Book Review: The Red Door by Rosa Fedele

The Red Door…

About the Book:

What would you do if you began to suspect one of your tenants could be the perpetrator of a vicious double murder committed over thirty years ago?

It is 1983 and the new owner of the beautiful old Sydney mansion ‘Rosalind’ begins to believe she is being watched by the mysterious resident in Number Three, a reclusive man who happens to share his name with two teenage sisters, victims of a sinister and brutal murder. Her peace of mind slowly erodes as a fascination with the unsolved crime becomes obsession – consuming her life, shaking relationships with her newfound friends and leaving a trail of devastation.

This is a spellbinding tale, as much a mystery novel with an immigrant’s tragedy woven into its centre, as a portrait of women who carry dark secrets but also persevere through the strength of friendship.

The Red Door will take hold of your imagination and never let go.




My Thoughts:

The Red Door was an intriguing novel, a gothic mystery set in Sydney during the 1980s. I found myself gripped by this novel, utterly immersed into the world of ‘Rosalind’ and the people who lived in and around it.

There are a lot of things going on within this story and a lot of character perspectives to follow; you need to read closely and pay careful attention as the change in perspectives are not labelled and they occur frequently. There’s also a lot of ambiguity; a fair few people with secrets and unsavoury habits that are hinted at but not fully disclosed until crucial moments. Overall, this heightens the dread and suspense, and it also leads the reader on a merry dance in the wrong direction – more than once. There were a few times where I felt sure I knew where the story was headed, only to have to rug pulled out from under me. The sophistication of all of these plot lines weaving together in the end was quite remarkable and I really did enjoy seeing how it all panned out.

There’s a realistic edge to this story that cuts deep. Not everyone gets a happy ending, indeed, for many characters, there are grim tidings ahead, much like life itself. This kept the story real for me, establishing the issues Rosa tackled within the serious framework they were intended for. If I have one criticism, it’s that throughout the entire novel, I had no idea of the name of our protagonist. No one ever referred to her by name when they said hello, talked to her, or thought about her. It wasn’t until the last pages when we read a letter addressed to her that we find out her name. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not, but it did put up a barrier to my connection with her. I like to know who I’m championing.

One of the very best features of this novel was the original artwork set throughout at key points. Rosa paints beautifully and I loved seeing her words come to life in these original illustrations. I have included two of my favourites so you can get a sense of the style and mystery Rosa employs:



All in all, I enjoyed The Red Door very much. I must have looked quite comical reading it at times, with my shocked face at all of the twists. The resolution is fairly open ended, not enough for a sequel, but certainly enough to leave you wanting. I’m looking forward to reading more from Rosa Fedele in the future.

Thanks is extended to the author for providing me with a copy of The Red Door for review.

About the Author:

‘For me, every painting and every book is a new adventure, started with a thrill of excitement and anticipation.’

14235900Australian author and painter Rosa Fedele, known for her portrait and figurative work, was born in Sydney and studied at the prestigious Julian Ashton Art School. A member of Portrait Artists Australia, Australia’s largest industry association for professional portraitists, and a regular contributor to Australian Fine Art and Decorative Painting magazine, her work has been exhibited in NSW Parliament House and Parliament House Canberra, as well as numerous galleries and exhibitions in Australia and worldwide.

Rosa fell avidly in love with books at a very young age. Her favourites were those by C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, and later on Raymond E. Feist, David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey and Frank Herbert; in fact, anything with beautiful and spellbinding words and imagery that would allow her to escape into other worlds.

Her debut novel The Red Door is a fulfilment of her lifelong dream, to interweave a story with pictures … and draw the reader into her own bewitching, and slightly dark-edged, world.

You can found out more about Rosa Fedele at:






3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Red Door by Rosa Fedele

  1. Thank you Theresa!

    So glad you enjoyed THE RED DOOR! I always wonder if readers pick up on the protagonist’s name not being mentioned – it was a little game I was playing at the time of writing, a la Du Maurier’s Rebecca.

    And yes, there is a sequel with even more illustrations and edited by the super Alex Nahlous (of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies fame) … and yes, it will be published very soon! Am simply DYING to bring it into the world.

    Thanks again for taking the time to review TRD and your lovely words,


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: My Reading Life: #aww2018 Challenge Checkpoint 2 | Theresa Smith Writes

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