Book Review: Behind the Red Door

08.04.2020 | Atria Books
Rating: 3.5/5 stars


Have you ever had a strange feeling that something happened in your past, but you can’t remember the event? Fern Douglas has learned news of a missing woman whose face she can’t help but find familiar, however, she has no recollection of ever meeting the woman. Astrid Sullivan was abducted when she was young. Twenty years has passed and Astrid has just released a book about her experience. When news that Astrid has been abducted once more reaches Fern, she feels drawn to the woman and a passion to find out the truth of what has happened to Astrid. Does Fern have a connection to Astrid? 


BEHIND THE RED DOOR dives into the unique premise of repressed memories. Could someone possibly completely forget about someone or something that happened to them? Has this happened to Fern Douglas? Does she really know Astrid?

Megan Collins does an excellent job of crafting together a tense story revolving around our main character, Fern Douglas. As Collins takes the reader on Fern’s search we are given a glimpse into not only Fern’s childhood, but also snippets of what happened to Astrid through the use of book excerpts. I absolutely love when crime fiction includes a book within a book element as a way to show more than one narrative. I would have enjoyed reading more from Astrid’s perspective via her book, but I can see why Collins shied away from that with the way the story unfolded.


BEHIND THE RED DOOR may limit the number of perspectives it gives the reader, but it does not leave the secondary characters lacking. These characters feel fully realized and some of them play just as important of a role to the story as our main character, Fern, does. Unfortunately, I ended up disliking most of the characters, including Fern. I know they were meant to be flawed, but I just could not handle how Fern is constantly trying to please others and repeatedly talks about wanting to make other people happy. Yes, it plays into her backstory, but dang it if it wasn’t annoying! I will hand it to Collins that despite my dislike of the characters, I was fully invested in finding out where the story would take me.

If you’ve read this one, I would love to discuss the ending! I really enjoyed the first reveal and then the second reveal just annoyed me. I thought it took a character and changed their personality into something completely not what I would have expected. I know that’s vague, but I don’t know how to describe my irritation without spoilers! 

Overall, I think BEHIND THE RED DOOR is a strong addition to the crime fiction genre that will keep a lot of readers on the edge of their seat.

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

A huge thank you to Atria Books for my gifted copy!

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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