The Witch in the Well is a dark Norwegian thriller from Camilla Bruce, author of You Let Me In.
When two former friends reunite after decades apart, their grudges, flawed ambitions, and shared obsession swirl into an all-too-real echo of a terrible town legend.
Centuries ago, beautiful young Ilsbeth Clark was accused of witchcraft after several children disappeared. Her acquittal did nothing to stop her fellow townsfolk from drowning her in the well where the missing children were last seen.
When author and social media influencer Elena returns to the summer paradise of her youth to get her family’s manor house ready to sell, the last thing she expected was connecting with―and feeling inspired to write about―Ilsbeth’s infamous spirit. The very historical figure that her ex-childhood friend, Cathy, has been diligently researching and writing about for years.
What begins as a fiercely competitive sense of ownership over Ilsbeth and her story soon turns both women’s worlds into something more haunted and dangerous than they could ever imagine.
Camilla Bruce’s novel is dark and dangerous, exploring the supernatural and human flaws in a compelling way. What makes it so intriguing is that both characters are obsessive and flawed, both dark and both not willing to step aside from their competition and it is the story of where those ambitions lead them that keep you coming back for more.
There other aspect is the way the narrative is laid out builds such tension and intrigue. I can’t say I fell in love with either character but I did want to solve the mystery of Ilsbeth as much as the two women did, I wanted to find out what they were each being haunted by and whether the danger would catch up with them. The story unfolds in three different points of view and that is what keeps the story evolving and keeps you waiting for the twist. Ultimately even the monsters are miserable.
Camilla Bruce’s novel is dark and dangerous, full of the supernatural and the human, blending human misery and anger with a haunting story. If you like mystery and intrigue layered with the paranormal, I think you might like this one. The characters were not likable but were all too human and the ending was satisfactory.
Rating: 4 out of 5 trinkets