The Key To Death's Door

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 16 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

Thanks to netgalley for the ARC of this brilliantly written book. I haven't read any of Mark's books before, but doesn't think that I missed much of any references to the previous books.  The book kept me gripped from the beginning until the end, highly recommended.
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The thing that brings me back to Mark Tilbury’s books, time and time again, is the total uniqueness of each one. They never blend in with any thing else that I have read making each book one that I can bring back to memory months after finishing reading it. I like  that his writing brings out the best and worst in me, my mothering instincts and the killer ones that lurk deep in my mind too. Monsters don’t always live under the bed, some live in families, bullies, tormentors and murderers.
This story is that of two best friends Lee and Charlie, teenagers that are after adventure, each of them lying to their parents, so they can camp out on an Island over night. Oh they get their wish but what they imagined it would be and the reality are two different things. The pair share their biggest secrets, with heart breaking confessions but things take a turn for the worse when the weather makes the lads make bad choices. One of them, has a near death experience and a terrifying glimpse into another life time that links past and present.
Oh my this could turn you cold on a hot summer day! I curled up on my sofa reading this, wanting to make myself as small as possible. The story is told over two-time frames set years apart and yet connected by one vile man. The writing is exquisite, creating a whole bystander experience of being there. This is an absolute cracking story, very graphic, extremely brutal and utterly gut wrenching. If you have a problem with violence in stories it isn’t for you. This though is Mark Tilbury at his best, he is better than any sugar rush and it stays much longer!
I loved how it all comes together at the end. A top class story and another to add to my unforgettable books on my library shelf.
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After reading a Mark Tilbury book you never know quite what to expect.

Expect the unexpected I’d say!

I’ve read a previous book by this author which I thoroughly enjoyed even though it veered towards a genre I never read, but he writes in such a great dialogue that you get immersed in it.

That was like this one.

I had read Wimmera which starts off with boys being boys and getting into mischief, going off and and covering for each other.
But that’s where the similarities end. 
At first I was thinking this might go in the YA genre too, I still think it should be.

At first I wasn’t sure about this book, it was great dialogue between the boys. 
They’re retorts, their annoyance with other and the different anxieties that were portrayed by each young boy.

By the time I got to the halfway mark I found myself quite invested in the story.

If I’d have know or realised the track it went I probably wouldn’t have read it as anything remotely ghostly or supernatural or life after death gives me palpitations. 

But it’s written in such a way you don’t focus on those elements.

I ended up enjoying this a lot.
That’s the great penmanship of this author. (le
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Really enjoyed this book, difficult to define to a specific genre, but kept me reading from the opening pages and had to know had w it would end.
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I do love a Tilbury novel and this one did not disappoint 

It is a violent and drama filled read and I loved it I loved the supernatural spin and felt this charged up the tale and kept me hooked.

Mark Tilbury is an excellent storyteller, his characters are always fascinating. there is a good mix of feeling and I highly recommend it
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DNF - couldn't get into it, no matter how hard i tried. 

Thank you to netgalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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If you could discover the murderous truth of a past life and seek justice in this one, would you?

Teenager Lee Hunter doesn’t have a choice when he nearly drowns after spending the night at a derelict boathouse with his best friend, Charlie Finch. After leaving his body and meeting a mysterious light, Lee is sent back to relive the final days of another life. A life that ended tragically.

After recovering from his near death experience, Lee begins to realise that he is part of two lives linked by the despicable actions of one man.

Struggling against impossible odds, Lee and Charlie set out to bring this man to justice. 

Will Lee be able to unlock the past and bring justice to the future?

The Key to Death’s Door is a story of sacrifice, friendship, loyalty and murder.

I’m not giving any spoilers to this book, but wow!  What a book this is … I was on the edge of my seat, gasping with shock and horror.  But saying that I didn’t want it to end.  5*
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Lee Hunter and his mate Charlie Finch, both 14 years old, have both told their respective parents that they are staying overnight at each other’s homes, whereas in reality they are going night fishing.

They end up spending the night in a disused boat house and when they come to leave in the morning, their dinghy has floated away.  Charlie strips off and swims across safely; Lee on the other hand decides to swim in his clothes and gets pulled under, drowns and leaves his body for ‘the light’ where he wakes up 30 years in the past as a 12 year old Paul Collins and witnesses a horrific crime against his family.

He returns to own body and time and realises his past and present lives are still linked to the person who committed the crime, so Lee sets out to ‘mend what has been broken’.

