the day that memo was handed out because what we have here kiddies is a true blue suspense story that must have leaked out from the cartoon network Crazy, supernatural pranks check Murder mystery that unravels as the characters literally stumble upon clues check Players that have absolutely no common sense, courage, or emotion check Hey Mr Dobyns, Hanna Barbera called, they want their storyline back I don t know if it was the author, editor, or some one in the publicity office that came up with the title, but I was pissed as hell that I waited the whole book for a title that had little to nothing to do with the story to explain itself The outline of the story is a basic who done it, which evolves into a redemption mystery that carries a message and a supernatural touch As it stood the only mystery that existed was the actual point of the story The arrangement of the events, the clueless players, and the hair raising predicaments are amateurish at best The plot is mosaic and redundant from the first chapter to the last Had it been trimmed and the plot and sub plots defined it would have turned out to be a different, but much better book Also, the end debunks any chance that mystery could be involved, which sealed the deal that this tale is a grown up version of Saturday morning cartoons Jinkies Dobyn s style of writing is tedious, chaotic, and completely devoid of any structure Instead of focusing on one, maybe two viewpoints, he has decided to use over ten that rotate from the new headmaster, an underage ex stripper new to the school, a cook with a past, a complete faculty, a few students, and a homicide detective How s that feel, does it hurt Also, he details everything five times over just in case we didn t get it in the last chapter or he didn t point it out loud enough Had he paid half as much attention to the speed as he did to description, it might have at least been quick He didn t, and it wasn t Drawn out to the point of exhaustion, the pace taxes both your mind and patience The events are scarce, and the build up leading up to them is frenzied Now if that wasn t annoying enough, let s talk about the characters One dimensional, emotionally detached, and about as sincere as a used car salesman, Dobyns introduces a large cast for no other reason than to fill space Take the main character, the new headmaster, Jim Hawthorne Early on we learn that he lost his wife and daughter in a fire due to a patient s attachment issues and then we are reminded of said incident in every chapter that follows Where was he and what was he doing He was receiving a Lewinsky in the parking lot compliments of an old student Enter an assumption of guilt, remorse, and the need to be punished Let me repeat that, he NEVER shows any emotion Also, in order to atone for his past indiscretions and his failure as both a husband and father he decides a job at a school that is beneath accreditation is just the ticket As for the atmosphere, I m still looking for it My rating I give it a 1 Get a clue, avoid this book As reviewed for Horror Web.com {Free} ô Boy in the Water Ý Another bucolic fall in northern New Hampshire, and the semester is under way at Bishop s Hill Academy But this year the start of school has been less than tranquil The new headmaster, Jim Hawthorne, has liberal ideas that the staff find far from welcome He s also determined to do something about the long tradition of permanent loans to faculty of shovels, saws, even cars, from the school s supplies Eloquent as he is on the subject of honor, rumor has it he s only taken this job to escape his past And Hawthorne isn t the only uneasy newcomer There s Jessica, a former stripper at fifteen, and Frank LeBrun, a replacement cook who s a bit too quick with a dirty joke All three have secrets to conceal, memories to suppressSerene on the surface, the ivy clad, tree lined campus gives few clues to the school s history of special privileges, petty corruptions, and hidden allegiances But as autumn advances, the affable smiles and pretenses of virtue wear thin And as winter closes in, students, teachers, and staff get an education in savagery and murder If this were a just world, Stephen Dobyns The Church of Dead Girls would enjoy the critical and popular acclaim accorded to The Silence of the Lambs, while Lambs would be a moderately successful potboiler that reaped modest rewards for the moderately talented Thomas Harris If you like the psychological thrillers, you need to get to Church Unfortunately, Dobyns followup, Boy in the Water, isn t nearly as accomplished or skillful We get off to a grand start a dead boy floating face If this were a just world, Stephen Dobyns The Church of Dead Girls would enjoy the critical and popular acclaim accorded to The Silence of the Lambs, while Lambs would be a moderately successful potboiler that reaped modest rewards for the moderately talented Thomas Harris If you like the psychological thrillers, you need to get to Church Unfortunately, Dobyns followup, Boy in the Water, isn t nearly as accomplished or skillful We get off to a grand start a dead boy floating facedown in a high school swimming pool, a terrified kitten stranded on his back Flashback to Jim Hawthorne Hawthorne, there s a good Gothic name , recovering from a tragic fire that took his family and starting a new job as headmaster of Bishop s Hill Academy in New Hampshire Gargoyle festooned Bishop s Hill is a school on the cutting edge of failure, a dumping ground for kids and teachers trying to serve out the rest of their sentences without learning anything The students would be in jail if they didn t have rich parents, and the faculty would be unemployed if they didn t have do nothing posts at the school Hawthorne has ambitious plans Mandatory staff meetings Rap sessions with the kids He s determined to save 15 year old Jessica Weaver, who puts the student body in student body by stripping at nudie bars to raise money to kidnap her younger brother from her sneeringly evil stepfather Hawthorne hopes to coax the school s timid, gay psychiatrist, Clifford Evings, out of his office, so he ll engage with the students instead of reading novels all day under the glowering portrait of 19th century headmaster Ambrose Stark another great Gothic name , the spirit of the place, as it were Hawthorne aims to rehabilitate the school and in the process rehabilitate himself, not reckoning that most folks are fine with the status quo The harassment campaign against him starts off slow, then escalates vandalism, sacks of rotten food, ghostly sightings of Ambrose Stark, crank phone calls from Hawthorne s dead wife All leading up to MURDER None of this is even remotely believable It slike one of those quirkfest TV shows, say Twin Peaks or The Kingdom It s not much of a whodunit coz pretty much everyone is guilty The teachers are all petty, vindictive and malicious To say nothing of the hyperactive icepick psycho killer who works in the kitchen, telling lousy Canuck jokes and baking tacks into the bread He made good bread Dobyns continues to add level upon level to his layer cake of ludicrous And Hawthorne is such a milquetoast, touchy feely twigboy that it s hard to root for him as a hero, even during his High Noon moment when a blizzard hits and knocks out power to Bishop s Hill while a killer is on the loose Oh, did I mention the spiked fence around the belltower I think we know where this is goin All the cover blurbage suggests this is a pulse pounding thriller, but it s really not It s much too slow and meandering and atmospheric to take to the beach It sof a modern spin on or perhaps a parody of the old fashioned Gothic, complete with moaning winds, howls in the wilderness and eerie apparitions And as such, it could be effective if read while curled up on the couch on a deathly quiet winter nite after a good snowfall