Behind the Door: The Dark Truths and Untold Stories of the Cecil Hotel

HarperAudio. Oct. 2023. 6:20 hrs. ISBN 9780063257689. $27.99. CRIME
Los Angeles’s infamous Skid Row hotel, the Cecil Hotel, has been the site of many deaths and the home of countless remarkable people. For 10 years, it was also Price’s workplace. After its 1927 opening, the Art Deco hotel initially flourished but fell into disrepair in the 1940s. Price, who assumed her position as general manager in 2007, faced many challenges during her tenure, including the death of more than 80 guests. One of the most publicized cases involved the death of Canadian student Elisa Lam, whose disappearance was the focus of a Netflix documentary. Andi Arndt narrates Price’s experience of Lam’s death, her own appearance in the documentary, and the many attacks she endured as a result of the media coverage. The narration adds a personal touch to these stories experienced firsthand. However, while the book promises grim truths and “untold stories,” most of the focus is on Price’s life and observations.
VERDICT This audiobook will appeal to those just learning of Lam’s death and the Cecil Hotel, but those seeking tell-all true crime rather than a memoir may be disappointed.
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