Book Review: Behind Closed Doors by Carol Wyer

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?


I loved the premise of this book, and the hostage-situation opener really grabbed me. The story became even more intriguing when we discover Stacey suffers from memory loss and we have an unreliable character on our hands. This continues throughout the book and has us wondering if Stacey’s own experience, and her personal relationship with Lyra, is hindering the hunt for the kidnapper.

Despite a strong plot line, Behind Closed Doors had something missing for me. It felt like it was continually on the edge of something amazing, but never quite making it. Honestly, I can’t quite put my finger on what was missing, though. A tighter chain of events and a more dramatic atmosphere spring to mind. I also felt Stacey was lacking slightly as a character. I just didn’t feel empathy for her and it didn’t feel like she had gone through such a massive ordeal as a teenager. That disconnect prevented me from really engaging with the book.

I think by the ending, Behind Closed Doors redeemed itself a little for me. Plus, there are many excellent reviews on Goodreads, so it seems my thoughts are purely on personal preference and this might still be worth a read for many others. You can purchase the book here.

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