This is a gruesome, warped and surreal supernatural story, set in two different timelines but woven together by an extremely evil violent man.

The dynamic of the boys friendship worked well in both timelines, especially Lee and Charlie being off doing things boys shouldn’t and risking getting into trouble to help his best friend who needs his assistance.

Throughout the book it mentions Lee must ‘mend what has been broken’, and whilst he is there at the end it’s not really him who mends it (though I understand not everyone has the ability to do what needed to be done in this case), so I felt a little mislead by this constant reminder through the book.
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Full of twists and turns, keeps you guessing all the way through. Brilliant book go get it you won't regret it.
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EXCERPT: The day before I died started off pretty much like any other. Up at seven. Breakfast. Ready for school. Just one slight difference: me and my best mate Charlie Finch had cooked up a plan to tell our parents we were sleeping at each other's houses. 

ABOUT THIS BOOK: If you could discover the murderous truth of a past life and seek justice in this one, would you?

Teenager Lee Hunter doesn’t have a choice when he nearly drowns after spending the night at a derelict boathouse with his best friend, Charlie Finch. After leaving his body and meeting a mysterious light, Lee is sent back to relive the final days of another life. A life that ended tragically.

After recovering from his near death experience, Lee begins to realise that he is part of two lives linked by the despicable actions of one man. 

Struggling against impossible odds, Lee and Charlie set out to bring this man to justice. 

Will Lee be able to unlock the past and bring justice to the future?

MY THOUGHTS: The Key to Death's Door by Mark Tilbury blew my socks off! How have I missed reading this author before? Why has no one ever pointed me in his direction? This book is so good on so many different levels that I don't know where to begin. . .

The main character is 14 year old Lee Hunter. Typical boy and his best mate Charlie, who has 'the brain of a chicken and the heart of a lion, of whom his mother doesn’t approve. Doing boy stuff. Going where they aren't supposed to when they are supposed to be somewhere else. We've all done it. But for Lee it starts off a series of strange, and for the reader compelling, horrific events. 

His friend Charlie's father, Daryl Finch, is one of the most evil characters I have ever come across. He has 'awful eyes which seemed detached from humanity'. He made my skin crawl. I wanted to go take a shower. And then in direct contrast, we have Lee's sweet nostalgic memories from when he was Paul. 

Author Mark Tilbury is a great writer. I know of few other writers who can switch from darkly disturbing to paranormal to sweet nostalgia like that and carry it off with such finesse. I highlighted so many passages in this book that I wanted to quote in my review that you would have been reading almost the whole book. So instead I stuck with the beginning of the opening paragraph which I loved, because you just know that things are not going to go to plan for these boys. And that is the understatement of the year. 'I was soon to learn that good ideas never came along when you were desperate. Just a series of bad ones. And even worse ones. They seemed to breed off one another until it's no longer possible to see the difference between right and wrong. ' As to the rest of it, read it for yourself. You won't regret it. This is a highly recommended 5 exploding star read. 

I am even going to recommend The Key to Death's Door as a young-adult read. I would have loved it then as much as I love it now. 

Thank you to Bloodhound Books via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Key to Death's Door by Mark Tilbury for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. 

Please refer to my profile page or the 'about' page on for an explanation of my rating system. 

This review and others are also published on my blog
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I am a massive fan of Mark Tilbury and always look forward to his latest novel he is an author that always brings us something different and always seems to get better and better each book that I read. I am pleased to say The Key to Deaths Door is belter of a story, which you wont be able to put down. 

We are taken on an incredible journey where we meet teenager Lee Hunter and his best friend Charlie Finch and follow riveting a story of their friendship.You can feel the bond between them and the banter they have, which I loved it reminded me so much of Stephen King's Stand By Me. They are brilliant characters and has always Mark put his spin on things and adds an element of supernatural into the story when Lee experiences a near death and leaves his body and finds himself reliving another life! and this is just the start of whats to come.

I have to say, I do love a crime thriller that has a supernatural element in it. The author has weaved a story that will have you well and truly hooked. I am starting to think Mark is the new Stephen King!

This a dark and twisted nail biting thriller where the author has wrote some very uncomfortable and dark scenes which I wouldn't expect anything less from this sicko author! LOL 

This is a must read for fans old and new which I highly recommend giving it 4.5 stars.

Thank you to Sarah Hardy for inviting me to take part in this epic tour.
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My review

This is my first read by this author and it certainly won’t be my last as I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Lee and Charlie are the best of friends. An accident changes their lives and proves how strong their friendship is. I don’t want to say any more about the storyline. You really need to read this without spoilers.

