The Locked Door by Freida McFadden is a suspense thriller that asks the question of which is stronger nature or nature?
Nora Davis is a successful surgeon, but her calm, confident exterior hides a traumatic past and horrific urges.
When she was 11 years old Nora discovers her father was a notorious serial killer who tortured and killed women in the basement of her childhood home.
When one of her female patients has been murdered in her father’s signature killing style. The police turn their focus on Nora, believing that she alone (apart from her father and the police) knows the intricacies of the killings. With more bodies being discovered and somebody wanting to pin the murders on her, Nora needs to uncover the real killer.
I enjoyed the way in which this book explores Nora’s inherited personality traits that make her very similar to her father, and how she consciously makes decisions to not be like him even though it’s hard for her. Despite this, throughout the book, you do begin to wonder if she is blacking out or having delusions which may be causing her to kill. It’s a great balance and keeps you hooked to the end, hoping that you are right about Nora but questioning how can you be given what you know.
Excerpt from The Locked Door by Freida McFadden
“You okay, Doc?” The bartender is leaning toward me, his muscular forearms balanced on the slightly sticky counter. He’s a new bartender—I’ve seen him only a handful of times. He’s slightly older than the last guy, maybe mid-thirties like me.
I tug at the collar of my green scrubs. He started calling me “doc” because of the scrubs. It is, in fact, an accurate guess—I’m a general surgeon. Because I’m a woman, most people see the scrubs and think I’m a nurse, but he went with doctor.
My father is probably proud if he knows about it. Whatever feelings or emotions he is capable of, pride is certainly one of them—that was clear from his trial. He always wanted to be a surgeon himself, but he didn’t have the grades. Maybe if he had become a surgeon, it would’ve kept him from doing the things he ended up doing.
“I’m fine.” I run a finger along the rim of my glass. “Just fine.”
He lifts an eyebrow. “How’s the drink? How’d I do?”
“Good.” That’s an understatement. He made it perfectly. I watched him place the sugar cube at the bottom of the glass—he didn’t just dump a packet of sugar into the drink like some other bartenders I’ve seen. He put in exactly the right amount of bitters. And I didn’t have to tell him not to use soda water.
“I have to tell you,” he says, “I didn’t expect you to order an Old Fashioned. You don’t seem like the type.”
“Mmm.” I try to keep any interest out of my voice, so he’ll go away and leave me alone. I should never have sat at the bar. But to be fair, the bartenders here are rarely this chatty.
He smiles disarmingly. “I thought you’d order a Cosmopolitan or lemonade spritzer or something like that.”
I bite my cheek to keep from responding. I love drinking Old Fashioneds. That’s been my drink since I was twenty-one, and maybe even a little before, if I’m being honest. They’re dark and boozy, a little sweet and a little bitter. As I take a sip from my drink, my annoyance with the chatty bartender evaporates.
“Anyway.” The bartender gives me one last long look. “You give me a yell if you want anything else.”
I watch him walk away. For a split second, I allow myself to appreciate the lean muscles that stand out under his T-shirt. He’s attractive in a nonthreatening way, with light brown hair and mild brown eyes. The stubble on his face is not quite enough to be called a beard. He’s very nondescript—the sort of guy you couldn’t pick out of a lineup. Sort of like my father was.