Behind the Red Door by Megan Collins


When Fern Douglas sees the news about Astrid Sullivan, a thirty-four-year-old missing woman from Maine, she is positive that she knows her. Fern’s husband is sure it’s because of Astrid’s famous kidnapping—and equally famous return—twenty years ago, but Fern has no memory of that, even though it happened an hour outside her New Hampshire hometown. And when Astrid appears in Fern’s recurring nightmare, one in which a girl reaches out to her, pleading, Fern fears that it’s not a dream at all, but a memory.

Back home in New Hampshire, Fern purchases a copy of Astrid’s recently published memoir—which may have provoked her original kidnapper to abduct her again—and as she reads through its chapters and visits the people and places within it, she discovers more evidence that she has an unsettling connection to the missing woman. As Fern’s search becomes increasingly desperate, she hopes to remember her past so she can save Astrid in the present…before it’s too late.

My Review


A truly dark, disturbing, atmospheric psychological thriller that draws on the human psyche and how damaging fear can be to mental health.

Behind the Red Door is the story of protagonist Fern as she struggles to unlock her repressed memories to help find a missing woman.

20 years ago Astrid Sullivan was kidnapped, help prisoner in a basement by a masked assailant, then sensationally returned weeks later. Fern has no memory of this event even though she would have been old enough to remember it being all across the news, but when Astrid goes missing again 20 years later, Fern becomes convinced that she knew Astrid, that the two girls are somehow connected. The recurrent nightmare she has been having since childhood begins to take on the face of the young Astrid. Could her dreams be more than just a dream? Is it actually a flash of memory she is seeing in her sleep?

For all of the serial killer thrillers, psychological suspenses and thrillers, even horror novels, this truly is one of the most deeply disturbing and terrifying books I have read.

There is no need for gory, blood soaked depictions, no monsters in the classical sense, no sadistic killers on the loose, no gothic, dark, eerie houses, and yet; for every component that makes up a scary story that this book doesn’t have, doesn’t need, the tension is so precision perfect, sharper than any surgical scalpel and delivered so accurately that you don’t register the fatal cut to the jugular until it’s to late! It may not have you jumping at shadows, checking under your bed or have your heart rate soaring with every creak and groan of the house in the dead of night. This is so much worse because it’s all psychological, its all inside your head. Your mind trapped, at war with itself as it digests the horrors that our own minds can inflict.

This book poignantly embarks on a road paved with anxiety, mental health and afflictions of the mind and how the people you love, the people that are meant to keep you safe can be the very people that harm you the most. But even worse, the damage our own minds can do to ourselves.

The writing is so incredibly immersive that you feel as though as though you are also part of Ted’s research, like one of his subjects. As you feel the fear seeping off the pages and follow the plot lines about deceptions of the mind this book will have you questioning your own mind as well as what is about to be revealed next and doubting Ferns mind as well as your own! Have I been right all along or have I fallen for one of the red herrings scattered throughout the book?

If you are a fan of psychological thrillers then this book needs to be at the top of your tbr list! Behind the Red Door will be published on 04 August 2020 but you can preorder it now here. I can promise you, it will be worth the wait!

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