What would you do if a young girl knocked on your door and asked for your help?
If it was snowing and she was freezing cold, but you were afraid and alone?
What would you do if you let her in, but couldn't make her leave?
What if she told you terrible lies about someone you love, but the truth was even worse?
Stella has been cocooned in her home for three years. Severely agoraphobic, she knows she is safe in the stark, isolated house she shares with her husband, Max. The traumatic memories of her final case as a psychologist are that much easier to keep at a distance, too.
But the night that Blue arrives on her doorstep with her frightened eyes and sad stories, Stella's carefully controlled world begins to unravel around her.
Over the last 12 months I have started getting back into reading psychological thrillers and crime fiction so when I first started hearing about Don't Stand So Close by Luana Lewis I knew that it was one that I definitely wanted to read.
When we first meet Stella we hear that she's rarely been outside of her house for the past three years but we don't know why so she's extremely wary about opening her door when a young girl Blue turns up on her doorstep during a storm especially as she's home alone as her husband Max has stayed in town. Who is Blue and what does she want with Stella?
The main story revolves around Stella and Blue as Stella tries to get to the truth as to why Blue has turned up on her doorstep but at the same time we also see flashbacks to two different periods of time, a patient consultation between Max and a teenage girl, as well as a therapy session between Stella and a client a few years previous when she last worked.
What I loved most about this story was the unravelling of the mysteries as you get to the truth as to who exactly Blue is, what her connection is to Max and Stella, and what exactly had happened to Stella previously to cause her current severe anxiety state.
Don't Stand So Close was a gripping read from start to finish that had me constantly wanting to read just one more chapter to find out how it was all going to end and in the end I read the entire book over two sittings. A brilliant debut from Luana Lewis who I will definitely be keeping an eye out for future books from her.
I'd like to thank Leanne at Transworld for sending me a proof copy of this book to review.