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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Dark Door

Bibliomysteries: Short Tales About Deadly Books


Publisher: Road

Short Story

Publication Date: 12/06/2022

Format: e-book

My Rating: 5 Stars

A horror writer’s death leaves his daughter haunted by voices in this short story by the New York Times–bestselling author of Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six.

Pip Duke’s life has descended into chaos following the death of her father, a bestselling horror writer. She now hears voices all the time, saying troubling things like: Your father’s friends and family are after his money, or you shouldinherit everything. The voices also say she killed her dad, and the police are after her.

To silence these disturbing thoughts, Pip checks herself into an inpatient therapy center. However, the place is far from calming. She can’t trust the staff, and the voices in her head continue to say terrible things. There are those who want you released—only so they can continue to profit off your father’s name. A different voice says some wish to claim her inheritance by getting her declared insane . . .

If Pip hopes to ever know peace again, she must explore the depths of her psyche, sort through her memories, and unravel the secret that will be her key to freedom.

My Review

The queen of thrills, Lisa Unger, is back following her smashing hit and 20th novel, Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six (2022), with THE DARK DOOR, a twisty Bibliomysteries: Short Tales About Deadly Books, where a horror writer's death leaves his daughter haunted by voices. Which voice should she believe, good or evil? Whom can she trust?

"For the writer, life is such a twist blend of fact and fiction, characters in our heads and without, dream and reality."

Pip's father, Rene Duke, the well-known author of horror thrillers, has died. He was her best friend. Her father was a layered person. Yes, he wrote frightening things, and sometimes they scared her. On the page, he was darkness, monsters, ghouls, pandemics, serial killers, blood, and gore. But in life, he was all kindness, all gentility—a wonderful loving father. Her father's library has rows and rows of books with floor-to-ceiling shelves with a cozy fireplace. In addition to all the editions of his books, the library included—all the classics and first editions of authors he admired. Often she hated sharing him with the page. Her mother, Isabelle, died (overdose of pills) when she was a toddler, and even though his father had plenty of girlfriends, no one compared to her mother. Her father dedicated all his books to his wife. As he got older, she helped him write. He was tired. She was a ghostwriter. He had written over fifty novels. She was a storyteller, and her dad was her biggest fan. Characters: Pip—the daughter protagonist Rene Duke—Father. The wealthy, successful horror novelist. Dr. Black— Pip's therapist Jamie—her friend in the psychiatric hospital: (a retreat, a place to heal) Sheltering Oaks. He killed his stepfather to protect his mother from murder. Detective Bailey Kirk—investigating the death of her father Scylla—Father's former girlfriend. A gold-digger Mason - Father's Attorney & closest friend, and executor of the will; Now Pip's guardian Ted—Her father's publisher at Pinnacle Press Rose—Friend of her fathers. Rose Wheaton Books, owner of bookshop/small press. Pip likes her. Pip found her father dead in his office. She had the key. She was traumatized, causing her to go into therapy at Sheltering Oaks. Her father's death was ruled a suicide, but Pip does not believe it. All things point to suspicious and things she only would know. His girlfriend (they had broken up because her father would not marry her) and Pip have one thing in common; neither of them thinks her father would kill himself. Each suspects the other. Everyone thinks she is the crazy daughter with ADD, mood disorders, severe depression, and psychotic features.

"We Lie—to ourselves, to others. We embellish. We omit, edit, revise our histories. We make things up when we can't face the truth. We all hear voices in our head, don't we?"

Now she is leaving the hospital and going home. She invites Jamie to accompany her since his famous IG mom was too busy traveling. Jamie and Pip are a lot of fun, and I loved their banter! The attorney, Mason, and her dad's publisher, Ted, want her to continue to ghostwrite Rene Duke's books. She can, but her dad always wanted her to write her own stories. These two have something to gain(commissions and royalties) by her writing her dad's stories. But she is not sure. She must decide. The voices are saying to beware of the dark doorway. She has the key to her dad's office and the imaginary dark doorway. Will Pip be brave enough to walk through the doorway for the next chapter of her life? When Rose comes to her with a letter from her father, she finally knows what to do. It all comes clear.

"The future is a dark doorway, Pip, and on the other side is a wild, unpredictable circus of love and loss, triumph and misery, friendships and broken promises, dreams coming true and bitter disappointments bringing us low. Walk through it, Pip. Have courage. Write. Live."

A book within a book. I loved this lyrical, inspiring short story packed with books that all bibliophiles and book lovers will devour. I highlighted so many fabulous quotes. There are fun mentions of all the iconic authors and classic titles you will recognize and have read. THE DARK DOOR is a must-read for Unger fans, thriller lovers, and book lovers! I will read anything Lisa Unger writes! The best $2.99 you will ever spend. A huge fan and have read all her books. My first Bibliomysteries and cannot wait to read more. A wide selection of top authors. Check out Here. In addition, I just finished Peter Swanson's The Honeymoon Trap, another recommended Bibliomysteries: Short Tales About Deadly Books. @JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks My Rating: 5 🌟 Stars Pub Date: Dec 6, 2022 Dec 2022 Must-Read Books

Praise for Lisa Unger

“Our most inventive suspense author.”

—J.T. Ellison, New York Times–bestselling author of Her Dark Lies

“The premiere thriller writer.”

—Megan Abbott, bestselling author of The Turnout

“Lisa Unger writes with compassion and deep psychological insights.”

—Luanne Rice, New York Times–bestselling author of The Shadow Box

About the Author

Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of twenty novels, including SECLUDED CABIN SLEEPS SIX, LAST GIRL GHOSTED, and CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45 — now in development at Netflix, starring Jessica Alba. With books published in thirty-three languages and millions of copies sold worldwide, she is regarded as a master of suspense.

Unger’s critically acclaimed novels have been featured on “Best Book” lists from the Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, People, Amazon, Goodreads, L.A. Times, The Boston Globe, Sun Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times and many others. She has been nominated for, or won, numerous awards including the Strand Critics, Audie, Hammett, Macavity, ITW Thriller, and Goodreads Choice. In 2019, she received two Edgar Award nominations, an honor held by only a few authors, including Agatha Christie. Her short fiction has been anthologized in The Best American Mystery and Suspense, and her non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Travel+Leisure. Lisa is the current co-President of the International Thriller Writers organization. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family. WEBSITE







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