ARC Review: A Narrow Door by Joanne Harris


Now I’m in charge, the gates are my gates. The rules are my rules. 

It’s an incendiary moment for St Oswald’s school. For the first time in its history, a headmistress is in power, the gates opening to girls.

Rebecca Buckfast has spilled blood to reach this position. Barely forty, she is just starting to reap the harvest of her ambition. As the new regime takes on the old guard, the ground shifts. And with it, the remains of a body are discovered. 

But Rebecca is here to make her mark. She’ll bury the past so deep it will evade even her own memory, just like she has done before. After all…

You can’t keep a good woman down.

Note: This is the proof copy


A Narrow Door is the final novel in a triology of books set in St Oswald’s Grammar School and featuring Roy Straitley.  (Gentleman and Players and Different Class being the first and second novels respectively).  I haven’t read the first two books, so its quite likely I may have missed out on a little background history, but I didn’t find this to be a problem and it read perfectly well as a standalone.  

Narrated from the points of view of Rebecca Buckfast and Roy Straitley this is a compelling and immersive book unravelling the truth of what happened to Connor Price.  It is an intricately woven tale which is intriguing from the onset and the atmosphere created by the author is brilliant.  It builds up nicely giving a little more information with each chapter, offering just enough to keep the reader guessing. I really liked the structure of the book and the fact each part is split into Greek mythological rivers of the underworld.  It travels at a fairly slow pace but it holds your interest with something new being revealed in every chapter.  

The characters are strong and intricately drawn, it did take a bit of time for me to familiarise myself with each of them but I put this down to the fact I haven’t read the previous novels.  Roy Straitley is quite a likeable character with his stuffy and conventional ways and I loved the rapport he had with the Brodie boys and their side kick Ben, aka Benedicta.  Rebecca Buckfast is a fabulous character for her strength and standing up for herself in a male dominated world, making history as the first ever female Headteacher at St Oswald’s Grammar School.

I have read several of this author’s novels in the past and with her skilful story telling and complex character building you cannot go wrong.  A Narrow Door is a clever story, which is dark, gripping and full of atmosphere and intrigue.  A must read for Joanna Harris fans and murder mystery lovers alike.    

Publisher:  Orion
Publication Date (UK): 4 August 2021
Series:  Malbry Trilogy #3
Format:  Hardback
Page Count: 448
Genre:  Psychological Thriller/Murder Mystery
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to the publisher for the advanced copy (gifted) in exchange for an honest review.

I hope you enjoyed this review.  For my current reads, recommendations and anything else book related, please follow me on Instagram , Goodreads or Twitter

Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊 

Happy reading!


Twisted in Pages Blog

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Reader • Reviewer • Blogger

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