Whatever you do, don’t open the door…
By day, Ellie Power has a normal life. She has a stable home, a loving boyfriend, a future.
But at night, she suffers from a sleep disorder. She becomes angry, unpredictable, violent. Her mother locks her in her bedroom every night, to keep them both safe.
Then one morning, Ellie wakes up, horrified to find the lock on her bedroom door smashed from the inside. She is covered in injuries, unable to remember anything about the night before.
And her boyfriend Matt is nowhere to be found…
Hi and welcome to my review of Lock Me In!
Lock Me In is all about Ellie, who lives with her mum, and it soon becomes clear that Ellie doesn’t just have a sleeping disorder, she’s believed to suffer from DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously known as multiple personality disorder). Well that just ticked all my psych thriller boxes in one go! I love psychological thrillers that actually explore an aspect of psychology, especially when they zoom in on a condition like DID, one that remains shrouded in mystery and controversy. Still, Lock Me In never becomes clinical, instead we see and feel the effects through Ellie and her mum.
Every night, Ellie’s mum locks her into her room, because it’s when she sleeps that her alter Ziggy takes over and does things, bad things. The reader sees the aftermath but never Ziggy herself, and neither does Ellie, who apparently goes into some sort of fugue state. Afterwards, she wakes up, hurt and dizzy, and can’t remember what Ziggy has done. No one knows about Ellie and her condition, except for her mum, and now Ellie’s boyfriend Matt. Ellie thinks she might get a happily ever after after all, but then Matt disappears. Ellie is convinced she, or rather Ziggy, had something to do with his disappearance. It wouldn’t be the first time: years ago, Ellie’s best friend disappeared too. I have to tell you, I loved Ellie to bits! And also her desperate search for the truth. Not only with regards to Matt, but also herself and her past. I was dying to find out where Ziggy had come from. Did something happen to Ellie when she was little? Presumably one does not grow multiple personalities (to refer to it with the old term) overnight and without any kind of trigger. The extracts of the conversations between Ellie and her psychiatrist in 2006 do nothing to clarify the situation, if anything they fuel the suspense.
Alternating with these extracts and Ellie’s POV in the first person, is Detective Sergeant Kwon Mae’s in the third person. Mae investigated the disappearance of Ellie’s friend and he has never been able to forget that case. Coincidence (or providence?) has thrown them back together, because this new misper case lands on Mae’s desk. Mae is fighting his own personal demons (name me a fictional cop who isn’t!) what with his ex-wife and his daughter who is having problems at school, and he is very determined to crack this case wide open with the help of rookie Kit, who is formidable and funny and l loved the interaction and the lingering tension between them and I kept hoping Kit would be able to get Mae out of his slump. (Did she though? Read the book and find out ?)
Lock Me In is twisty and crazily addictive with a finale I did not see coming until late in the story, and which shocked me to the core. When the pieces of the puzzle have all been put together, they reveal an image that differs greatly from what is shown on the box. This is a fascinating and highly entertaining study of the human psyche and the things it is capable of. Recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the eARC! All opinions are my own.