16.5.11

Book Review: The Door at the Top of the Stairs by Alison Naomi Holt

Before I begin my review I just want to apologise for the lack of posts since I got back of holiday! I have been so busy but feel as though I have finally caught up with everything this weekend which is a good job as it is Dr S' birthday celebrations on Friday and Saturday. So I have several posts coming up this week plus two very exciting books to win so do pop in and have a look. Anyway, back to the review on hand, here is the synopsis:

Undercover narcotics officer, Jesse Shaunessy, is kidnapped and tortured, then thrown away by her department as damaged goods. The mind if a powerful ally, and 26 year old Jesse has no memory of the abduction or subsequent torture. Inevitably, as Jesse drifts from one itinerant job to another, the protective walls carefully constructed by her subconscious are beginning to crumble.
Fate lands her on a farm owned by Dr Ryland Caldwell, a retired psychologist and her partner Morgan Davis, the master of the Myrena Fox Hunt Club. Ryland suspects there is more to Jesse's foul temper than meets the eye. When Morgan and Ryland accidentally discover viscous scars on Jesse's back, Ryland knows that without their help, Jesse's descent into insanity will rapidly overwhelm them all.
I was sent this book by the author herself and after reading the back, I was really looking forward to reading it as I thought that the ideas behind it were very interesting.
Jesse is an extremely feisty and confrontational woman, as the story develops, the readers begins to understand where this behaviour has originated from. Jesse was kidnapped and tortured when working as an undercover narcotics officer. Her body is covered in scars, she has no idea how some of them were inflicted as she has blocked out these terrifying memories. This is where Ryland and Morgan step in. Ryland is a retired psychologist and recognises that Jesse needs help to face up to her traumatic past, otherwise she will have no future. Jesse is helped by these two women, who are determined to find out what happened to their young employee. It is hard for all three of them and mentally exhausting but they know that they are Jesse's only chance.
Alison Naomi Holt is a former lieutenant with the Tucson police department so she writes with the knowledge of having done a similar job to Jesse. Some of the scenes written by the author are very hard-hitting and extremely graphic. There were a few chapters that made for uncomfortable reading but this is a book about a woman who has been tortured so you have to expect some graphic material.
I felt that the author clearly showed the two extremes of human nature. One the one side we have the man who kidnapped Jesse and performed awfully  brutal and degrading acts upon her, showing no compassion what so ever. And then on the other side you have Morgan and Ryland who initially do not even know Jesse but they are the people that do everything they possibly can to give her life back to her. Morgan and Ryland have to make Jesse see that she must face up to the past otherwise her attacker will have won.
The Door at the Top of the Stairs is a very interesting book. There were parts that I didn't enjoy reading but it certainly made me think.
Many thanks to Alison Holt for sending me a copy of the book to review, it is available on Amazon and if you want to find out more then have a look at the author's website by clicking here.

2 comments:

Jules (The Great, The Good and The Bad) said...

Hmm, I still can't decide about this book.

Great review!

Alison Holt said...

Hi Jules. Sorry it took so long for me to reply but I just now saw your comment! Tell you what, I'll be glad to send you a coupon for a free copy if that would help you decide to read The Door at the Top of the Stairs. Just email me at alisonholt@email.com and let me know.

Alison Holt

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