Cover Image: The Other Side of the Door

The Other Side of the Door

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It have good amount of suspense and interesting plot. There's just something I couldn't seem to put my finger on, but overall, it's an okay read.
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I love to read a good thriller and upon reading the description, I was intrigued. I wasn't aware that this book was a rerelease/retitled book of a previously released book called Complicit when I started it, but I was still excited to read a new to me author.

The book starts out with a dead body and we are off and running. The whole story is told from Bonnie's POV from "before" and "after". I don't mind books told from different timelines, but after a few chapters, I found that this book didn't need that. I felt like it needed to either start from the beginning and go forward or start with the "after" and build upon that. I was more pulled in with the "after" aspects of the story, to be honest because that story and the characters made more sense. The "before" was too flat, too many characters introduced and wasn't that interesting to me. It was about Bonnie putting together a group of strangers/acquaintances to play for a friends wedding. They were all musicians of different abilities, but none of them had personalities that were intriguing or made me want to know them better. 

Overall, I think the book would've benefitted with just concentrating on the "after" and building from there. The characters weren't that likable, which doesn't necessarily bother me, but with this story, we needed to feel for someone. The plot was still interesting and had some twists, but I think it could've been better. I would still check out more Nicci French books because the pacing and the plot was interesting enough, I just wanted more.
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The Other Side of the Door follows Bonnie, a music teacher who has been rehearsing with a band to play a friend's wedding.  What was meant to be a summer of happiness, love, and music turns deadly as lovers betray one another, passions turn murderous, and friendship itself becomes a crime. Everyone tells lies. But is anyone prepared to tell the truth to uncover a murderer?

Nicci French, the English wife-and-husband team of Nicci Gerard and Sean French, are one of my fave thriller writers.  You can guarantee a good suspense read from her if that's what you're looking for!  The story is told in a "before" and "after", the plot is great and the story flows well!  

Thanks so NetGalley and Minotaur Books for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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The Other Side of the Door was my first novel by Nicci French and I enjoyed the author’s writing style. The alternating time frames was a little confusing starting out but as the story went on, I think it worked really well to keep the story suspenseful. 

When Bonnie’s friend Danielle asks her to sing at her wedding, Bonnie is apprehensive but she will do anything to make her friend happy. Bonnie puts a band together full of random people, including one problematic person, Hayden. Hayden is rough around the edges and rubs several of the other band members the wrong way. Bonnie begins to romantically see Hayden and falls in love with him however, Hayden has a dark, moody side. 

When Hayden is found dead, Bonnie falls apart. What secrets is she hiding?
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**Thank you Netgalley, Nicci French, and William Morrow and Custom House Publishing for an advanced reader copy of the book.**

The Other Side of the Door by Nicci French is a story of misguided love and bad intentions. Bonnie is a music teacher rehearsing over the summer for a friend's wedding. What should have been a fun, carefree summer turns into something more sinister. Everyone is lying so the perpetrator can't be caught.

The story dives right in which was a bit jarring. I had no idea what was going on and by the end of the first few chapters, I was still a bit lost. The narrative kept going from "Before" to "After" but the transitions weren't there and I had a hard time following what was going on.

I felt like the story jumped around a lot which made it even more confusing. The shifting time frame wasn't done well and the characters had no depth which made it hard to connect to them or the story itself. The ending was obvious from the beginning which was disappointing since this was marketed as a thriller - usually there is a plot twist somewhere but I didn't really see any big "OH WOW" moments.
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This story follows music teacher Bonnie during the summer that she was planning on getting her life together a bit.  Instead, she finds herself disposing of a corpse and hiding evidence from the police. The story is told in alternating chapters of "before" and "after" the discovery of the corpse as we unravel what, exactly, happened that evening.  TW/CW: 2 instances of on-page physical domestic abuse

I really enjoyed the overall premise and structure of the book.  I'm a sucker for dual timelines and it was fun to hop around in time and see how something we find out in one time comes up in the other.  The book opens with Bonnie finding the body but she never tells the reader who it is.  It is always 'him' or 'his' and she doesn't really give away any hints to what her connection with the dead person is.  We then jump back in time and see Bonnie putting together this ragtag band of musicians for her friend's wedding and they are mostly all men.  So we can assume that one of these men ends up dead, but we don't know which for about the first 1/3 of the book.  It was pretty fun to read along and guess which of them would be killed and possible motives for all of these characters.  Even once we do find out who dies, we don't know for sure the how or why behind the death.  The timeline switching continues to reveal pieces of the story that we don't know in a pretty intriguing way.  However, the last 2/3 of the story did take a bit of a downhill turn for me.

