The Door That Led to Where

Sally Gardner

The Door That Led to Where
Hot Key Books
United Kingdom
1 January 2015

The Door That Led to Where

Sally Gardner

When the present offers no hope for the future, the answers may lie in the past. AJ Flynn has just failed all but one of his GCSEs, and his future is looking far from rosy. So when he is offered a junior position at a London law firm he hopes his life is about to change - but he could never have imagined how much. Tidying up the archive one day, AJ finds an old key, mysteriously labelled with his name and date of birth - and he becomes determined to find the door that fits the key.

And so begins an amazing journey to a very real and tangible past - 1830, to be precise - where the streets of modern Clerkenwell are replaced with cobbles and carts, and the law can be twisted to suit a villain’s means. Although life in 1830 is cheap, AJ and his friends quickly find that their own lives have much more value. They’ve gone from sad youth statistics to young men with purpose - and at the heart of everything lies a crime that only they can solve. But with enemies all around, can they unravel the mysteries of the past, before it unravels them?

A fast-paced mystery novel by one of the UK’s finest writers, The Door That Led to Where will delight, surprise and mesmerise all those who read it.


Sally Gardner’s stories step right into to your imagination and don’t leave until long after the final page and The Door That Led to Where is no exception.

Sixteen-year-old AJ Flynn is given an old key that leads him through a door into 1830s London where a mystery that exists in the present day began. AJ is faced with many challenges in both time zones and is also trying to solve the mystery of his unknown (to him) father and how that has affected him and his embittered mother.

AJ is a sensitive teenager who is loyal to his two close friends and as all the mysterious strands come together he is presented with the difficult choice of which era to remain in. Gardner is a masterful storyteller with a lot of heart and the juxtaposition of the two vastly different times in history is handled skillfully. A very enjoyable novel for ages 13 and up.

Alexa Dretzke is from Readings Hawthorn.

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