In October 2013, in Briarstone, DCI Louisa Smith is tasked with an investigation that went cold ten years before, but has now resurrected itself. A missing girl, Scarlett Rainsford, has reappeared and is in safekeeping in a hotel.

In August 2003, Scarlett disappeared one night from the apartments where her family was staying while vacationing in Greece. Her younger sister Juliette had no information to provide at the time of her disappearance, and neither did her parents, Clive and Annie.

But there was a lot more to the story, and much more was known by various characters. The bits and pieces would come together gradually, as we follow Scarlett’s narrative from the past and as it gradually moves forward. And in the narrative of Lou, as well as her staff member Sam Holland, the facts form and the clues lead to further answers.

Why was Juliette always reading and refusing to talk? How did Scarlett’s father punish her when she slipped away from his control? And why was Scarlett seemingly so willing to succumb to the control of the men who grabbed her?

I enjoyed the detective characters, like Lou and Sam, as well as Lou’s lover Jason, an analyst. They were all overburdened and struggling to find time for personal lives. I liked how they managed to somehow arrange for the occasional down time.

Themes of abuse, sex and drug trafficking, and the daily tasks of the detectives trying to sort through evidence and follow clues made Behind Closed Doors a compelling read. At first, the back and forth moments in time were confusing, but eventually I fell into the rhythm and looked forward to the onward progression over time. In the end, I had a sense of more answers to come, almost as if the story will continue, as there were some puzzling elements to decipher. 4.5 stars.


    1. My first book by this author was Into the Darkest Corner…and I also read Under the Silent Moon, which had some of the same characters as this one…I recognized the Maitlands from that book, as well as her BF Jason.

      Thanks for stopping by, Hayley.


  1. I read the first book in this series and have had this one for several months. Need to get to it soon. I liked the characters a lot. The series characters I mean.


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