Title: Behind Closed Doors by Susan Lewis
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 370 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss
For readers of Jodi Picoult, Heather Gudenkauf, and Elizabeth Flock comes a spellbinding tale of a girl gone missing—and the detective who will risk everything to find her.
Detective Sergeant Andrea Lawrence is reluctant to take this emotionally charged case, but she can’t help herself. In a small British seaside community, a fourteen-year-old girl has vanished. Sophie Monroe hasn’t been seen since she fought—loudly, miserably—with her stepmother and father more than a week before. But her frantic parents seem to be the only people concerned about Sophie’s disappearance. Everyone else just assumes that an angry teenager is acting out by hiding for a while.
Did someone help Sophie run away, or abduct her? Either way, Detective Andee is certain something bad has happened. As Andee investigates, two men jump to the top of the list of suspects—but neither of them can be located. And the deeper Andee delves into Sophie’s life, the more she struggles to keep her own darkest fears at bay—because Andee knows all too well what happens when young girls are lost and never found.
Fans of police procedurals do not want to miss Susan Lewis’s newest release Behind Closed Doors. With a very intriguing mystery and an outstanding cast of characters, it is an absolutely riveting novel that is impossible to put down.
Detective Sergeant Andrea “Andee” Lawrence comes face to face with her unresolved and traumatic past when fourteen year old Sophie Monroe is reported missing. While investigating Sophie’s case, Andee is haunted by the memories of her sister Penny’s disappearance twenty years earlier. With Penny’s fate still unknown, Andee does everything in her power to uncover the truth about what happened to Sophie, but can she maintain her objectivity during such an emotionally volatile investigation?
Andee is a single mother of two teenagers who has recently moved back to the town where she and Penny vacationed with their grandparents every summer. Devastated after her twenty year relationship with her children’s father ended, Andee has finally started a new relationship when a family crisis brings her ex back into her life. Trying to juggle both her professional and personal lives is quite challenging and Andee is also plagued with doubts that her judgment is clouded by her unsettling memories of Penny’s case and the impact of her disappearance on her family.
Although readers only see a brief glimpse of Sophie, her presence is keenly felt throughout the entire novel and it is impossible not to feel a connection to her. She is a very sympathetic character and her back story is incredibly heartbreaking. Her reactions to all of the changes in her life are sadly all too real in today’s world and it is very easy to understand the reasons behind her (misguided) choices.
The mystery element is positively brilliant and there are numerous plot twists that effectively keep the truth about what happened to Sophie obscured for most of the story. While Andee’s investigation uncovers a fairly long list of suspects and possible motives for Sophie’s disappearance, none of the clues lead to definitive answer for what happened to the missing teen.
Behind Closed Doors is a completely captivating read with a richly developed cast of characters and a complex storyline. It is an emotionally compelling novel that has plenty of depth and substance and a plot is all too frighteningly realistic. Susan Lewis brings the story to a very unexpected and poignant conclusion that is quite moving. An excellent mystery that fans of the genre are going to love.