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Down the Well


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Thirty-three canvases. One massacre. Will Blackhurst be able to get to the bottom of this tragedy, or is there something unhuman involved?

When thirty-three canvases are found amid the massacre of the “Carrington Tragedy,” the investigative community is thrown into chaos. Because of his singular ability to transcribe the concealed text on these canvases, Joseph D. Blackhurst is charged with analyzing them and leading the investigation to find their supposed author: Mr. Richard Maltessouri. As the canvases dive deeper and deeper into the ramblings of a very obviously disturbed mind, Blackhurst and his partner Sahar Ayubbi struggle to find the meanings behind the words and images. Especially the ones that mention Sahar by name…and accuse her of being involved in the massacre. But the deeper they dig, the more it seems like something supernatural may be involved. Will interviewing the people mentioned throughout the canvases lead the investigators to Mr. Maltessouri and the truth? Or will the horrific massacre of the Carrington Tragedy go forever unsolved?

I would rate Down the Well by Joseph Blackhurst 5 out of 5 stars. The narration style was ingenious. Blackhurst placed himself into the role of lead narrator, giving the lawyer charged with solving the mystery of the canvases his own name. The book flips between memos from Blackhurst, narrations of his investigation, and transcriptions of the Canvases. Blackhurst even added footnotes to the canvases to give the book an aura of authenticity. When reading, it felt like I was actually involved in the investigation of a real tragedy. The canvases are written brilliantly as well. They offer a perfect blend of foreshadowing and suspense, giving readers clues about the massacre from a narrator who is not all there. Thus, readers have to pick through the words and decide what, and who, they choose to trust. It was such a fun book to read, and it kept me on the edge of my seat for all 304 pages. 

I would recommend this book to all thriller or mystery lovers. It is listed as a horror book, and I would say that it definitely falls between thriller and horror. If you are someone who loves twisting, scary reads that slowly unfold the truth, this is the book for you. I am an avid horror reader, and I would love to be able to read this book again for the first time. Just don’t pick it up before bed, or you won’t be able to turn out the lights! 

Reviewed by

I have been an avid reader all my life. I mostly love horror, thrillers, and classics, but I am happy to read almost every genere. Looking forward to writing my own book one day, but in the meantime have really been enjoying reviewing other people's masterpieces.

Chapter 1

About the author

Joseph Blackhurst received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. He practices law in Chicago, Illinois, where he specializes in high-profile government investigations. He has made a full recovery. view profile

Published on June 12, 2023

70000 words

Contains graphic explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Horror

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