The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl

The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl

EXCERPT: ‘As you’ll be aware, there are so many holes in your previous accounts that we are at a loss to establish what information is true and what isn’t.’ Ellefson pauses, and I nod again. ‘This is now a formal investigation, and I am obliged to inform you that everything you say in this room will be recorded and subject to further investigation. Do you understand?’

‘Yes,’ I say, keeping my voice low and even.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: This riveting psychological suspense debut by Alex Dahl asks the question, “how far would you go to hold on to what you have?”

Cecilia Wilborg has it all–a loving husband, two beautiful daughters, and a gorgeous home in an affluent Norwegian suburb. And she works hard to keep it all together. Too hard…

There is no room for mistakes in her life. Even taking home a little boy whose parents forgot to pick him up at the pool can put a crimp in Cecilia’s carefully planned schedule. Especially when she arrives at the address she was given
and finds an empty, abandoned house…

There’s nothing for Cecilia to do but to take the boy home with her, never realizing that soon his quiet presence and knowing eyes will trigger unwelcome memories from her past–and unravel her meticulously crafted life… ( synopsis)

MY THOUGHTS: I didn’t much like this book when I began it, thought I was probably going to jettison it before I was too far into it. I didn’t much care for the writing style, the multiple points of view where you had to figure out whose the point of view was, I didn’t much care for the characters. But inexorably, all these things I didn’t much care for melded together to form, not the insurmountable barrier to a good read that I was expecting, but a compelling story of a self-centred woman who consistently puts her own needs first, and the havoc she wreaks in everyone’s lives, not least her own, as she tries to keep a secret from her past concealed.

The story is centred around three main characters, Cecilia (what Cecilia wants, Cecilia gets) who micromanages her ‘perfect’ life, a drug addict named Anni, and Tobias, a young boy who is wrenched from the security of the only home he has ever known and used as a pawn in an adult game of greed.

This is an intense read with dark undertones. It is not always entirely credible, but that was not enough to stop me reading. I read through the night last night, unable to put this down until I had turned the last page. I can’t say I enjoyed the read. It is not a book to be enjoyed. I was captivated, and even now, some hours later, Cecilia still haunts me and I wonder what sort of future Tobias will have.

THE AUTHOR: Half-American, half-Norwegian, Alex Dahl was born in Oslo. She graduated with a B.A. in Russian and German linguistics with international studies and went on to complete an M.A. in creative writing at Bath Spa University, followed by an M.S. in business management at Bath University. Alex has published short stories in the U.K. and the U.S. She is a serious Francophile and currently lives in both London and Sandefjord. The Boy at the Door is her first novel. (

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Head of Zeus via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Boy at the Door by Alex Dahl for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my page


Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbled. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

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