I didn’t realise this had a supernatural theme to it. I’m glad I didn’t know or I may have missed out on this gem. 
The Key to Deaths Door is a well written dark and gruesome read that I thoroughly enjoyed. I’ll definitely be reading more from this author in the future.
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One thing I have learned from reading Mark’s previous novels is that they are sure to mess with your head! The Key To Death’s Door is no exception to this, as we are taken on a wonderful tale of Life, Death (or near death) and a bit of the afterlife also thrown into the mix. Yes, there is a paranormal element to this that you have to be willing to open your mind to, but I love that kind of thing within books, so reading this was an absolute pleasure.

A lot of the story is based around the friendship of Lee and Charlie as they struggle to deal with their current lives and the aftermath of Lee’s near death experience. This was a beautiful friendship to read about and really had me pulling for both these young lads as they struggle to cope with everything that gets thrown their way. I’ve recently been reading ‘The Body’ by Stephen King, and Lee and Charlie’s relationship was very reminiscent of the 4 boys relationship within King’s great short story. In my mind, this only goes to show what a great storyteller Tilbury is, as he has a knack of getting the reader to buy into his characters.

As with all great, dark thrillers, there needs to be a bad guy and (oh boy) what a nasty piece of work we are introduced to in Daryl Finch. I say ‘bad guy’, but that doesn’t quite cover him. Finch is quite simply evil incarnate and possibly one of the most despicable characters you are ever likely to come across in modern fiction.

This is actually quite a difficult book to review without giving too much away, and I’m trying really hard not to do that. Suffice to say, this is a superb story with a subject matter and storyline that will stay with me for quite some time. If you’ve not had the chance to check out any of Mark Tilbury’s novels to date, then I’d urge you to get on board!! The Key To Death’s Door is a fantastic standalone and as good a place to start as any. Trust me….you won’t be disappointed!!
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Well, well, well Mark Tilbury, The Key To Death’s Door, newest publication OMG, OMFG an absolute stoater of a read, the intensity of the writing swelled within my imagination and blew me away.

Try as I may I will never be able to describe the plotline to you, the synopsis says it all, if I gave you much more I would probably bamboozle you, leaving you with a pickled brain, hahahaha. What I will tell you is the framework surrounding Mark Tilbury’s imagination is like no other, a definite surreal narrative which I’m astounded that he can accomplish. The dark and disturbing sequence of events gel naturally together forming an impervious and heinous piece of fiction.

The Key To Death’s Door revolves around two boys, Lee and Charlie, a subjective tale of an outer body experience with the twisting formulation of supernatural/paranormal flair. With this in mind I revelled in the book even though some themes were distressing, such as the systematic abuse of family and the harrowing choices that are made.

Reflecting on the whole book its easy to lose yourself in the aftermath, in my case I just couldn’t get The Key To Death’s Door out of my head, I mulled it over, flipped it, delved a bit more into all that Mark perceived in the book in which he left a frenzied imprint stamped in my imagination.

A dark, disturbing, horrifically well crafted and impressionable book.

Thanks go to Mark Tilbury, BloodHound Books and Sarah Hardy for an advanced readers copy of The Key To Death’s Door, in exchange for an honest review.

One more thing Mark can you do me a favour, please write quickly, don’t know if I can wait an age for another.
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Love Marks work and this did not disappoint. Thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it as I read it in one day as I couldn't put it down
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The Key To Death's Door by Mark Tilbury is a tense, mystery, thriller novel interwoven with supernatural and horror aspects, which reminded me of Stephen King style reads. 

When Teenager Lee Hunter and his best friend Charlie Finch go on a fishing trip, Lee drowns only to discover that when he awakes he has travelled back in time about 30 years and is now living the life of another lad called Paul Collins. To his horror, he, his family and his best friend are at the mercy of the evil and sadistic Daryl Finch, Charlie Finch's father and they are all about to be killed. 

After being successfully resuscitated by Charlie, Lee comes back as himself - to the current time period - knowing the horrific truth about Charlie's father, Daryl, and what he is capable of. With his newfound knowledge Lee sets out to avenge the death's of the Collins' family. But where to start? Who is going to believe Lee knows what happened all those years ago, when he wasn't even born then? 

The Key to Death's Door is a clever story, and raises serious issues of child abuse, wife beating, animal cruelty and murder in such vivid detail, I totally wanted justice for what had happened, and for Daryl Finch to get his comeuppance for his past and present atrocities. There's no way he could be allowed to get away with what he's done, surely?  