As a character-focused reader, I'm really forgiving on the actual plot elements if the character work is superb.  However, I found both characters and plot to be lacking in this story for me.  We spend the first 1/3 of the book meeting all these people in Bonnie's life - first her friends and then all these musicians.  The book does a really good job at grounding these characters in their personalities and other identifying characteristics so I didn't get confused.  However, I was expecting a bit of character growth over the course of the story.  It really felt that the characters started out as a bit of a caricature in order to help the reader keep them all straight but then they stayed that way even after the death of someone in their group.  And even if the side characters maybe weren't as developed as I would have liked, I think Bonnie should have had much more of a character arc than she did.  She found the body of someone she knew and decided to dispose of it.  I would expect something like that to have a much more profound effect on a person.  Bonnie is effected by it, but sort of in a weird way where she's walking around in a bit of a brain fog which didn't feel that different to how she was living her life before.  If Bonnie was super on top of her game really taking charge of her life and then suddenly changed to floating through her days then I think that would be really interesting.  But the character shift we get from her isn't as dramatic as I think it needed to be in order to have the last part of the book be interesting from a character perspective.

As for the plot, I was generally much more interested in the 'after' chapters but even those, eventually, lost my interest.  The 'before' chapters are just a bunch of mediocre musicians practicing together and making little snippy comments at each other.  I didn't really find them engaging or interesting and while they did reveal some pieces of information, I wish they were shorter or possibly cut out the practicing altogether.  Most of the information we need for the investigation is revealed either before or after the band practice.  I understand that the band aspect is needed to push the timeline along but I really think these chapters could have ended right when they started to practice.  The 'after' chapters, after a while, became really boring for me too.  They couldn't hold the tension of the investigation for me and I overall ended up not caring if they ever found out exactly what happened that night.  I think the main issue with the 'after' chapters is that Bonnie thinks she knows what happened (but she doesn't tell the reader) so she isn't concerned with finding out the truth.  There's no amateur investigation or anything like that, she's more concerned about if she's going to get caught for hiding the body.  This story takes place in London which has CCTV cameras everywhere.  These cameras are brought up a number of times throughout the beginning half of the book and I thought they were going to be a bigger source of tension/fear for Bonnie than they ended up being.  I basically wanted the tension turned up to 11 and for Bonnie to be more involved in the investigation elements.  

Overall, I really enjoyed the premise and first 1/3 of the story, but found the back 2/3 to be completely underwhelming and lacking the tension and character development I would have expected from the premise.

Thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow Paperbacks for the ARC

Expected publication date is April 27, 2021 (originally published in 2009 under the title Complicit)
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I really loved the format of The Other Side of the Door and thought it was an excellent way to weave the strands of past and present into a story that kept me reading! While it's not my favorite Nicci French book, I'm still thrilled that the author's books are once again more readily available for U.S. readers and hope this continues to bring more attention to this author and their books.
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I have loved several Nicci French books but this one didn't work for me.  Particularly, I liked the Frieda Klein mysteries mostly because Frieda herself was interesting (if sometimes irritating).  The Other Side of the Door does not have characters I was interested in or liked even a little bit.  However, this won't keep me from trying the next N-F book.
A thought:  I'll never understand why so many amateur reviewers give blow by blow summaries of the plots of mysteries. It does make for a long review but ruins the book for readers who want to be surprised by the plot.  Spoiler alerts should be used for online or printed reviews.
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This had to be the single most hydrated protagonist of any book ever.  Also, wth with this title?  Did I miss something? 

The very short chapters were very difficult to switch between which I now understand is due to the husband and wife writing team.   Mostly the story was difficult to follow and there seemed to be a lot of continuity issues.  I did not enjoy this book. 

Thank you to NetGalley for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Found this to be a page turner - full of twists that I did not get ahead of. Also found it hard to care for the dead guy who was a complete asshole and was not sure why anyone fell in love with him
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I found it very hard initially to get into this book, partly because of the skipping back and forth between past and present, which took me a while to get used to. However, I soon found myself in the grip of the mystery, feeling for the characters as they dug themselves deeper and deeper holes whilst trying to protect each other and cover up their own involvement in the death of their friend. This is what the Nicci French team do best - providing insights into the dark and sinister places in the human heart, exploring unhealthy obsessions and love gone wrong, the complications of human relationships and the circumstances that make an ordinary person capable of murder.

