I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Behind the Door by Mary SanGiovanni
Published by Kensington Books Lyrical Underground on August 28, 2018
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Chills
Occult specialist Kathy Ryan returns in this thrilling novel of paranormal horror from Mary SanGiovanni, the author of Chills.
Some doors should never be opened . . .
In the rural town of Zarepath, deep in the woods on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, stands the Door. No one knows where it came from, and no one knows where it leads. For generations, folks have come to the Door seeking solace or forgiveness. They deliver a handwritten letter asking for some emotional burden to be lifted, sealed with a mixture of wax and their own blood, and slide it beneath the Door. Three days later, their wish is answeredfor better or worse.
Kari is a single mother, grieving over the suicide of her teenage daughter. She made a terrible mistake, asking the powers beyond the Door to erase the memories of her lost child. And when she opened the Door to retrieve her letter, she unleashed every sin, secret, and spirit ever trapped on the other side.
Now, it falls to occultist Kathy Ryan to seal the door before Zarepath becomes hell on earth . . .
Praise for the novels of Mary SanGiovanni
A feast of both visceral and existential horror.F. Paul Wilson on Thrall
Filled to the brim with mounting terror.Gary A. Braunbeck on The Hollower
A fast-building, high-tension ride.James A. Moore on The Hollower "
In the town of Zarephath, Pennsylvania, just past the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border and northwest of Dingmans Ferry out by the Delaware Water Gap, there is a door.
Here is what I thought
Zarephath is a small town where there is a strange and unusual door. It’s been there for as long as anyone has known, the towns people at one time tried to burn it but it wouldn’t burn. They do know that you can write out your sins or a wish and seal it with your blood mixed in the wax and slip it under the door and in three days you get your answer. It might not always be what you want so you need to try and word it as good as you can in hopes that what you wanted to happen happens.
Kari has moved to Zarephath to try and start a new life after the death of her young daughter who committed suicide. She befriends an older lady who tells her about the door. She told her that she could asked to have the memories of what happened to her daughter taken away though it could always backfire. Some others ask the door for things around the same time she does. There is a #1 rule, no matter what happens you DO NOT open the door!
On the third day Kari not only forgets the bad things but she has started to forget who Jessica was completely and that is now what she wanted, but like I said it doesn’t always work how you want it too. Kari can’t stand not being able to remember the good things about her daughter so she pleads with the door, tries to scrap under and when that doesn’t work, she opens it!! Only for a few minutes but it was enough to break whatever seal that kept what was behind the door, behind the door.
All of a sudden everyones sins, wishes, or whatever they wrote to get rid of or hid comes back on the town. One ladies cancer comes back, another lady who is in her fifties becomes pregnant, there are lots of corpse haunting people with tentacles coming out of them. It gets real freaky real fast. The ex-Sheriff, Bill contacts a friend of his who he knows specializes in the strange and unusual. Kathy Ryan is an occult specialist who has studied all sorts of strange things and they have talked about the door before. She is going to have to work real fast to help the town because things are getting intense as people start getting beat up by things.
This isn’t a story where your are suppose to like all the characters and most of them you don’t. It’s hard to feel sorry for someone who wishes a crime away and it falls back on them, etc. I can’t even say I connected with Kari much either but she isn’t a bad character. I do like Kathy Ryan but she only comes in about halfway through the book and so you only get a glimpse of her as a character. I believe you will learn more about her as the series progresses.
There are a lot of things that go on in this story and there is a connecting story for a few of the characters which is why I am not saying anything about any of the other characters and their wishes, etc. You just have to read it for yourself. Once the door gets open it’s a pretty fast ride to the end and I really enjoyed this one. I enjoyed Chill which is where Kathy Ryan was first featured even though this said on Netgalley it was first in a new series and now Goodreads has it marked as Kathy Ryan #2, that can be confusing. I can’t wait till the next one comes out!
I recommend this series and though you don’t really have to start with Chill I am going to recommend you do.