I loved the relationship of best friends Lee and Charlie, they were portrayed realistically for their ages, and their characters were fun to read. They might not always have been able to say what they really meant to each other, but they had each other's back, and at times their conversations were even quite funny and endearing.  Contrast this with the scenes in the Collins' house, which were utterly brutal and horrifying and you're in for a thrilling ride with a supernatural twist.  I certainly enjoyed The Key to Death's Door and will look for more of Mark Tilbury's work from now on.
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There is something wholly unique about Mark Tilbury’s writing, yes there’s always some supernatural elements that sets them apart from most thrillers, but it’s much more complex than that. Maybe it’s the concepts he comes up with for his premises, maybe it’s his dark, gritty writing style or maybe it’s his ability to examine the very evil depths of humanity in a way that’s both frightening and fascinating. Whatever it is doesn’t really matter in the end because the combination of it all makes for a gripping read every single time and I’ll always read any of his new books.

Reincarnation is explored here and while I don’t necessarily believe in it, it’s a very interesting topic. Lee is a young man who has a terrible experience with a near drowning and something happens during it that’s unexplainable. It’s like he’s transported to an entirely different life in a different place and time and while he’s scared witless, he’s also very curious as to what this all means and why it seems to be connected to his real life. I adored Lee and his best friend Charlie, they had a special relationship and the way they joked and teased each other made me laugh and lightened the heavy mood.

As always, Tilbury has crafted the ultimate villain, the type of character that chills you to the core. I hated this man with a passion, no one can evoke anger in me better than this author, and no one can keep me frantically flipping pages to see what happens next quite like he can either. The intensity was electrifying by the end and my heart was in my throat. If you don’t mind a supernatural twist in your thrillers, please check this one out, or really any of his other books.

The Key to Death’s Door in three words: Menacing, Horrifying and Gripping.
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When I read a book by Mark Tilbury it makes everything else I've read seem drab. It's as if his books were made for me. I can't get enough of him. I hope he continues to write many more successful stories.
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Happy Publication day! Wow, where do I start there is just something about Mark’s books that is unique and makes outstanding, thrilling reads including this one… Stories to get excited about and look forward too. Very impressed. A well deserved five stars.

I managed to read this full story in a day! I literally devoured it. Loved it. However, Finch’s character WOW. He has to be one of the most hated character’s that I have ever read about, he made my blood boil and really got me angry! What a vile character. Parts of this story can be very dark and brutal, just a little warning for those sensitive readers.

I must admit at first I was a little confused about the plot like woah what is going on here? But then it all made sense and I was impressed by the cleverly written plot. I would highly recommend this book to you all. It was a brilliant read!
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Flippin’ heck! What even?! I have no idea how to review this sheer awesomeness at all!

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, probably also in a review for the same author, that I don’t normally read paranormal or supernatural stories but for Mark Tilbury, I gladly make an exception and I don’t regret a single second of it. This is the third book in this genre that I’ve read by him and once again, it completely blew me away!

So, see that book description at the top of the page? Yes, that’s all you’re going to get from me where the plot is concerned. Why though, I hear you ask? Because I actually tried to explain it to the OH and the poor man got horribly confused. What you really need to know is that most of the story is set in the present day, while some of it regards events from thirty years earlier. These two periods are linked by one character and what a character it is!

As I’ve come to expect from this author, that particular character is one of the most despicable, vile and evil men ever to roam the planet! Very few people come up with someone so incredibly disturbing but Mark Tilbury manages it in every single book of his I’ve read so far. The only relief from all the heinous acts comes in the form of the friendship between Lee and Charlie in the present, and two other characters in the past. Everyone should have a friend like them and in the midst of the horror, I regularly found myself smiling at their banter.

The Key to Death’s door doesn’t exactly make for comfortable reading. It is an incredibly dark and harrowing tale of abuse, of not always being able to protect your family no matter how hard you try and of seeking justice. It’s a hard-hitting, well-written, compelling, gritty and thought-provoking story that, days later, still has me utterly reeling.

If you’re a fan of Mark Tilbury’s books, I have no doubt you will love this one as much as I did. If you haven’t yet discovered this author, I highly recommend you take the time to get caught up. In the meantime I’m off to firmly add him to my list of go-to authors and (im)patiently await his next offering, which I’m sure will rock my socks off just as much as this one did. No pressure, sir.
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