Behind the Door: A Sizzling, Psychological Suspense Thriller (Hidden Motives Book 1) Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Behind the Door: A Sizzling, Psychological Suspense - Hidden Motives Book 1 by A. Gavazzoni is a complicated story, but in a really good and intriguing way. I was unable to put this book down, mainly because I didn't want to put it down, it was so good. The story follows Simone; she is a psychiatrist by profession and a compassionate person by nature. She is the perfect person for the job. Her clientele are men and women who have issues with sex (think kinky sex, but more) and she enjoys her work.
Her life takes a serious and more profound turn when a defense attorney named Carl offers her a job. She needs to help him prove that his client, Mark, is innocent. Mark is accused of killing a woman named Lara and Carl needs Simone's help to prove that Mark is innocent. Carl provided her with a diary in which Mark wrote every single detail about his affair with Lara. Now it is Simone's job to prove if he is the killer or not. To make matters worse, there is a killer on the loose who is murdering women. Can Mark be that person? Or is he innocent? Stuck in a moral and professional loop, it is up to Simone to find the truth through words written by Mark in his diary!
The story was fast paced, intense, and very well written. The characters were very strong; even the characters that appeared in just a few scenes were very well-thought out. The narrative is fragmented and the reader is taken into Mark's world via his diary. This not only adds another layer to the novel, but makes it even more interesting. What I really liked about this novel is the fact that it was complicated without being too difficult. It tackles a theme and topic that not many people know about or are comfortable reading, but A. Gavazzoni handled it with grace and with sheer force of artistry! It was intense and simply too entertaining to put
Behind the Door wonderfully combines the steam of an erotic novel with the suspense of a murder mystery. It keeps the reader's heart racing from page to page, a result of both the highly detailed sex scenes and the dead bodies that keep popping up in Simone's vicinity. Simone is intelligent and likeable, a complete foil to Lara's over-the-top drama and flightiness. Both women were written so well, I had to wonder how much of the novel was written by Gavazzoni's personal experience!
The novel's pacing was great overall, and the ending had me gasping in surprise. I'm not too bad when it comes to murder mysteries, but Behind the Door was delightfully tricky! I will also say that I was afraid to read this book on the train in case some old man happened to look over my shoulder and have a heart attack, but once I started reading nothing could really stop me. I was completely enthralled by the story line.
I have one, and only one, complaint about the novel. Simone is being paid to read Mark's account and her opinion may be what frees or sentences him. It is only natural that she reads it with a critical and clinical eye. However, due to the layout of the chapters in the novel, the reader often exits what was a steamy and enjoyable scene for Mark and Lara, only to have their feelings dampened by Simone's analysis of the text. At times I looked forward to the continuation of Mark and Lara's story more than I did Simone's side of the text, and even had a few moments when I was irritated by the switch in perspectives. Although, looking back, perhaps the author was giving the reader a chance to cool themselves off a bit?
Overall, I would give Behind the Door 4 out of 4 stars. It is a wonderful debut novel by Gavazzoni, and has been followed by what seems to be an equally popular and well-written sequel. Although it is not for the faint of heart - trust me on this - I think it's the perfect novel for someone who wishes to liven up their imagination, if not their actual lifestyle.
From the Author
South African Author Angela Shearer - author of The Scarlet Code and Mad Mischief.
- ASIN : B01N4LR2HL
- Publisher : A. Gavazzoni; 2nd edition (January 7, 2017)
- Publication date : January 7, 2017
- Language: : English
- File size : 3961 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 510 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #562,022 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The story starts out with the main character Simone giving a lecture at a conference when this man interrupts her to ask her questions. She seems peeved by this and tell him to wait until the end. They meet up after, and he asks for her help. She eventually agrees and reads the story of the man that he is defending. It is a back and forth with flashbacks of the story of what happened to the women in the journal and Simone’s life. Eventually, things start to go bad for Simone because she is helping this man. The story ends with a lot of conflict and drama that leads to a satisfying ending.
