The Door that Led to Where – Sally Gardner

door-that-led-to-whereAJ never knew his father or knew of his father.  He was raised by a single mother in a small apartment in London, who seemed to always resent having him.  After failing most of his graduation exams, his mother decides to kick him out but gives him a letter from a law firm for an interview.  That is very odd.  AJ shows up for the interview for an office boy or errand boy and those in the firm seem to know of him and knew his father.  During an assignment to go through the firm’s library files, AJ discovers a large key with his name on it and learns it opens a door to the past – to 1830 London.  Off he goes to the London of Charles Dickens where he is told of his father’s murder.  He is soon drawn into more mysterious poisonings.

Meanwhile in present day London, his best friends, Leon and Slim are in danger.  A thug is after Slim for dating his former/current girlfriend and wants to beat Slim to a pulp.  Leon’s mother just died from an overdose and the drug dealer is intent on murdering Leon.  So where can AJ hide his friends?  The past.  Both Slim and Leon much prefer London in the 1830s.  AJ is torn and is busy juggling so much, mainly trying to stay alive while solving a series of murders.

A fast-paced plot with an identifiable hero in AJ and friends with issues, the reader can see how a true friend behaves.  The poisonings provide a suspenseful diversion to AJ’s trying to tie the past to the present.  The Door That Led to Where is a quick read that delivers a good all around story.

eGalley review                                        Publication date 11.1.16

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