(4 / 5)
Glad to have found another Aussie book by an Aussie author to add to the list! I have been extremely unpatriotic through my life and have avoided Australian books. Only recently am I beginning to hugely regret this, as I have found some incredible books. I have wasted a lot of my life not reading Aussie books!! I am really enjoying the Australian settings, especially in my home city Sydney – So I was glad to review this book as it is set in Glebe.
The main character (who we don’t know by name until the very end), bought the mansion “Rosalind” after a troubling event from her past. She is in the process of renovating and refurbishing the whole place. Its going smoothly with exception of some strange events on the upper level, and the fact that the tenant in number three wont let her in, and she begins to suspect he may be watching her. She does a little digging only to find her tenant may be connected in some way to the vicious murders of two teenage girls that occurred twenty years prior. Her quest to find out what happened leads her to some stunning realisations that will shake up the comfortable life she has created for herself, and her new friends. Has she found a killer? What happened in her past to make her run away to Rosalind? And why is it so cold upstairs?
I must be honest. When I first started reading this I didn’t think it was going anywhere. It felt quite disjointed, went around everywhere and I was a bit confused about who was who. I failed to see the significance of all the characters and parallel storylines. And the writing, with the small sections that ended without an explanation, began to frustrate me. However I stuck with it and was extremely pleasantly surprised as the story began to unfold and I couldn’t put it down! Having finished it now I can appreciate how cleverly refreshing the writing was.
I loved the characters, especially Monique and Claudia. The main character and Anne annoyed me at times, but overall all the characters had their appealing qualities. I liked the main character a lot more after we learn of her back story. I enjoyed the romances and especially the complex – sometimes destructive friendships in the novel. And there were quite a few character twists to keep me satisfied! Especially towards the end of the book.
I would call this novel more of a mystery than a thriller, although it did have a few thrilling moments. However it was completely engrossing, especially in the last two thirds of the novel. The author also did the illustrations throughout the book which are beautiful, and definitely give the novel more character and texture. I only wish there was more of them, as they seemed to randomly appear at the beginning of some chapters but not others.
It was set in 1983, the year I was born, so perhaps I’m a bit too young to appreciate a lot of the early 80’s references, however this didn’t matter in the slightest. I have seen Duran Duran live (admittedly only because they were opening for Robbie Williams), so at least I wasn’t completely clueless!
Would I recommend it?
Yes for any mystery and thriller lovers and fans of 1980’s Sydney.
Many thanks to author Rosa Fedele for a copy of The Red Door, in exchange for my review.