The thing I like the most about the story was the twist. I did not see that coming at all. I was pleasantly shocked. I also loved that Gavazzoni did not give us all the information about her characters all at once. She let us find out about them slowly. Revealing the characters slowly makes for a better read all around. Another thing I liked is how the story played out. The reader is dropped into this world of sexual behaviors and left to fend for themselves. Being dropped into this world makes the reader stop and thinks about what problems people have out there are serious. This world gives the reader an insight into what happens when a person is traumatized early in life.
The thing that I did not like about the story is that it was a little slow for my taste. It could have moved just a little bit faster to get to the end game. The only other thing that I did not like was the fact that the secondary characters were not as fleshed out as the main characters. Giving them a little bit of a backstory would have helped with the story. I believe that it would have helped the reader to understand some of the things that went on in the story, and gave them a better vision of why certain things were being done.
I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. The reason behind this rating is that the author gave us this fantastic book about sexual behaviors that keep you on the edge of your seat. A. Gavazzoni is an amazing author that delivers a great story and great characters. I would recommend this to anyone the is interested in this world. This is not a book for the faint of heart or the younger readers under 17. I cannot wait to start reading Lara’s Journal the second book by Gavazzoni.
With the boring work having to be done I found myself constantly thinking about what could possibly be driving these characters, why were they reacting in certain ways? How were they all linked? Why did my gut tell me that such and such a character had more to them than it sounded like? So this definitely kept my mind active when I really needed it.
We start off this book with Simone who is a psychiatrist lecturing in New York and was interrupted by a lawyer; Carl; which I thought was odd. Lawyers don’t tend to hang around those types of conferences, and if they do want to speak to a psychiatrist then they’d make an appointment or call them to their office. Then when he didn’t pressure her to drop everything and focus on what he needed to meet his court deadline, it made me wonder what was going on. Not that you’ll find out until right near the very end!
Due to Carl approaching Simone to help him with his court case the book takes two different approaches. One is Mark’s story about Lara which he has written as a manuscript while the other is the murders happening in Simone’s home town that start to impact her in her day to day life and her psychiatry practice. At this point I started to wonder if the two stories were intertwined or if this was just the beginning of a series to really explore both avenues.
I won’t go into what happens in this story too much because I think it’d ruin the intensity for you. But basically someone starts murdering women in Simone’s home town while she’s working on the manuscript Carl gave her. The murderer even leaves a dead body on Simone’s doorstep which freaks everyone out. And eventually Simone is kidnapped and tortured by the murderer. While held by them she figures out who they are and is able to report them to the police when she is rescued days after her kidnapping took place.
Meanwhile we get to read Mark’s manuscript alongside Simone (this is where all the graphic details are) to find out what actually happened between Mark and Lara. Mark sounds like a decidedly normal and kinda boring guy, while Lara sounds like she has a LOT of mental issues that have been left unresolved that she doesn’t seem to want to work on. Simone diagnoses her as sadomasochistic with ADHD tendencies that resulted in an addiction to adrenaline. That addiction is what seems to control her life as we know it and ends up being what killed her.
The thing that I really liked about this book that a few other books I’ve read recently hasn’t really done when talking about these kinds of topics is that it showed the bad as well as how to combat it. Yes, Lara’s mum was awful and sold her off and didn’t act like a mother should. However her friends and the rest of her family supported her in any way that they could, including supporting her to leave those situations. Unfortunately for her it seems it was all too late to “fix” what happened, but it was good to hear about others that are willing to do the right thing. Including getting restraining orders, which I feel many people in those situations are too scared to do. I also liked the fact A. Gavazzoni explored how these events impacted those around Lara which is something most people tend to shy away from.
So although the sex scenes were a bit too graphic for my liking, I really liked the fact that Simone then explored the psychology behind these behaviours. In these situations it’s the psychology, the thought process and the analysis that really gets me involved and hooked. And A. Gavazzoni nails this aspect of her writing and I love it. I got so hooked on the what and why the events occurred that I almost ditched my boyfriend on a Friday night to finish the book! Which is unheard of for me, especially since it was game night for my footy team which I always watch.
