The Key to Death's Door - Mark Tilbury - 3D book cover
Detective, Mystery & Thriller

The Key to Death’s Door – Mark Tilbury

Wow! What a harrowing tale! Mark Tilbury has done it again – turned my dreams into nightmares with this poignant story of death and cruelty but most of all of two friends – bound by something bigger than life – by a fate spanning several decades.


Thirteen-year-old Lee lives alone with his mother. His father left and he hates him for that. But, considering Daryl Finch, the father his best friend, Charlie has, it could be much worse. Although Daryl is in a wheelchair, he terrorises his family, his wife and son. And Lee dreads asking the man for permission – but they have to because, unlike they tell their parents, they want to sneak out to the boathouse in the middle of Feelham River. Would they have known what was to happen, they would never have ventured going on this adventure. But they did. And life will never be the same…


Being at the boathouse in the middle of the night sounded much more appealing when they made their plans but now, with the howling storm outside and without any food and practically freezing, the boys are not so sure. Still, they have to wait for the morning to get back. Only to realise the dingy has gone. The only option is to swim across the river. The seemingly calm river with its dangerous undercurrent… The river that will change the future forever. Lee is terrified, but Charlie has already swum to safety. Now it is Lee’s turn and he has a horrible feeling in his stomach. Soon, he feels just how strong the undercurrent is; his limbs grow heavier and he feels himself sinking to the bottom of the river where he spots a cage with bones. Will he make it across or die trying? Lee does not know and frankly, does not care anymore…

Lee is tumbling deeper and deeper down the darkness when he sees a light and hears a voice, telling him “‘You must go back and mend what has been broken.” Who is this – the one who calls himself “the order of things,” and why does Lee need to mend something? He wants this newfound peace to last… What happens next, is beyond everything Lee has ever believed in – beyond any truth he has ever known. He will experience laughter and pain, and more pain to the point where it becomes unbearable. His life is in turmoil and he only wished he could wake up and tell himself it had all been a dream… one to forget as soon as possible. But no, this is the start of an enduring and horrible nightmare, vicious and violent…

My Thoughts

What a book! I cannot believe what is happening – and how cunningly the author weaves his complex plot. This psychological and dark thriller challenges all your beliefs and opinions and makes you think and think again. What if? What about fate and destiny? At times, The Key to Death’s Door is so harrowing you feel choked up and almost cannot go on. But you have to know – I had to know how this story would end. Two friends – bound by something bigger than life – by a fate spanning several decades. I cannot say too much about the intricate plot and the way the author makes a credible story by connecting shocking and unbelievable events to another. So many emotions I experienced whilst reading this book!

It is difficult to say much about the book’s characters but let me just say they draw you in and you cannot feel empathy (or hatred) towards them, you wonder how you would react in situations like described in the book. Lee is a boy who tries to do the right thing, a boy of flesh and blood who has no answer to cruelty. Still, he tries. He gives it his all. His friend is a loving character who brought tears to my eyes – and I desperately tried not to imagine situations as it was just too cruel. With ‘The Key to Death’s Door’ the author has again shown us his ability to create a plot that blows you away and that, even if you struggle to fit it in, still captivates you and leaves you breathless for more – that is the work of a talented author and Mark Tilbury definitely is one. An intriguing and shocking read!

Books by Mark Tilbury:
The Abattoir of Dreamsmy review

The Liar’s Promise my review
The Key to Death’s Door 
You Belong To Me – my review

The Ben Whittle Investigations Series:
#1 The Revelation Room
#2 The Eyes of the Accused

About the Author

Mark Tilbury Author Image

Mark Tilbury 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 fourth novel, The Liar’s Promise, along with The Abattoir of Dreams (my review), published, and The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused re-launched, 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.

Amazon Author Page
Mark Tilbury on Twitter

Book Info

Available from: Amazon USAmazon UK – WaterstonesFoyles

 Pages   316
 Publisher  Bloodhound Books (16 April 2018)
 ISBN (paperback)  9781912604159
 ASIN (ebook)  B07C9Y7F1Z

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