- File Size: 557 KB
- Print Length: 318 pages
- Publication Date: July 29, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00E8RD1P2
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #561,836 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$14.95|
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Rowan's Well Kindle Edition
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The author offers compelling insight of the sociopathic mind with the character Mark. Unlike other media depictions of sociopaths as strategic villains, the author carefully crafts Mark as a man whose lack of empathy plays out in dark, very possible, ways.
William, his best friend, doesn't seem to realize when he's being manipulated. William isn't weak - he's just loyal and couldn't fathom that Mark could be quite as cold hearted as he sometimes seems to be.
The story builds to a crescendo I both suspected and feared. The last third was an unpredictable journey to a dark but satisfying ending.
"Rowan's Well" follows the story of Mark and Will from when they become roommates in college to when Mark commits a shocking, unforgivable crime, and everyone has to pick up the pieces afterwards. It's a thriller-cum-family-drama, with flashbacks to Mark's childhood in between the story of college-age and adult Mark, Will, and the sisters they marry.
The flashback structure works well to heighten the tension and underline the uncertainty about Mark's character that is the center of the book: neither the reader, nor his wife, nor his best friend Will, nor, for that matter, Mark himself, can ever be entirely certain whether he's a villain or a victim--or rather, where his victimhood ends and his villainy begins. Rejected by his parents and bullied at school, Mark goes through a repeated cycle of driving away and even killing those closest to him. Warning: "Rowan's Well" has some pretty upsetting crimes in it, all committed by Mark. We see Mark as a creepy monster. But we also see him as a person struggling and failing to deal with their difficult past. The human drama plus the flashback structure builds the story to a high pitch of tension that comes--spoiler alert!--to an ambiguous ending.
"Rowan's Well" probably won't be for every reader, but for someone looking for a smart, thoughtful British thriller, it is well worth reading.
We quickly realise Mark has sociopathic tendencies; something we learn is a consequence of his loveless upbringing. Will becomes aware his friend isn’t such a nice guy but is willing to overlook it. Their friendship deepens and they become members of the Brooke family by marrying sisters. The sense that something dark and menacing is about to happen pervades the first half of the book.
The feared ‘event’ occurs driving everyone away from Mark, but Will finds he cannot let his friend go, regardless of what it will cost him.
The descriptions of ‘Rowan’s Well’ and the Yorkshire coast are compelling and despite Mark being a monster, we might not have sympathy for him but we do understand him, a tribute to the authors skill.
This is a haunting novel which lived in my mind long after I’d finished and I look forward to reading the next novel by CJ Harter.
Most recent customer reviews
"A really really excellent book I thoroughly enjoyed it.Read more