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The Door at the Top of the Stairs

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  92 ratings  ·  14 reviews
UNDERCOVER NARCOTICS OFFICER, Jesse Shaunessy, is kidnapped and tortured, then thrown away by her department as damaged goods. The mind is a powerful ally, and 26-year-old Jesse has no memory of the abduction or the subsequent torture. Inevitably, as Jesse drifts from one itinerant job to another, the protective walls carefully constructed by her subconscious are beginning ...more
Kindle Edition, 284 pages
Published August 31st 2010 (first published July 28th 2010)
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Alison Naomi Holt knows how to hold an audience..with strong characters capable of drawing you into their world.. Without doubt one of the best lesbian stories to date.. I doubt if you will forget this one for a long long time.
B.K. Walker
This has got to be one of the best psychological thrillers I've read in a long time. Brilliantly written with descriptive details forcing you to turn the pages to find out what happens next. You will find yourself at the end before you know it!

Jesse was a mouthy woman with a bad attitude looking for work. When she comes to Morgan's farm, both woman have met their match. Luckily for Jesse, Morgan's partner Ry is a psychologist who is willing to come out of retirement to help her face her demons.


You have a doorway of light at the top of a flight of stairs. I'd say it's a pretty literal interpretation of the book's title.


This was definitely an engaging and well thought-out story. The characters (Morgan, Ryland and Jesse) were believable and felt real.

There was a part of the story that I wasn't expecting and that was the lesbianism. I hesitate to mention this because a lot of people will not read a book if same-sex couples are depicted. While I may not agree with the same-sex co
Donna McBroom-Theriot
This book was amazing! All else in my world came to a halt as I became deeper and deeper engrossed in the book. I could not put it down. I truly did not know what to expect from the book when I read the preface. I wasn’t sure how gory the book would be and I was worried that I would not be able to complete the book.

The book drew me in and I was unable to put it down. It was full of emotion and suspense and it was next to impossible to figure out what the next page held in store. I fell in lov
Bending The Bookshelf
Wow. This was a difficult read. That’s not to say it’s poorly written, that there were problems with the story, or that I had issues with the characters. Far from it. When I say it was a difficult read, I’m referring to the emotional depth and the incredibly moving scenes of graphic torture. That may sound odd coming from a self-proclaimed fan of the likes of King, Barker, Lumley, and Laymon, but Alison hits you right in the gut, sucking the very wind from you with how she frames the violence.

I am still torn about this..but I guess in the end the only way to describe it is "torture porn."
Why it was necessary to describe the violence in such graphic detail is beyond me. Maybe the book tried to contrast the relationship between Ryland and Morgan and the suffering of Jesse.

The violence is misogynous and reminds one of the sexual nature of the torture inflicted by the Church on women in the Middle Ages. Maybe this was intentional but it does not make a good read.

Be it as it may, I could
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Deep and hidden memories, new-found friends to help, a job that helps with the pain....Jesse had all of these, but could the pain go away?

When Jesse arrives on Morgan and Ryland's farm for a job, the conflict between Jesse and Morgan was instantaneous...they both were head strong and wanted to be in control. Morgan had a great life as owner of a profitable farm, Ryland was the calm, retired psychoanalyst, and Jesse was 26 with horrible memories of torture that affected her daily life and memorie
1000 +

This book was amazing, powerful and I couldn't put it down.

When I read the description of the book I wasn't expecting what was beyond the cover. I felt as if I were Jesse, reliving these terrifying events that stole part of her life. I.. felt.. it. Such an emotional roller coaster and such amazing characters.

There were times I laughed, times I cried, times I wanted to shout to Ryland and tell her to stop it! I haven't had a book capture me like this in a long time. To where I don't just w
Melissa Rheinlander
I was hooked into this book from the moment Jesse showed up on the farm. Her story was intriguing, horrifying, but also loving. I liked that Jesse loved the animals that she worked with on the farm. I truly believe that animals (such as horses) can be very therapeutic for people. The dynamic between Jesse and Morgan was also very well written. You were rooting for their relationship from the beginning.
Alison Naomi Holt uses her background with law enforcement in her writings which makes for a re
It took me a couple of chapters to get into this book but once I did I couldn't put it down. The characters were all well thought out and add a lot of depth to the novel.
At certain parts of this novel I thought I knew what was happening but then I turned the page and another twist was added to the plot. I felt like I was right there watching the story unfold through the eyes of the characters.
Overall a good read and I highly recommend everyone to read it that loves a good psychological suspense
The subject matter is intense but it is well written and gripping. I think the author did a good job of balancing enough information about the torture Jesse went through without being overly graphic. What is graphic is the psychological after effects and that was very well written and managed with the relationship between Ry, Jesse, and Morgan
Terrific read, fast paced, edgy, visceral. The three main characters were drawn deftly and carefully. Unforgettable women.
The writing was fresh, nuanced, and well paced.
Loved this book & couldn't put it down! Characters were relatable & I really felt for them. I don't want to give too much away, so will leave it there - highly recommend.
What a great book. The cover is a little deceiving though and i thought i was reading a different story for the first few chapters but once the book started it never let me go.
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Passion is a funny thing. I inherited my greatest passion, the love of animals, from my grandmother, Naomi Holt. She was an incredibly strong woman who was the first female in her county to actually wear... heaven forbid...pants in public! She also understood animals better than anyone I’ve ever met, and she passed that love and devotion on to me. Like her, there has never been a time in my life w ...more
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