Unlike other NF books the plot was not as much of a surprise as it could have been, and I was waiting for a better twist at the end … or maybe it was just that by the time all was revealed, I was no longer feeling as emotionally involved, as some of the characters had become a bit tedious and annoying. Saying that, the book did keep me interested until the end, even if out of head-shaking frustration over the actions of some of the characters, and the repercussions of those actions.

Not my favorite NF book, but still an ok read if you like their style of thriller.
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This is a twisty mystery that uses an unusual format. Chapters alternate between "After" and "Before" the murder. The first chapter is an After, and begins with music teacher, Bonnie, locking an apartment door to make sure nobody walks in and sees the bloody body on the floor. The next chapter is a Before and goes back several months to a Bonnie's seemingly unrelated conversation over drinks with fellow teachers Sonia and Danielle. This device was effective in keeping the reader guessing as information about the Before is doled out little by little, day by day, as the before and after get closer together. The story held my attention, even though none of the characters were very likable. If you read my reviews, you know I like a good ending. This one ends with a Before chapter: Bonnie is on the other side of the door she locks on the first page.
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I wasn’t able to predict the ending. Which was good, but I just couldn’t get into the characters.  It started off strong, but I just couldn’t get into this one.
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I was super excited to read a book by Nicci French, my first one!! Sadly, this was a bit of a disappointment. I usually find it interesting and engaging when books switch between time periods, but this felt a little choppy and I found that it did not add much to the story. Bonnie was unfortunately a forgettable and slightly aggravating character. Being a mostly character driven reader, that is something I couldn't get past. The reason I finished this book is because I wanted to see how it ended. I will admit that I did not see the ending coming, but I don't think it was a worthwhile read.
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Apparently this is an older book that’s being re-released. I’m not sure if there were any changes to content. Overall, it’s an okay story, but I just didn’t really care too much about the characters and it was a slow story. 

The story is told from Bonnie’s point of view on two timelines: before and after the death. The beginning of the story was better and then it lost momentum and became a bit of a chore to read. I was thinking it’d be a 3-star read for me, but that ending. No spoilers, but the second to last chapter brought up a bunch of questions that went unanswered.

Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my honest review.
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Yes, I’m curious as to who killed Amos and how and why, but not so curious as to wade through more of the muck and mire of this storyline or of these disgusting characters.  I kept thinking there would be some daylight in their thinking and behavior, but apparently not.  25% was all I could tolerate.

This was an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  It’s just not my kind of book – nor my kind of people.
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I am familiar with Nicci French's books, so I was excited to have an opportunity to read "The Other Side of the Door" in an advanced reader's copy. The book starts out with our heroine, Bonnie, discovering the body of a man, Hayden, who she had been having an affair with. Initally we are given the impression that Bonnie is the murderer, but that slowly changes. When Bonnie finds the body she calls onher friend, Sonya, to help dispose of the body. They hope that Hayden, who was someone without permanent ties, would not be missed for some time, but his body is found almost immediately and the police enter the scene. 

This story is told in a Before and After format. We see what is leading up to the murder, then we see what happens in the aftermath, until eventually the two worlds collide.I am on the fence as to whether this was effectively employed in this book. The story kept me intrigued, so I kept on reading, but there was a lot of back and forth to keep up with. I think this is an entertaining book and will keep your interest, but I wasn't totally won over by any of the characters. I would rate this a 3.5.

Thank y ou to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher William Morrow/Custom House for allowing me to read an ARC of this book.
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My first book by this author. I like the book very much.. Very well written. I will be looking at Her books to buy more.
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The Other Side of the Door
A Novel
by Nicci French
William Morrow and Custom House
 You Are Auto-Approved
William Morrow Paperbacks
General Fiction (Adult) | Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 27 Apr 2021   |   Archive Date 22 Jun 2021

This is a new author for me.  I have learned that this is a unique husband and wife team.  I have seen glowing reviews but this book just didn't do it for me.  I liked the mystery but I just didn't like the characters. Thanks to William Morrow/custom House and NetGalley for this ARC. 

3 star
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I generally enjoyed reading this book. It had the right amount of suspense and there were a few twists that keep the plot interesting.
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