Susan Lewis, the Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling author of Never Say Goodbye, is known for her heartfelt novels that delve into the inner workings of families and relationships. Behind Closed Doors is no exception.
When it looks like Sophie Monroe, a struggling teenager, has run away from home, Detective Sergeant Andrea “Andee” Lawrence is certain that there is more to Sophie’s disappearance than meets the eye.
As the investigation unfolds, it would seem that the community of Kesterley has many secrets they’d rather keep behind closed doors. As Andee unravels more stories and secrets, her own past haunts her as this case is a painful reminder of a personal family tragedy she went through 20 years ago. She begins to question her capabilities in dealing with a case so close to her heart and worries whether her past is clouding her judgement in the present.
Although the essence of this novel is a detective mystery, the novel takes on a vast emotional range of subjects. Dealing with everything from the disappearance, to family breakdowns, fresh starts and deception, there are some tear-jerking moments yet it is in no way a struggle to get through. She has a knack for drawing you right into the depths of the storyline from the first page and you are gripped from then on out.
With a wealth of characters, whether leading roles or simply supporting, each one is credible, thoughtful and touching in their own way. Her style of storytelling manages to reveal enough of each character to allow the reader to reach a level of empathy towards each individual yet she knows when to hold back on information to keep you guessing. I could not put the book down!
Having now looked into Susan Lewis’ own story a little more – her website susanlewis.com is well worth a visit – it would seem that she taps into an emotional past of her own when writing her novels and I feel it is this that brings her stories and characters to life in such an insightful manner.
Behind Closed Doors is a compelling story with many twists and turns, a “whodunnit” with depth that kept me on the edge of my seat – whether at home, a café, the edge of the bed, literally anywhere I had a spare 5 minutes – until the final page.