I am delighted to be taking part in the Blog Tour for Mark Tilbury’s latest novel, “The Key To Death’s Door”. Mark has an incredible talent for writing outstanding novels which combine the psychological and supernatural and so I jumped at the chance to support this latest novel. Thanks to Sarah at Bloodhound Books and the author for inviting me to take part.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
If you could discover the murderous truth of a past life and seek justice in this one, would you?
Teenager Lee Hunter doesn’t have a choice when he nearly drowns after spending the night at a derelict boathouse with his best friend, Charlie Finch. After leaving his body and meeting a mysterious light, Lee is sent back to relive the final days of another life. A life that ended tragically.
After recovering from his near death experience, Lee begins to realise that he is part of two lives linked by the despicable actions of one man.
Struggling against impossible odds, Lee and Charlie set out to bring this man to justice.
Will Lee be able to unlock the past and bring justice to the future?
The Key to Death’s Door is a story of sacrifice, friendship, loyalty and murder.
You know that when you pick up a book by Mark Tilbury you are not in for an ordinary read! Psychological thriller mixed with a little bit of the supernatural are the order of the day. Despite my desire to be grounded in some semblance of reality when I read, his novels have yet to disappoint me! Please do not be put off by the supernatural element of the books as they are all outstanding reads with strong moral and social messages.
When the opening line reads “The day before I died started off pretty much like any other” you know that you are about to be transported somewhere very dark and dangerous. I really do not want to say too much about the plot other than what is in the blurb above because I don’t want to spoil anything for you!
When teenagers, Lee Hunter and Charlie Finch sneak off for a spot of overnight fishing things don’t quite go to plan but the experience sets in motion a plan to bring justice for the other life that Lee had led. Mark Tilbury, once again, has created a cast of characters so authentic and believable that it is impossible not to get entangled in their lives.
Lee and Charlie are bound in friendship despite their very different backgrounds. Their characters are written realistically and so eloquently that I could almost hear, see and smell every experience they went through together. That bond, despite their differences, was recognisable as one we see play out in many teenage friendships, the need to be considered infallible, to show no weakness contrasted with the very real fear of what is going on in your life.
Paul and Bobby, this friendship actually melted my heart and I mean reduced me to a snivelling wreck. Again Paul and Bobby are so very different, both in personality and in their backgrounds. Bobby clearly has ASD and doesn’t have a happy home life whereas Paul comes from a loving family and makes it his mission to look out for his best friend. If you can read this and not shed a tear then your heart must be made of stone!
I’m going to give you two warnings about this book, number one, is that there is a “bad guy” in the novel and when I say bad, I mean evil, repulsive, vile and wicked to the core. Never before have I shrank back into myself when reading a character’s part in a book until I met this man! My skin crawled and I actually felt sick reading about him. Number two; if you like animals then there are a couple of scenes which will break your heart. I am warning you about these, not as a criticism of the book (as the scenes were required to evoke the emotions you will feel as a reader) but simply to ensure that you are prepared for the emotional turmoil that this read is! In a book, I don’t always need justice to be done but when reading this character’s part I was thinking, Mark Tilbury, if you don’t give us justice then I’m going to hunt you down myself. Was justice achieved? You will just need to read it for yourself and find out!
This novel explores so many issues from domestic abuse, trauma, the sacrifices we are prepared to make for others, our beliefs about what happens when we die. Yet it never, at anytime, feels far-fetched or ludicrous. It is a book that will make you stop and think about many things.
The Key To Death’s Door is an outstanding read from Mark Tilbury, it is more than a read, however, it is an experience and one that I’d urge you to embrace.
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About the author:
Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.
After serving in the Royal Navy and raising his two daughters after being widowed, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.
He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have his fifth novel, The Key to Death’s Door published along with The Liar’s Promise, The Abattoir of Dreams, and The Ben Whittle Investigations relaunched, by Bloodhound Books.
When he’s not writing, Mark can be found trying and failing to master blues guitar, and taking walks around the beautiful county of Cumbria.