The Well by Peter Labrow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
One of the most useful devices for any horror writer is the trap, or the closed room story. It's been done so many times and is still effective. Peter Labrow uses it in his debut novel with a clever twist. If I was reading a short story about two teenagers trapped in a well away from anybody they knew and no chance to escape I'd have licked my lips. But a whole novel about it? Well I was curious.
Obviously Peter’s gift for writing a multi-layered story ensured this was no single thread arc. The kids in the well was peg on which he hung some very interesting and well-crafted subplots. These took the novel into crime, horror, supernatural, domestic and historical avenues. All of which were balanced perfectly to keep the story ad momentum moving fast.
This is a thrill ride of a thriller and a heart racing horror. Witches, telepathic children, predators and ancient pagan curses all combine to build a story that will leave you with sore thumbs in this fast adrenaline filled page turner.
The only criticism I would point to is the dénouement could have been a lot leaner. But given the many strands that had to be tied up I can’t really see how else he could have written it. However that minor detail apart, this book kept my interest right until the final sentence.
If this is what Peter Labrow can do with a debut I can’t wait to read his future novels.