Behind Closed Doors by Carol Wyer

I’m a huge fan of Carol Wyer both as an author and a very lovely human being and it’s far too long since I featured her here on Linda’s Book Bag. You’ll find other posts here. My grateful thanks go to Zoe of Zooloo’s Book Tours for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for Carol’s latest book, Behind Closed Doors. I’m delighted to share my review today.

Published by Thomas & Mercer today, 6th December 2022, Behind Closed Doors is available for purchase here.

Behind Closed Doors

Two kidnappings, thirty years apart. Can Stacey face her own dark past in order to save her stepdaughter?

When Stacey’s ex-husband turns up on her doorstep begging her to help save his kidnapped thirteen-year-old daughter, Lyra, the terror is all too familiar. Stacey’s own violent kidnapping thirty years ago was never solved, and while a severe case of amnesia spares her from recalling the specific horrors, she remembers enough…

Stacey knows her father never paid the ransom—she has the missing pinkie finger to prove it. She knows she was only saved because of an anonymous tip-off to the police. And she knows her captor was never apprehended.

Lyra’s kidnappers have made it clear the police must not get involved. But Stacey can’t shake the eerie similarities between the two cases, and she’ll use whatever she can, from her journalistic powers to her shady contacts, to save Lyra from the same nightmare. Desperate to find any link between Lyra’s abduction and her own, Stacey forces herself to revisit her forgotten, traumatic past for clues.

But can she make sense of the terrible secrets she unearths in time to save Lyra? And if she does, is she ready to face her own tormentor?

My Review of Behind Closed Doors

Jack needs Stacey’s help.

Behind Closed Doors opens dramatically and the pace is maintained throughout with a high octane finale that elevated my pulse considerably. I loved the timed and dated chapters because they lent a sense of urgency, heightening the tension in the story. I thought it was inspired to present the italicised events from the past through the present tense, because it gave them an immediacy and made it feel as if they were still occurring, drawing in the reader completely. It sounds somewhat ridiculous, but when I returned to Behind Closed Doors I often wondered what had been happening whilst I was away because I was so convinced by the writing!

What strikes me incredibly forcefully every time I read Carol Wyer is her profound understanding of humanity. She knows exactly what frailties we all have, and what the flaws are in our natures, so that reading her writing feels intimate, sensitive and affecting even when the plot is something we have never experienced. Behind Closed Doors swirls with human greed, deception, revenge, desire for love, intimacy and belonging and so many other forms of human interaction that it would reward many re-readings even after the plot is known. This is a layered and fascinating story.

It’s this level of human understanding that makes Stacey such a brilliant character. She’s complex and convincing, making her an ideal protagonist. Alongside her strength and intelligence is a vulnerability and occasional short-sightedness that doesn’t always serve her well. As Stacey’s responses are affected by her past, Behind Closed Doors has a sharply observed psychological edge. Stacey did infuriate me, because I wanted her to walk away from the investigation into Lyra’s disappearance as it felt too demanding for her, and yet at the same time I admired her fortitude and tenacity. This had the effect of making me feel as conflicted as Stacey is and hooked me in further. 

Compelling plot and character aside, however, what’s so interesting here is the manner with which Carol Wyer makes the reader question their own view of morality. In Behind Closed Doors there’s a fine line dividing the innocent and the guilty so that different types of crime, of immorality, permeate the story making it so fascinating to contemplate long after the final page is read. Sometimes doing the wrong thing is completely understandable! This dilemma mean that the writing is intelligent and affecting as well as highly entertaining in Behind Closed Doors.

I so enjoyed this book. Certainly Behind Closed Doors is a fast paced thriller that can be read as sheer entertainment, but I felt it had depths and qualities that deserved reflection and contemplation too. It felt like grown up writing of the best kind.

About Carol Wyer

USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer’s crime novels have sold over one million copies and been translated into nine languages.

A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in Little Girl Lost and proved that Carol had found her true niche.

February 2021 saw the release of the first in the much-anticipated new series, featuring DI Kate Young. An Eye For An Eye was chosen as a Kindle First Reads and became the #1 bestselling book on Amazon UK and Amazon Australia.

Carol has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’, featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post. She’s also been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television.

She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr. Grumpy… who is very, very grumpy. When she is not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.

To learn more, can follow Carol on Twitter @carolewyer, visit her website and find her on Facebook and Instagram.

There’s more with these other bloggers too:

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