If you like brain teasers and can get through the sex scenes I think you’d really enjoy this book just like I did.
But that seemed to change pretty quickly and I became equally interested in both characters. Actually there is not a character in this book that I wasn't interested in, this book is fascinating and I was delighted to find out that this was just book #1 in the trilogy.
I love how the author has surprises in the book but does not tease you with a bunch of red herrings, I seriously loved that. The book is so interesting that you just have to soak up each page because there is so much there. Some things haunted me, some things amused me, some things made me cringe, some things made me want to cry, some things made me angry and some things shocked me... everything a book should do for a reader.
The story, the characters, the writing, the scenes, I can go on and on.
The writing style of this author really makes this book something special.
Top reviews from other countries
Simone is hooked after reading the first chapter and agrees to help Carl.
The story switches between the present day with Simone to Mark through the reading she does. Mark says he accidentally killed the love of his life, Lara, in a sex game gone wrong. Marks ‘diary’ is very descriptive and leaves Simone aroused and feeling like she is in the middle of her own ‘midlife crisis’. Clearly intellectual and driven there doesn’t seem to have been much time in Simone’s life for relationships. From Mark we learn about the sad and troubled life of Lara, and how they ended up in a very dysfunctional relationship and with it the world of swinging. Through Mark, Simone learns of a shocking revelation as to why Lara’s actions are so erratic and self-destructive.
While Simone is delving deeper into the world of sadomasochism, her business partner Ed, is helping the police with a serial killer who is stalking their town. Ed and the police are not having any luck in trying to find the killer. Indeed, it is Simone who finds a possible clue to the killer. Has this put her in danger?
Behind the door has plenty of twists to keep you gripped and had me guessing who the killer was with every new character introduced. When I thought I had it worked out along came someone new to make me doubt my theory. At one point I even suspected Carl, and that Marks journal was completely made up! That it was just a rouse to get close to Simone after seeing an interview or something and he had become obsessed with her. Loved the twist when Simone went to see Carl in New York (obviously I don’t want to spoil it too much for anyone looking to read this book, so I won’t say anything else).
When someone close to Simone and Ed disappears, a new suspect appears. But this leads to an interesting revelation regarding ‘Claire and Paul’s’ research and the killer is still no closer to being caught. No evidence to link them to the bodies. Nothing.
There is twist after twist which kept me hooked till the very end.
After thinking I finally had the serial killer figured out, they are finally revealed leaving me shocked I missed it. I had to go back and read it again to be sure.
Although the killer is revealed towards the end of the book, this part of the story is perfectly poised to continue in further books.
Behind the Door is the first book I have read from this author and I really enjoyed it. I thought it was well written and look forward to more books in future.
My favorite part of the book was the last third where I just could not put it down. I just had to know who the serial killer was, and I did not suspect whom it was until it was revealed. I will not say who of course, would not want to ruin the fun of future readers, but it was a huge surprise.
The characters in this story were very relatable for me. I saw myself in each one of them. The action was also constant. From going from the original tale to the story that was told in other chapters, it was always enough to keep my interest in the highest percentages. I had a lot of fun going from the story the main character, Dr. Simone Bennett, and the story that she was reading and was analyzing in order to help a client, a lawyer taking care of a case with sexual deviance in center stage.
I love these kinds of stories. The ones about sexual deviance and the like. To see the dark nature of humanity put on the page is always a thrill for me, one that just makes me happy to be alive and well. And when you put a double story into one, one with sexual deviance and serial killers in the mix, it just feels perfect for me.
So, if you love the darkness of humanity, you will adore this story. Happy reading!
"Behind The Door" needs to come with a trigger warning because of graphic descriptions of child sexual abuse.
Some of the characters felt like tropes rather than people. For example, Peter was a stereotypical gay man and Lara was The Damaged Woman With a Dark Past.
Vocabulary could have been more highbrow considering the author's background and the character's professions.
The sex scenes were deliciously detailed. At the same time, I felt that some of the sex scenes were rather gratuitous.