Today’s second team review is from Bev, she blog at http://baspicer.blogspot.fr/
Bev has been reading The Red Door by Rosa Fedele.
The main character in this dark mystery set in Australia is artist Maddie who has bought a mansion, ‘Rosalind’, letting out apartments to tenants. As she completes her renovations, she begins to have suspicions about the tenant in number three, who won’t let her in. This is all linked to some local murders that occurred in the 1950s. There are unanswered questions surrounding Maddie herself, too.
I really enjoyed The Red Door. The language is beautiful, especially in the first third of the book, which includes the kind of descriptive imagery that brings a setting alive – and the setting is unusual in that it centres around a period house in an Australian suburb of Sydney. Maddie buys ‘Rosalind’ as a renovation project and one by one we meet the people who either live nearby or come to work on the house. I found the observational style reminiscent of Henry James’ novels – fine detail and expertly written dialogue. We learn about the people who inhabit Maddie’s world from a variety of perspectives and yet Maddie herself remains rather a mystery until later (we don’t even learn her name until the end of the book).
The plot is intricate. We gradually discover the history of the house and its local environment. A history filled with disturbing tales of child abuse and murder. Maddie becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to two young girls whose bodies were found in a local park – I was riveted. The bringing together of the sub-plots is nothing short of miraculous.
If I had to say what detracted from my enjoyment it would be that the second third of the book seemed to lose pace a little. But in the final third, the action picked up with a vengeance and I stayed up far too late, reading until the words swam on the page!
There will be a sequel, apparently, and I very much look forward to reading it.