Boy in the Water Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Boy in the Water

Frank LeBrun is a psychotic murderer looking for a new start, while Jessica is a 15-year old stripper escaping her abusive father and apathetic mother. Both wind up at Bishop's Hill Academy, a school in New Hampshire for rich, troubled students; one as an assistant cook, the other as a pupil. The uninspired and jaded faculty seems to be marking time until the schools imminent closure. James Hawthorne is selected as the new headmaster with emotional and psychological baggage of his own. He has been offered the chance to turn around the beleaguered school in one year or it will be forced to close its doors.
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The troubles for the headmaster, recently relocated from San Diego, begin quickly and escalate as one of the schools faculty commits suicide and a young student is found floating in the schools indoor pool. Hawthorne is constantly tormented by thoughts of his own failings in the past, an extramarital affair and a relationship with a troubled student that may have resulted to the deaths of his wife and daughter. The state and local police are piecing together a profile on a killer who murders with an ice pick and they are following that trail to Bishop's Hill. With a bitter, snowy winter enveloping the remote school the mystery of who is sabotaging the school and trying to frighten Hawthorne is not really a secret. The key antagonists are known but it is the extent to which they will go that remains to be seen.
The review of this Book prepared by David Fletcher

Chapter Analysis of Boy in the Water

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   finding a known killer

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   teacher Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Small town?    -   Yes Small town people:    -   nice, like Andy/Opie/Aunt Bee

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very gorey descriptions deaths/dead bodies Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references    -   touching of anatomy    -   descript. of breasts    -   descript. of other female areas Unusual forms of death    -   impaled Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Stephen Dobyns Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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