Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Behind Closed Doors by Susan Lewis

When fourteen-year-old Sophie Monroe suddenly vanishes one night it looks at first as though she's run away from home.

Her computer and mobile phone have gone, and she's taken a bag full of clothes.

As the police investigation unfolds a wealth of secrets from the surrounding community start coming to light. And it seems everyone has something to hide.

For Detective Sergeant Andrea Lawrence, the case is a painful reminder of the tragedy that tore her family apart over twenty years ago. She is convinced there is more to Sophie's disappearance than teenage rebellion.

But is the past clouding her judgment, preventing her from seeing a truth that neither she, nor Sophie's family, would ever want to face?

Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: January 20th 2015 by Ballantine Books

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Ballantine via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is January 20th 2015.

This is a genre that I do not typically gravitate towards.  I don't know why as I generally always enjoy it when I do read it however I tend to prioritise other genres first.  Perhaps it is time to change that as I may be missing some really good reads.

I found this story really interesting with just enough teasers and possible suspects to keep you guessing.  Add to that you really don't know what the suspects have done.  Did Sophie run away?  Was she abducted?  Even worse could she be dead?  I liked the aspect of not knowing what happened to Sophie and this added to the intrigue I progressed through the story.

The main character in Andee was also a strong one.  With a no nonsense exterior and a vulnerable interior.  The fact that the case hit close to home for her as she battled the similarities and the ghosts of her sister Penny who had gone missing years before and the remaining questions as a result. A personal life in turmoil was the icing on the cake.

Without divulging too many details this was a story with an interesting cast of characters and enough sub-plots to keep it moving.  Was everything connected or were the plots individual of each other?  You will have to read to find out!  If I have to add some criticism is that the story seemed to wrap up a little too quickly.   I would have like to have read more of the actions of the Poynter family and their activities.

If you enjoy a good who done it without a complex writing style then I would recommend this story.  I enjoyed it.

About the Author

(From her Goodreads profile)

was born in 1956, in Bristol. My father was a Welsh miner, a poet, an engineer and a thinker. My mother was one of 13 children who, at 20, persuaded my father to spend his bonus on an engagement ring instead of a motorbike. We were a normal, happy, nuclear family, living in a spanking new council house on the outskirts of town – my mother’s pride and joy. But we were going to do better, my mother had made up her mind about that. My father, an unabashed communist, was writing a book, I was signed up for ballet, elocution, piano and eventually a private boarding school, and my brother, (the real great love of my mother’s life) was going to succeed at everything he set his mind to.

I was 9 and my brother 5 when my mother died of cancer. She was 33, my father was 37, and he never married again.

I went to the boarding school, a rogue little pupil in amongst all the posh girls, with their plummy voices, rich parents and exotic tales of faraway places. I yearned for my mother and father, but it was for the best, I was told. My father couldn’t bring me up on his own. However, I believed he could, and because no one would listen to my pleas for freedom, I took it upon myself to get expelled. It took a while, and I had rather a fabulous time achieving it, and by the time I was thirteen I was back in our little council house with my father and brother.

The teenage years are too painful to go into.

When I was 18 I got a job at HTV in Bristol, and at 22 I moved to London to work for Thames. I began as a secretary in news and current affairs, then trained as a production assistant and moved on to light entertainment and drama. It was a love of drama, combined with a fierce ambition, that got me knocking on the Controller’s door to ask what steps to take to become a producer. “Oh, go away and write something,” came the reply. So I did.

23 books later, my only regret is that none of them have yet made it to the screen. I left TV eighteen years ago to do the “novelist thing” of buying a house with a swimming pool in the South of France. Bliss! For the first summer! After that came a disastrous love affair with one of the FBI’s most wanted, the plunge of the pound, and the dawning realization that life full-time in France was very, very different to a two week holiday frolicking around on millionaire’s yachts on the sunny Riviera. Sure it was glamorous, and the yachts – along with the interesting people – all came back in the summer, but the endless months in between were not far short of hell.

So, off to sunny California and Hollywood. After equipping myself with a Mercedes estate for my beloved dogs Casanova and Floozie, a home in the hills complete with pool and perfect sunsets every night, I set about completing the obstacle course of cowboy agents, big-talking producers and wannabe directors. Once I realised that Hollywood was NOT waiting for me, I put the struggle behind me and from thereon life in Tinsel Town became just plain thrilling. From star-studded screenings and glitzy parties, to moonlit dinners on the beach and edgy nightclubs, it was the perfect town to be single. George Clooney was my neighbour, Jennifer Anniston, Charlize Theron and Julianne Moore shopped in the same places, Nick Cage was a guest at my house, and Steve Martin was a regular on our dog walks. Romances flourished and faded, some dreams came true and others were crushed.

After seven happy years of taking the best from Hollywood and avoiding the rest, I had to face up to the fact that I was losing touch with being English. I needed a fix of my own country, so once again my dogs and I were on the move. We returned to Wiltshire for two years where making the adjustment from Manolo Blahniks to Wellies, cocktails at sunset to nights in by the fire, and no more glittery invites to liven up the mail proved too crushing for a still young and lively spirit. 

Twitter:  susandlewis

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