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The Boy at the Door

Written by: Alex Dahl
Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Set against a stunning Scandinavian backdrop, a gritty novel of psychological suspense that asks the question how far would you go to hold onto what you have? 

Cecilia Wilborg has it all - a loving husband, two beautiful daughters and a gorgeous home in the affluent Norwegian town of Sandefjord. And she works hard to keep it all together. Too hard. Because one mistake from her past could bring it all crashing down around her. 

Annika Lucasson lives a dark life with her abusive, drug-dealing boyfriend. She's lost everything one too many times and now she's got one last chance to save herself, thanks to Cecilia. Annika knows her secret - and just how much she's willing to do to make it all go away... 

When someone forgets to pick up their little boy at the local pool, Cecilia agrees to take him home, only to find an abandoned, empty house. It's the first step in the unraveling of her meticulously crafted life, as her and Annika's worlds collide...

©2018 Alex Dahl (P)2018 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"Dahl savagely delineates the price of living in a society that insists women must try to be perfect wives and mothers and have successful careers, too, or they’ll be inevitably made to feel they’re never good enough." (Publishers Weekly

"A tangled web, masterfully constructed and certain to satisfy fans of the genre." (Booklist)

"Scandi Noir at its best... Atmospheric and beautifully written...combines complex and believable characters with a heart-breaking and head-spinning plot." (Mary Torjussen, author of Gone Without a Trace and The Girl I Used to Be)

"The three actors who voice Cecilia, a beautiful rich housewife, Tobias, an abandoned child, and Annika, a doomed junkie, are perfectly cast, have appealing voices, and do exactly what the story needs them to do....this is an unusual and brilliantly executed example, and a flawless listen." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christine
  • 2018-09-10

One of the best

Liked everything about this book. Story and performance were both excellent. Loved the way it unfolded

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • MA Reviewer
  • 2018-08-13

I am Usually"Boy Crazy"....But Not For This One!

Very, very disappointing. I selected this book because of its strong reviews and compelling storyline. I also listened to a sample that was read by a superb narrator.

The book starts out strong and rapidly goes downhill. I invested 12 hours of my time listening to the book and it was not time well spent.

The story was very contrived and unbelievable. If I give specific examples (and there are many!) - I will reveal spoilers so I will stop here.

The narrators were excellent and I always enjoy a book with multiple narrators.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mary Hobbie
  • 2018-08-07

Strange

It started off interesting enough. Caught my attention, made me want to keep listening. But the storyline was so sad, so depressing. There was nothing pleasant, nothing redeeming about the main character. She was a liar, cheat, immoral, and sociopathic person. And then it all just went downhill from there. It was great at first, I thought, wow, this author really knows how to write a character who people can despise, feel anger about and hate. But there needed to be also some empathy for her, some personal connection. There was all that with the character Annie. As the reader, I learned to like her, feel sorry for her, empathize with her and hope for her to find peace, make it in the world and be happy. But with the main character, um no. I wanted her locked up. Put away for good. Maybe that was the point? Some how though, it seemed like the author just kept trying to add more and more crazy stuff as she went along. It didn't seem planned out and the consequences of her actions NEVER really caught up to her.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • RueRue
  • 2019-05-12

Too improbable

This story hinges on some totally improbable coincidences that strain the believability of the plot. Added to that, the (3) central characters are distinctly unlikable ( yes, even little Tobias). The narration was pretty good, but it doesn't redeem the awfulness of the story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kimberly Wasilewski
  • 2019-04-19

Great Narration

I liked it. The mother was an awful person who didn't deserve what she got in the end.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sideways Shrink
  • 2019-04-05

Beautiful understanding and articulation of the female human condition

Dahl explores addiction, narcissism, love, abuse and the metaphysics of the parental bond in this exquisitely narrated novel. Marnò’s performance was as always wonderful to and the actor that read the part of the little boy was painfully marvelous. This is the suspense genre at its best—there were no innocent bystanders or straw men in this novel.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Aggie S.
  • 2018-10-30

All around fantastic

The Story was great. The performances were great. All around a great listen.
I definitely recommend this one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MikeyP
  • 2018-09-21

Truly superior narration of a wonderful story.

The story had me hooked right away. The narration, particularly for the child, was really wonderful.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-09-17

I listened twice

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The story was hard to follow at times because it skipped back and forth in time and one character lied often, but that made it interesting as well. Alex Dahl’s writing is good. I look forward to her next book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-08-24

Page turner!!!

This book took me by surprise. I did not expect the twist and the turns it took. I also enjoyed the narrators. You will not want the book to end.