Book Reviews of Boy in the Water

Boy in the Water
Boy in the Water
Author: Stephen Dobyns
ISBN-13: 9780312975227
ISBN-10: 0312975228
Publication Date: 7/15/2000
Pages: 448
Rating:
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 23

3.5 stars, based on 23 ratings
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

6 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Boy in the Water on + 194 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
" A riveting psychological thriller, a shivery whodunit." A spooky book, that made me lock the doors twice. Highly recomend!!!
reviewed Boy in the Water on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A study in human behavior regarding greed, power, and murder in a closed group of people in a private school setting. Lots of background on all the characters. No loose ends.
reviewed Boy in the Water on + 216 more book reviews
Murder mystery set in a boys private school.

From Amazon.com:
Although not as complex or as haunting as his 1997 novel Church of Dead Girls, Stephen Dobyns has produced a first-rate psychological thriller with Boy in the Water.

Bishop's Hill Academy in rural New Hampshire is a school in crisis. Once a highly regarded preparatory school for the rich and elite, it is now a dumping ground for troubled teens. The teachers are unqualified, unenthusiastic, and spend more time hitting the students than educating them. A new headmaster, Jim Hawthorne, enters the chaotic scene, but is immediately outcast from the tight-knit faculty. Hawthorne is obsessed with the idea of turning the school around--and we soon find out why. His family died in a fire purportedly set by a disturbed teenager back in San Diego. Mentally and physically scarred, Hawthorne sees Bishop's Hill as an opportunity to get back to "physical reality," and save some adolescent psyches. But it is his own mental state that is soon put to the test as he becomes the nucleus of a hate campaign and is forced to relive the terrible memories of the fire.

It seems that everyone in the school has a secret to hide--from the cook Frank LeBrun who enjoys placing sharp tacks in his recipes to Chip Campbell, a history teacher who has taken one too many liberties with the school's funds.

Dobyns paints a foreboding landscape of dilapidated buildings and neglected children--a place where a 15-year-old girl plots to kill her father, a place where teachers abuse students, a place where a young boy is found dead in a swimming pool. As a snowstorm cuts off the isolated community, the exiled headmaster is forced into a final showdown with the school's omnipotent evil.

Boy in the Water is an entertaining but ultimately disturbing read.
reviewed Boy in the Water on
This was the first book I've read by Dobyns and I'm very impressed. It was a great read from beginning to end about a small town and the deceit you can come across. I cant wait to read more books by this author.
reviewed Boy in the Water on + 94 more book reviews
Set in the New Hampshire mountains at remote Bishop's Hill Academy, Dobyns's new novel succeeds, though it still does not top The Church of Dead Girls (LJ 5/1/97). As usual, Dobyns fleshes out mundane, real-world characters. Bishop's Hill is a financially shaky institution known as a dumping ground for troubled teenagers. New headmaster Jim Hawthorne carries a motherlode of guilt and conflict from the past: detained by a tryst at his previous prestigious post, he failed to save his wife and daughter from a fire set by a student jealous for his attention. Friend Kevin Kreuger tries to convince Hawthorne that he is punishing himself by taking the job, but Hawthorne perseveres. Deliberate attempts to undermine Hawthorne's success at Bishop's Hill, followed by a series of murders, overshadow his improvements to the school.

Pretty good
reviewed Boy in the Water on + 90 more book reviews
Bishop's Hill Academy in rural New Hampshire is a school in crisis. Once a highly regarded preparatory school for the rich and elite, it is now a dumping ground for troubled teens. The teachers are unqualified, unenthusiastic, and spend more time hitting the students than educating them. A new headmaster, Jim Hawthorne, enters the chaotic scene, but is immediately outcast from the tight-knit faculty. Hawthorne is obsessed with the idea of turning the school around--and we soon find out why.