A series of nightmares that register as flashbacks convince 32-year-old social worker Fern that she has a connection to Astrid Sullivan, a woman who was kidnapped 20 years earlier in her hometown and has written a memoir about her disappearance. Back home to help her psychologist father prepare for a move, Fern digs within her own memory and unearths some disturbing truths about her past.
I was utterly blown away by its depth and complexity. I was completely entranced from beginning to end ... Fern is such a complex character; she’s not always easy to like, but is someone I found myself cheering for right from the start ... There are some troubling things hidden in its pages, things that make for fantastic plot twists, but could be difficult for some readers to stomach. There’s not a ton of physical violence here, but emotional and mental manipulation play a big part in the story. I can’t say more without spoiling things, but if unhealthy relationships aren’t easy for you to read about, you might want to give this one a pass. If, however, you prefer your books at the darker end of the thriller spectrum, I highly recommend you pick up a copy as soon as you can. It’s unlike anything I’ve read recently, and I’m eager to see what else Megan Collins has in store for her readers. After reading this, I’m a devoted fan for sure.
... a chilling psychological drama as disturbing as it is mysterious ... Megan Collins has created a suspenseful novel that is ultimately haunting—it lingers, asking questions about our experience as human beings in relationship with others, about our expectations of ourselves and each other, responsibilities we take on, and the legacy of our actions.
There are many red herrings here, along with a plethora of clues. It’s not that difficult to figure out who the kidnapper is, but that doesn’t take away from the constant emotion of fear that pervades the novel as Fern tries to bring back the repressed memories that tease her dreams and engulf her days. And when she finally does discover the abductor’s identity, will that help Astrid? Collins provides an unexpected twist to keep us guessing until the very end. Behind the Red Door is not a happy beach read. There are some very dark themes of child abuse and bullying throughout these pages. But ultimately, this story of redemption and overcoming cruelty will linger in our minds as we consider our own memories and how accurate they really are.