“A haunting thriller” (PopSugar) about a woman who believes that she has a connection to a decades old kidnapping and begins a frantic investigation to find out what really happened when the victim goes missing again.
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.
Returning to her childhood home to help her father pack for a move, 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. With the help of her psychologist father, Fern digs deeper, hoping to find evidence that her connection to Astrid can help the police locate her. But when Fern discovers more about her own past than she ever bargained for, the disturbing truth will change both of their lives forever in this “masterful meditation on fear” (Mindy Mejia, author of Strike Me Down).
Boston social worker Fern Douglas, the 32-year-old heroine of this harrowing if credulity stretching psychological thriller from Collins (The Winter Sister), reluctantly returns to her New Hampshire hometown to help her retired professor dad pack for a move to Florida. She's bracing for the inevitable bad memories, in particular the times he duped his affection-starved only child into unwittingly serving as the experimental subject for his research into the psychology of fear. Fern's trip coincides with the highly publicized hunt for missing 34-year-old Astrid Sullivan, the bestselling author of Behind the Red Door, a memoir about her teenage kidnapping ordeal in nearby Foster, N.H. Fern initially has nightmares, then she experiences what feel like flashbacks as she reads Astrid's memoir. She becomes convinced their pasts are connected and, if she could only remember more, she could help rescue Astrid. Though Collins plays her cards carefully to maximize suspense, with a couple of jokers thrown in, the plot builds to an unsurprising resolution. Genre veterans will find nothing new.
BEHIND THE RED DOOR is an enjoyable, fast-paced read. The story is somewhat predictable, but Collins writes so well you can't help but be drawn into it. The heroine's feelings are very easy to imagine, and the setting was perfect. I'm looking forward to reading more books by this author.
Disclosure: I received a free, uncorrected proof of this book.
The Lions of Fifth Anenue
This is the first book I have read by this author, but I’m going to start on another. Heart warning story, easy to read, finished in one day, loved it.