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Behind the Red Door

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3.60  ·  Rating details ·  1,488 ratings  ·  523 reviews
The author of the “suspenseful, atmospheric, and completely riveting” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author) debut The Winter Sister returns with a darkly thrilling novel about a woman who comes to believe that she has a connection to a decades old kidnapping and now that the victim has gone missing again, begins a frantic search to learn what happened in the p ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 4th 2020 by Atria Books
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Average rating 3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,488 ratings  ·  523 reviews


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Nilufer Ozmekik
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Switzerland, federated country of central Europe, boasts some of the world’s most famous inventions such as cellophane, Swiss Army Knife, absinthe (hell Yeah), edible chocolate gold(Fancy!), LSD (Okay! Hold on there), potato peeler etc. Okay, I’m gonna stop my blubbering right now! You got the point! When I start to review a three starred book made me think: I didn’t enjoy it but I don’t have any hurt feelings, I called them “Switzerland” books and unfortunately this promising, exciting and inte ...more
Deanna
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, audiobooks


This was my first Megan Collins novel. I had both the ebook and audiobook. I actually ended up listening to the entire book over the course of a few evenings.

I thought it was very well-written, and I liked that it had a different take on the missing person aspect of the story. Overall, I really enjoyed this dark, gripping novel.

I'm definitely looking forward to checking out more books from this author.

3.75 Stars!
...more
Liz
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
This is one of those books that relies on a creepy sensation that something is wrong. Fern has anxiety issues. Serious anxiety issues. And Collins does a great job of making you feel that anxiety. The book has an almost horror show quality to it.
You know Fern has had an unusual upbringing just because she calls her parents by their given names. And it doesn’t take long to realize how warped her childhood was. Let’s just say I wouldn’t have been as obliging as Fern when her father asks for help
...more
Julie (JuJu)
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
This is a disturbing and unique psychological thriller, filled with dark, WTF moments!

I was so excited when I saw this book, I sent my first and only letter/request to a publisher. Not sure if it helped, but I was approved on NG soon after. I'd recently finished ”The Winter Sister” and was eager to try another book by the author.

Fern was raised in an unconventional family. When couples truly feel they shouldn't be parents, they should stick to that decision. Ted and Mara are a good example
...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Aug 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
About the book: “The author of the “suspenseful, atmospheric, and completely riveting” (Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author) debut The Winter Sister returns with a darkly thrilling novel about a woman who comes to believe that she has a connection to a decades old kidnapping and now that the victim has gone missing again, begins a frantic search to learn what happened in the past.”

My thoughts: This storyline is completely original. I’ve read nothing like it, and the twists and turns
...more
Berit☀️✨
Dark and disturbing. Tents and atmospheric. I have not read a book that has made me cringe quite as much as this one in quite some time. There were SO many seriously disturbed characters it’s a wonder that Fern wasn’t more screwed up. Fern is summoned home by her less than stellar father to help him pack because he is moving to Florida. At the same time a woman goes missing. The missing woman Astrid went missing previously 20 years ago and Fern is convinced there is a connection, not only betwee ...more
Chelsea Humphrey
Jul 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: from-publisher
Really great writing and atmosphere, but found this one to be predictable from early on. Full review to come.

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
Diana | Book of Secrets
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
BEHIND THE RED DOOR is a dark family drama/mystery about a woman desperate to unlock her repressed memories in order to save another woman who’s gone missing. Astrid Sullivan was kidnapped as a young teen, but was released a month later. Now, after two decades, Astrid has gone missing again, and seeing her face on the news has sparked something in Fern Douglas’ mind — did she know her?

The author created the perfect ominous atmosphere for this disturbing tale. While my initial hunch was right abo
...more
☮Karen
I was asked to read this book by Atria Books/Simon & Schuster, as they had also asked me to read Megan Collins' debut, Winter Sister. In her Acknowledgements, Collins hopes that we readers will find this book worth our time, that it will make us feel something. So to Megan Collins and to S&S, yes indeed. What I felt mostly was that this author has very quickly and adeptly honed her skill at writing psychological suspense, and that I cannot wait to read anything else she turns out in the future!

