Lock the Doors by Vincent Ralph is a fun, edge of your seat thriller. Tom’s family has moved into their dream home after a horrible past, but things are concerning when he notices where locks used to be on the outside of the doors.
Tom’s family has 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?
All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.
“Home is where the hate is.”
Tom has a dark history, his mother being a survivor of abuse, and himself developing OCD due to witnessing it. There is a long history of this, and Tom is constantly vigilant to ensure this doesn’t happen again- to himself or others. When he meets Amy, he is positive there is something wrong. Especially due to her having moved out of the concerning house, only to go across the street. Tom and his best friend continue to investigate things as his relationship with Amy starts to develop into something unexpected.
This book is split into three parts, and I found that the way this was done worked incredibly well. The first part focuses on the current, ongoing investigation from Tom as they’ve moved into this new house. The second part is focused on the people who lived in the house previously. And the third part is focused on the aftermath of these colliding events. It kept you interested, and instead of letting myself feel frustrated with Tom, we moved on to the second part just in time.
“Do I scare you?” I ask. “No.” “I will,” I say, because I think we could be friends and I’m worried how much I already trust him.
This was a hard-to-put-down book. Every time I thought I had figured out what happened in the suspicious house, we would get more red herrings or sharp turns that surprised me. It kept me on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what route this took. It definitely did not go the way I expected at all! The characters feel in-depth, and written well. Our side characters even feel quite fleshed out, and their hidden stories uncovered just added another layer to the story.
The only reason this book didn’t get five stars from me, though, is because of the romance aspect of the entire thing. Tom is regularly mentioning how he doesn’t believe in love due to his mother’s history, and yet, he falls for Amy quickly. This felt unrealistic to an extent- specifically because of the trauma they both have. I know insta-love isn’t a new concept and does happen in real life. Yet, in this story, it feels like our author wasn’t sure if they could just be friends. Overall, I think it would have been more beneficial if they had been. Maybe I hate romance, maybe I’m a cynic, but it just didn’t land well with the rest of the book.
“What I learned is that anything can be a weapon if you know how to use it.”
Vincent Ralph did a really fantastic job of capturing trauma and the way teens can and do interact around it. The story was dark, showing the multiple layers of people and the reasons they do what they do. I appreciated the inclusion of mental illness without making mental illness the cause of the horrors in the house. I expected a much different story than what I got, but I enjoyed almost every minute of this one. If you’re a young adult thriller reader, this one should absolutely be on your list to read. You won’t be able to put it down!
“If you thought this was going to have a happy ending, you weren’t paying attention.”
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.