REVIEW: The Knock-Knock Man by Russell Marvel

Who is The Knock-Knock Man? A ghost, a killer, or the figment of a frightened boy’s imagination?

It is a question that continues to haunt disgraced New Salstone police officer, Ali Davenport, fifteen months after the devastating case that changed the course of her life. Now, after the death of her former colleague, Ernie, Ali has returned home to face a past that won’t stay buried.

Found in the disused office building where he worked as night security, Ernie’s death has been ruled as a suicide. But not everyone is convinced. Wild stories are circulating about a supernatural presence in the building, an entity that might have attacked Ernie that fateful night. With the sale of the building about to go through, Ali is hired by its owner to work Ernie’s remaining night shifts and debunk the potentially damaging story. An easy enough job, if you don’t believe in ghosts. But then Ali meets Will, a teenage ghost hunter who claims to have evidence on film…

Forming an unlikely partnership, Ali and Will soon fall headlong into a mystery that takes them through New Salstone’s macabre history and into Ali’s own dark past. As the pieces of the puzzle come together, Ali is forced to face the question of The Knock-Knock Man one last time. But what Ali doesn’t know is The Knock-Knock Man has already been watching her for a very long time…

🔸 mystery 🔸

🔸female MC🔸

🔸 supernatural🔸

🔸 well-written,🔸


If you’re a police officer, and you say that you’ve seen a ghost then things probably aren’t going to go well for you. In fact, that’s what happened to Ali Davenport. She’s living a less than satisfying life when she’s dragged back into the past by the death of her friend, Ernie. Ernie also left the force after admitting to having seen a “ghost” and he was working security in a dingy, creepy building one night… and seemingly committed suicide.

The problem is that Ernie’s wife doesn’t believe he would kill himself, and Ali isn’t so sure either. She becomes involved, yet again, when she agrees to finish the job Ernie was working in order to see for herself what may have happened. From the moment she finds out how her partner killed himself – she’s convinced it isn’t true. After all, people who are afraid of heights don’t throw themselves off great heights. It doesn’t make sense, and she is drawn back in.

This story is a perfectly balanced mixture of the supernatural and reality. There’s a gritty feeling to the world that Ali is moving through. As she has struggled to deal with her past, she’s let things go a bit. Her life is degrading slowly around her. It’s all a reflection of the battle she’s trying to suppress… what happened to her? What did she see?

I don’t want to give away the plot of this book, as part of the joy is the long and winding road to figuring out the “mystery”. But there are some things about this book that really stand out. Ali is a great character; her thoughts are dark, her life a bit of a slog, but she’s determined to face whatever she needs to to figure out what happened to her friend. Once amateur investigator, Will arrives on the scene, the interplay between the two characters contributes to the reader’s understanding of the hurdles Ali has to face. I liked the way the author played these two characters off against one another – they each help to point out characteristics of the other.

There’s a fair amount of dialogue in this book, and the plot unwinds slowly. I didn’t mind that, because the writing was enjoyable and there were enough pieces of the puzzle revealed along the way that I felt as though I was part of the investigation. I’ll also willingly admit that I didn’t see the ending coming, and that’s always great when I’m reading a mystery.

This is a very well-written, perfect mix of genres that will leave you fighting the urge to glance over your shoulder when you head down the hallway in the dark. Great summer read for lovers of the supernatural and mystery alike!



Goodreads || Author || Publisher

I received an ARC of The Knock-Knock Man by Russell Marvel from Red Door Press via t publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

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