Today it is my stop on the Behind Closed Doors blog tour. Behind Closed Doors is the second book in the DCI Louisa Smith series. Today I have an extract as well as a chance for one lucky winner to win a copy of this great book. Here’s what I thought of it:
Behind Closed Doors is an uncomfortable but compelling read. With a storyline to do with human trafficking I could honestly have sat down and wept in parts knowing that even though this is a work of fiction it is a very serious issue that is very much true to life.
The story alternates between current day and the lead up to Scarlett going missing, the day she goes missing and what has happened to her up to her being found.
Lou feels quite guilty having worked on the original case of missing 15 year old Scarlett so when she turns up years later Lou feels that she has to pull out all the stops to make amends for not finding her sooner.
Lou is your typical detective, she works long hours and puts her job before her own personal life and relationships. She has a heart though and finds it difficult to switch off when she gets home at the end of a long day, especially with her current case.
Sam her colleague really stood out to me through out the story, I think this is because of the bond she built up with Scarlett and you can tell how much she cares about what happens to her.
Scarlett has had to go through so much and to be honest she has been dealt a really bad hand in life. It’s hard to say to much about her without giving away spoilers but by the end I just wanted to wrap my arms around her and hold her tight and protect her from all the evil out there in the world.
The male species certainly do not come across in a good light in this book and thats the only thing I would have liked to see is maybe a stronger male character that is actually a good guy other than Lou’s boyfriend who doesn’t really have anything to with the case, otherwise this book is outstanding.
My thanks to Little, Brown Book Group UK and NetGalley for an Advanced Readers Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
SCARLETT – Rhodes, Saturday 23 August 2003, 04:44
To begin with, nothing was certain except her own terror.
Darkness, and stifling heat, so hot that breathing felt like effort, sweat pouring off her so her skin itself became liquid and she thought she would simply melt into a hot puddle of nothing. She tried crying out, screaming, but she could barely hear her own voice above the roar of the engine, the sound of the wheels moving at speed on tarmac. All that did was give her a sore throat. Nobody could hear her.
She tried listening instead, eyes wide with nothing to see. She could hear voices sporadically from somewhere else in the vehicle – two different men – but she didn’t recognise them, nor could she understand what they were saying. She assumed they were speaking in Greek, but the harsh rasp of the words sounded different from the voices she’d heard over the past week at the resort. Lots of ‘th’ sounds, rolled ‘r’s, words ending in ‘a’ and ‘eh’.
Fear came in cycles. The first endless panicky minutes had been very bad: trawling through vague memories of the past few days, trying to identify the mistake she’d made, because this had to be her fault – this can’t be real, I’m dreaming – then the shock realisation that this wasn’t a nightmare, it was really happening. The worst moment of all.
It had been so quick.
She had arrived a bit early at the place where they’d agreed to meet, and she’d been preparing to wait – he’d said he finished work at two – and a van had pulled up beside her. She hadn’t been worried. There were still people around, drunk tourists staggering back up the road towards their hotels. The side door of the van had slid open, and a man got out. He was talking to her, friendly, a smile that showed his teeth. His accent was so strong she couldn’t really tell what he was saying.
‘No, no,’ she’d said. ‘English. I don’t understand.’
But he’d kept yammering on, standing too close to her. She had begun to feel unnerved by it, and something had made her glance to the right, to the gate which led to the Aktira Studios, and in that split second when she’d seen someone she recognised, made eye contact, she had felt something like relief – and then the man had pushed her, a hard shove that sent her sprawling into the back of the van. He’d climbed in after her, slammed the door shut and the van started moving. The man had held her down, put his hand over her mouth, pressing her head into the metal floor so hard that she’d thought her skull was going to burst.
Seconds. The whole thing had taken seconds.
Now, hours since those terrifying first moments, she had reached a plateau brought on by the monotony of driving, the panic overridden by the pain in her arms and legs and the discomfort of being tied hand and foot and having to lie still on the floor of the van. They’d stopped once, very early on, before she’d had time to get over the shock or formulate any plan of escape; by that time the man in the back with her had already tied her up. He got out, leaving her alone, and the van door shut – and they were moving again.
The noise of the engine was unbearably loud; the van would bump and jolt as it went over potholes. Her head ached as a result, sometimes so badly it made her cry. The fear made her cry. Crying made her headache worse, and then it all became pointless, so she would stop for a while and try to sleep in snatches, because sleeping, at least, gave her a brief respite.
And she would dream of him, remember, and wake with tears on her cheeks, thinking, This wasn’t supposed to happen. Then the shock and the fear would kick in, and the whole cycle would begin again.
To win a copy of Behind Closed Doors please leave a comment telling me why you would like to win. A winner will be chosen at random on the 5th of February, any entries after midnight on the 4th will not be counted. Competition is open to UK and Ireland based readers only. Good Luck!
Behind Closed Doors is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.
To find out more about the author and her books please click here.
Make sure to check out these blogs for more reviews, extracts and more chances to win a copy of this great book: