Lock The Doors by Vincent Ralph
Published By: Penguin
Released: 4th February 2021
CAWPILE Rating: 8.1 / 4 ★
I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
LOCK EVERY DOOR
Tom’s family have moved into their dream home. But pretty soon he starts to notice that something is very wrong – there are strange messages written on the wall and locks on the bedroom doors. On the OUTSIDE.
The previous owners have moved just across the road and they seem like the perfect family. Their daughter Amy is beautiful and enigmatic but Tom is sure she’s got something to hide. And he isn’t going to stop until he finds the truth behind those locked doors. . .
Will their dream home become a nightmare?
Trigger Warnings: Kidnapping, child death, physical abuse, emotional abuse, domestic abuse, grief, divorce.
I read Vincent Ralph’s debut YA Thriller Are You Watching? early last year and loved it, and knew that I’d found a new writer of YA Thrillers that I want to read more work from. So, I was full of enthusiasm when I found out about his second YA novel, Lock The Doors. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it and feel the heart-racing tension that I had with Ralph’s first novel.
Tom’s family have moved into their dream home, after years of terror for himself and his mum at the hands of her old boyfriend. Things are different now, or so he thinks. In the new house, Tom starts to notice strange things, such as secret messages written on the walls and locks on the outside of the bedroom doors. Tom soon meets the new girl at school, Amy, who’s family used to live in his house and have moved right across the road. Amy is gorgeous but mysterious and Tom is soon wondering if she is hiding something. He starts to investigate and will stop at nothing to reveal the mystery behind the locked doors in his supposedly dream home.
Well, this was an intense, heart-stopping, gripping read that I struggled to put down. I was utterly engrossed in this thrilling tale and honestly, I didn’t want it to end. Ralph keeps you on your toes throughout the story and you never know what’s going to happen next. When I read some YA thrillers or mysteries I do usually get a sense of where the story is going, but with Lock The Doors I had no clue, and that is one of the main reasons why I was addicted to it.
The plot and overall story leaves you guessing and whenever something is revealed you get a sense of shock through you, this certainly happened to me when I was reading it. You end up becoming quite exhausted come to the end of the story, but in a way that isn’t tiresome. The way that Ralph focuses on the topic of long term grief in regards to both mental and physical health, was another thing that kept me intrigued throughout the book. It’s handled sensitively and you do start to understand what these people are going through, even if it’s not in the most conventional way. A few other topics are handled delicately throughout the book such as domestic abuse and its effects on the persons affected. Ralph does have a way of getting you to think about these issues, and realise that you don’t truly know what goes on behind closed doors.
Tom was a very complex character, who you learn more about as the story progresses. From the outside, you see him as just a normal teenage boy who wants to fit in at school and find his place in the world, but you soon see layers of him start to emerge and you realise he has a lot of psychological trauma to deal with. The family dynamic that you see between Tom, his mum, his stepdad Jay, and stepsister Nia is refreshing to see and makes you feel like there is hope for families out there who have had incredibly tough times. The way that they come together over time did bring something positive to this story. Amy, as a character is similar to Tom in a way that you learn more about her as the story goes on, and you come to realise that the way she acts is also linked to the trauma she has faced, so it was fascinating to see similarities between Tom and Amy, and this is why I think they fitted so well together.
Lock The Doors was an incredible, gripping, riveting read that I couldn’t get enough of. Vincent Ralph has done it again, and I will be waiting impatiently for his next book to drop, whenever that may be.