Lazy Saturday Review: Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes #BookReview

behindclosedTitle: Behind Closed Doors
Author: Elizabeth Haynes
Series: DCI Louisa Smith #2
Format: Digital, 416 pages
Publication Details: January 29th 2015 by Sphere
Genre(s): Crime; Thriller
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.

Goodreads // Purchase

‘To begin with, nothing was certain except her own terror . . .’

Ten years ago, fourteen-year-old Scarlett Rainsford vanished without a trace during a family holiday to Greece. Not being able to find Scarlett was one of the biggest regrets of DCI Louisa Smith’s career and when Scarlett is discovered back in her home town after all this time, Lou is determined to find out what happened to her and why she remained hidden for so long. Was she abducted or did she run away?

As Lou and her team delve deeper into Scarlett’s past, their investigation throws up more questions than it answers. But as they edge closer to the truth about what really went on behind closed doors, it is more sinister and disturbing than they had ever imagined.

Review

Behind Closed Doors is another compelling, page-turning read from Police Analyst Elizabeth Haynes.

This is the third book I’ve read by Haynes and I’ve found them all to be edge-of-your-seat thrilling and interesting in the most excellent dark and gritty way. Behind Closed Doors was no exception.

Haynes is masterful at navigating the multi-layer plot about a girl who was abducted on a family holiday and has returned after 10 years, posing more questions than there are answers.

Obviously, I felt for Scarlett and all the horrible things she went through, but she was frustrating too in the way that she refused to tell her story. Of course, this is what made it such a page-turner and I couldn’t wait to find out who was behind the whole thing.

No one in this book is a sure thing. Scarlett’s family were weird to the point of being suspects, and even Scarlett herself can’t be trusted.

Haynes’ experience as a Police Analyst brings an obvious insider knowledge to her thrillers, but they never feel clinical. They have heart, and I liked that this story in particular shows how different people act differently in extreme situations, making it impossible to judge anyone’s intentions.

You never know who to trust…

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This Week in Books 28.10.15 #HorrorOctober

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

Happy Wednesday, Everyone, and welcome to the last Horror October edition of TWIB, this year!

Here’s what I got up to…

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Now: An English Ghost Story ~ Kim Newman // Behind Closed Doors ~ Elizabeth Haynes

I’m really enjoying An English Ghost Story. It’s not at all what I expected, but loving it so far. I haven’t got as far as I’d have liked on the Haynes book, but I’m sure it’s going to be good as well.

Then:

Vampire Vic 2: Morbius Reborn ~ Harris Gray // The Ghoul Archipelago by Stephen Kozeniewski

Both of these had their ups and downs, but I still enjoyed them. My Vampire Vic 2 review is here, and The Ghoul Archipelago one will be up shortly.

Next: ???

My Horror October reads pushed some ARCs back so I’ll be returning to them. The Winter Place is first up!

That’s it for this week, what did you get up to?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #TWIB, and I’ll come and visit.

This Week in Books 14.10.2015 #HorrorOctober

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Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

Happy Wednesday, Everyone! I hope you’re all enjoying some spooky, Autumn reads…I certainly am!

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Now: Vampire Vic ~ Harris Gray // Edgar Allan Poe: Stories & Poems

I’m enjoying Vampire Vic so far – a comedic, light-hearted take on a vampire story, and the Poe book is awesome, of course. The illustrations are PERFECT!

Then: Seize the Night ~ Various //The Kiss of Death ~ Marcus Sedgwick

I was a bit disappointed with Seize the Night as a whole, but there were some great stories in there. And as expected, I loved The Kiss of Death, my review went up on Monday.

Next: ???

My next read for Horror October will be the second Vampire Vic book, followed by Behind Closed Doors by Elizabeth Haynes.

That’s it for this week, what did you get up to?

If you still do a similar WWW post (or just want to join in, leave your link/answers in the comments, OR why not tweet using #TWIB, and I’ll come and visit.

Top Ten Tuesday: Horror Books For Readers Who Like Character Driven Novels

toptentuesday Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the image to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is: Ten Books For Readers Who Like Character Driven Novels

As it’s October, I thought I’d make it even harder for myself by choosing Horror/Thriller books.

Character-driven novels are those where the character’s arc is the main element of the story, rather than the actual plot. I’m not entirely sure if all the these books would officially be classed as character-driven, but they are all novels in which the characters are well developed and undergo some kind of personal growth throughout.

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1. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice: Whether it’s the books or the film you’re familiar with, Anne Rice’s Vampire tale is very character-led. Each character has a strong arc, and has completely changed by the end of it. Or are y’know, dead.

2. Procession of the Dead by D.B Shan: Darren Shan’s first series for adults is one of my favourites in the horror genre, as long as we don’t talk about the last book! Protagonist Capac Raimi begins as a lovable young rogue, turns into the thing he feared the most, and has a monumental fall from grace.

3. Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes: We follow Cathy from the present day where it’s clear that horrific events in her past have traumatised her beyond recognition. She has debilitating OCD and finds it hard to leave the house. Throughout the book we are taken back to the events that led up to her current state, and while this is also quite plot-driven, it’s very much about Cathy’s growth as a person, and letting go of the past.

4. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King: I love this sequel to The Shining. We get to how little Danny Torrence grew up and how Abra Stone impacts his life. They are both strong characters who have intense character arcs. I felt like this book was much more character-driven than the first.

5 & 6. The Woman in Black & The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill: I feel like most of Susan Hill’s books are very character-driven. Maybe it’s because they are gently paced with an emphasis on the character’s reactions to the supernatural. These are the two books of hers that stand out for me, character-wise.

7. Doll Bones by Holly Black: This is my current read so I don’t know how it ends yet. It’s a creepy tale about dead girl’s spirit trapped inside a china doll, but really it’s about three pre-teen friends feeling pressured into growing up, and their loss of innocence and imagination.

Gah I hate it when I can’t think of 10. What did I miss?

Horror October: Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes

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17234765 Human Remains is a deeply disturbing and powerful psychological thriller that will have you checking the locks on your doors and windows.

When Annabel, a police analyst, discovers her neighbour’s decomposing body in the house next door, she’s appalled to think that no one, including herself, noticed that anything was wrong.

Back at work, she feels compelled to investigate, despite her colleagues’ lack of interest, and finds data showing that such cases are common – too common – in her home town. As she’s drawn deeper into the mystery and becomes convinced she’s on the trail of a killer, she also must face her own demons and her own mortality. Would anyone notice if she just disappeared?

So, this is one of those books that’s really hard to review without giving away the whole shebang, so I’ll keep it brief.

I absolutely loved Haynes’ first book Into the Darkest Corner but somehow managed to miss the release of her second one. When I saw the synopsis for Human Remains (her 3rd) though I knew I had to read it, especially considering I was doing this Horror October thing.

I have to say, I started off being bit disappointed. The novel is written from the perspectives of Annabel, a woman who has somehow managed to isolate herself from everyone apart from her elderly mum and her cat, and Colin, an intelligent but clearly unhinged individual. I think the main reason that this started off so slowly for me was that it was clear from the start that Colin was going to be ‘the killer’.

At first, I thought it was just an obvious plot-line but as soon as it became clear that we’re supposed to know who he is I felt I was really able to get into it. There was one moment when something just clicked, the inciting incident if you want to be poncy about it, and from then on I was hooked. It just wished it had happened sooner.

Human Remains reminded me a little of the likes of the film Se7en, and to some extent the Hannibal books. Mainly because of Colin’s character. He’s intelligent, articulate and lives a somewhat normal life on the surface, but underneath he’s completely psychotic. And that’s the thing I love about these kind of thrillers. I’m totally fascinated by how serious criminals and serial killers’ minds work.

Colin was a great baddy, even if he didn’t feel that original to me. I guess certain things he did were though. The creepiest part wasn’t even his obsession with the bodies, it was his complete lack of remorse. There was no remorse, because he didn’t feel like he was doing anything wrong, and therefore he felt invincible.

I wish we learned more about ‘his method’ too, I was really intrigued by that – such a scary thought. If you weren’t wary of the likes of Derren Brown before, you will be after reading this!

Disclosure: None, I bought it!
Details: Paperback, 368 pages. Published February 14th 2013 by MYRIAD EDITIONS
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Unicorns
Is it a keeper? Probably, but only because I’ve kept Into the Darkest Corner.
If you liked this try: American Psycho

WWW Wednesday! (23/10/2013)

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently Reading: Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes, (I might have finished this by the time this post goes out – it’s been good!) and The Wolves of Midwinter (The Wolf Gift #2) by Anne Rice.

Recently Finished: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King, which I loved. Read my review here.

Up Next: Probably Good Omens, which I’ve been meaning to read for AGES. I famously find it hard to ‘get into’ Neil Gaiman’s books even though I love the stories he tells, there’s something about his writing style that I don’t get on with. But I’m hoping this collaboration with Terry Pratchett will be different.

You can check out the other books I’m reading for Horror October Here.

Leave a comment with the link to your post, or your books this week and I’ll be sure to take a look!

WWW Wednesday (16/10/2013)

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading? • What did you recently finish reading? • What do you think you’ll read next?

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Currently Reading: As part of Horror October I’m reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. I’m almost finished…LOVING IT.

Recently Finished: Words Once Spoken by Carly Drake. This was a book of two halves for me! My review is here.

Up Next: Probably The Wolves of Midwinter by Anne Rice OR Human Remains by Elizabeth Haynes

You can check out the other books I’m reading for Horror October Here.

Leave a comment with the link to your post, or your books this week and I’ll be sure to take a look!