T
...more
Catherine Woodward
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, edelweiss
*Many thanks to Edelweiss, Atria, and Megan Collins for a DRC in exchange for an honest review! Now available as of 8.4!*

Fern Douglas has a sneaking suspicion that she's seen Astrid Sullivan, recently missing and the subject of a newly published memoir Behind the Red Door, somewhere before...but where? Her strange relationship with her psychology-obsessed parents and unusual upbringing make her hesitant to return to her childhood home to help her father move, but once she arrives, her past not o
...more
Carolyn Walsh
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I want to thank NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the advanced digital version of this gripping psychological thriller in return for an honest review. I found its mood to be oppressive, claustrophobic, and disturbing, but in a good way as I couldn’t put the book down. I was riveted to the pages. It was a 4.5 Star read for me.

I thought the protagonist, Ferm to be a woman living in a fragile emotional state of all-encompassing fear and heightened anxiety. How she got into this state was readily
...more
Christina McDonald
Spellbinding, poignant and atmospheric, Behind The Red Door is one of those rare stories you can get utterly lost in. With writing so richly evocative I could vividly imagine every detail, this is a mesmerizing tale in which family bonds are broken, lifelong secrets are exposed, and a woman who suffers a debilitating anxiety disorder must find the truth about her connection to a decades-old kidnapping.

Intensely moving, beautifully written and thoroughly enjoyable, I can’t recommend this highly e
...more
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
Dark and very disturbing, that is how I would describe this book. It went well beyond anything I could have imagined.. and it was addictive. Fern was such a mess of a character and I felt sorry for her. It was a quick, twisty read with a stunning ending.

Fern Douglas has always had anxiety issues, but she doesn’t know why. She is scared of everything and struggles in day to day life. She had a strange relationship with her parents. When she hears about a missing woman in Maine, where she grew up,
...more
Erin Clemence
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, first-reads
Special thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.

Expected publication date: August 4, 2020

Astrid Sullivan was made famous when she disappeared at fourteen years old, only to be returned unharmed weeks later. Now, twenty years later, Astrid has gone missing again. Has the kidnapper come back? Fern Douglas recognizes Astrid immediately. Her husband explains it by saying that Astrid grew up nearby Fern, and the cas
...more
Judy
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Intense and suspenseful, this one kept me engrossed. Fern, the protagonist, is an anxious, nervous adult who was really psychologically abused in her childhood, but she doesn't feel she's been abused because there was no physical abuse. She has a really strange attachment to her father, I think. She is married to a kind, supportive man. When her father calls and wants her to come help him pack up the house so he can move to Florida, she thinks it's strange but she goes to help anyway. Fern hears ...more
Frank Phillips
Dec 15, 2020 rated it it was ok
Ugh, did this one go downhill fast! At first I was really digging this one as it dealt with a child kidnapping and then a mysterious rekidnapping decades later, and I was ready for a dark, sinister ride into the mind of a psychopath, but that's quite the opposite of what I ended up getting. What was she thinking by going in this direction? I'm giving her two stars for the effort in originality, but the overall execution just did not do anything for me. That's all I will say about the plot, besid ...more
Erin
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.

Well, this certainly had me on the edge of my seat! When a woman goes missing and public speculation runs rampant that the person who kidnapped her as a teen has returned to finish the job, Fern Douglas finds herself drawn to the case. Quickly Fern becomes obsessed with what happened to Astrid Sullivan, but she has little idea of what secrets lie in store.

This was a book that I was eagerly anticipating to rea
...more
ABookwormWithWine
I have got to be honest, I am still gathering all of my feelings up for Behind the Red Door by Megan Collins, but I will say this is a quick, engrossing, and frustrating read. I don't think I truly liked a single character in this book and Fern and her father both made me want to throw my book across the room. BUT, I have got to hand it to Collins for producing so many emotions in me! I did not see the end coming, and it was all a surprise to me. I had so many theories while reading the book and ...more
Lori Lamothe
Jul 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley-tbr
Behind the Red Door isn't unusual in that it combines a cold-case with a current-day disappearance. What is different is that they both involve the same woman. An unknown assailant kidnapped Astrid Sullivan from a small town in Maine when she was 12 years old. Now, twenty years later, she's been taken again. But will she be as lucky the second time around? In 2000, Astrid reappeared after a month, left drugged along the side of a deserted road. She didn't escape through her own efforts and thoug ...more
Denise
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was a big fan of Collins's debut book, The Winter Sister, so I jumped at the chance to read an ARC of Behind the Red Door. The few blurbs I read about Behind the Red Door stated that it was "dark and disturbing." Nine times out of ten, when a book is touted as dark and disturbing, I don't find it to be either one, but this is the one out of ten - it is absolutely both extremely dark and extremely disturbing.

The book centers around the story of Fern Douglas, a more-than-slightly-neurotic schoo
...more
MissBecka Gee
Can you say Mind Fuck?
Go read this for some messed up shit.
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for my DRC!

Isabel • The Crime Bookshelf
3 STARS.

Thank you so much to Atria for the gifted copy! ❤️ I have been looking forward to reading this book for so long and I’m so happy I finally got the chance to read it! Behind the Red Door is out 8/4 so make sure to check it out 🙌🏼 ⁣

This book is extremely dark right from the beginning 😳 I’m always super intrigued by books that are dark right away because I’m always curious where the story will go. I looove books that are super messed up and that’s exactly how this book was all throughout.
...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
There is nothing better than a story that will keep you on your toes and turning the pages. Thrillers have always been some of my most favorite stories to read which is why I had no issues picking this one up at all.

It does have everything that makes a great thriller, intrigue, an unreliable narrator, mystery, crazy characters that you can't trust at all and of course that darkness that almost always lurks around every page.


And while I truly enjoyed the unique story line of this, I did see so
...more
Dana
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review-copies
Fern Douglas believes to have a personal connection to Astrid Sullivan, the victim of a kidnapping that happened twenty years ago. Astrid, who was found alive two decades prior has gone missing once again. When Fern continues having the same nightmare over and over she starts to question whether this is really a dream at all, or perhaps a memory?

Here's the thing ... I usually have a REALLY difficult time with unlikeable characters but this time they worked for me. They added a whole lot of dram
...more
Carlene Inspired
Find this review and others at Carlene Inspired.

Well-written, unique, and perfectly paced, Behind the Red Door is a tense suspense novel that had me staying up all night to get to the end. Fern, our unreliable narrator, has a childhood no one would ever envy and it has left her with some serious trauma. She helps children with difficulties in her line of work, but she fails to face her own anxiety and past. She covers it up and continues to starve for the attention from her father, a professor a
...more
Sara
Jul 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
This middling, psychological thriller is well written but never really delivers anything beyond a run of the mill mystery that's so simple to figure out you're left wondering why its taking the protagonist so long. If by say page ten you think you've got it worked out, spoiler alert, you're right.

Collins has written some pretty believable characters and has clearly done her research into both psychiatry and the affects of trauma but the situations she thrusts her heroine into are so outlandishly
...more
Chelsey (a_novel_idea11)
3.5/5

When Fern's father asks her to return to her hometown to pack up his house and help him move, Fern jumps at the opportunity to spend some quality time with the man she's been aiming to please her entire life. Fern's father is a professor who is recently retired. All of Fern's life, Ted's priority has been his research and his work. Ted studies fear and often ran experiments on Fern while she was growing up - leaving her at the grocery store, disappearing for days at a time, or feigning inju
...more
Ludwig Reads
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
“It makes me certain - with a level of conviction I can’t explain - that I know her.”

Behind The Red Door is a beautifully-written thriller about a woman who believes she has a connection to a 20-year-old abduction case. The victim was brought back, wrote a memoir years later and has now vanished, again.

The story is well-paced as it succeeds to keep the reader invested with the deliciously addictive book-within-a-book aspect. We’re offered chapters off the missing woman’s memoir titled “Behind T
...more
Christina
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a smart and totally unique thriller - psychological in every sense of the word. Fern Douglas realizes as an adult that she may have known a famous kidnapped girl. What follows is a fascinating journey into repressed memories, terrible childhoods, and the nature of fear.

I really loved the characters in this book. Each one was totally unique and well-drawn, but particularly Fern’s family and husband, and Fern herself. I loved and rooted for Fern from the beginning. No one has a perfect chi
...more
Dana Halek Damato
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fern Douglas has suffered fear and anxiety since childhood. She longs for the love and approval that her parents have never given her. She was not only unwanted, but almost completely ignored by her parents, Ted and Mara.

When Fern sees a story on the news about a missing woman, Astrid Sullivan, she has a very strong feeling that she knows her. Fern's husband, Eric, thinks she is just remembering the scandalous story of Astrid's abduction and return from twenty years earlier.

When Fern's father
...more
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Megan Collins is the author of BEHIND THE RED DOOR and THE WINTER SISTER. She has taught creative writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and Central Connecticut State University, and she is the managing editor of 3Elements Review. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, her work has appeared in many print and online journals, including Off the Coast, Spillway, Tinderbox Poetry J ...more

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