Behind Closed Doors

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 May 2017

Member Reviews

A loving couple Jack and Grace, he has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. They are still newlyweds and are inseparable, is that a good thing or bad. Not everything is as it seems. Becasue no onw knows what goes on Behind Closed Doors. Psychological chilling thriller, full of suspense, a page turner for sure.
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Trigger alert--If you have a difficult time with books about spousal abuse, run far away from this one. 
It is most definitely an engaging thriller with a thoroughly satisfying ending. Kept me reading far into the night to find out what happened. But some of the parts of this book were just too difficult to stomach and left me just feeling sick. It probably would have been a four star book if not for the horrific elements. I know that many people loved this book, but it was just ok for me because of the disturbing elements.
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Yes, it was a thriller, and diabolical, and full of psychological domestic dysfunction. Having read a LOT of psychological fiction, I tend to enjoy those with some intelligent issues to ponder, not just titillating entertainmment. Not bad, just similar to so many others.
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Grace and Jack are the perfect couple. Wealthy, attractive, so in love. They have a gorgeous home and Grace is an excellent cook, yet stays so skinny! But why do they never seem to be apart? 

At first I figured I'd be reading just another thriller about domestic abuse, but this had so many more layers! This is not just another case of spousal abuse, oh no; there is so much more to this story! 

Behind Closed Doors was action packed, leaving me unable to want to stop reading. It is told in alternating chapters focusing on the past and present which I enjoyed. It's not a particularly scary book, but rather suspenseful, and you'll find yourself holding your breath waiting to see what the next move is between characters. The ending was phenomenal! I can't wait to read more from this author.
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Wow! This book was incredible and I couldn't put it down. They always say if it seems to good to be true it usually is and this took the cake for sure. If you like psychological thrillers you will most definitely enjoy this book.
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Behind Closed Doors
B. A. Paris
St. Martin’s Press, August 2016
ISBN: 978-1-250-12100-4
Hardcover

Some have labeled this novel noir domestic fiction. I found it darker and more dangerous than that. The novel is also brilliant, in its structure, its characteristics, descriptions and stunning in its conclusion.

Grace falls in love with a slick, handsome well-educated lawyer. Jack is highly trained careful in his preparations and courtroom tactics and had never lost a case. He is also arrogant, cunning, manipulative and consummately evil.

The structure of the novel carries readers from present to past and back again several time. The story explores the marriage of Grace and Jack and details their relationship and its change over time, in a London suburb and in their travels to Thailand.

Grace has a younger sister, Millie, who is developmentally damaged and Jack cleverly manipulates the girl to maintain his control over his new wife. The relationship between the married couple forms the core of the story, but as the tale unwinds, it is an acquaintance named Esther who ultimately becomes the rock on whom Grace is able to secure a real future.

Well-written, intense, and elaborate, author Paris is destined for wide readership and many discussions.

Reviewed by Carl Brookins, June 2018, for Buried Under Books.
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Deliciously creepy, and guaranteed to keep you up at night, Behind Closed Doors is a book for fans of thrillers that you will not want to put down. How does the author craft a story that haunts the reader log after the last page? If you don't mind a level of creepy that is sure to leave you breathless, then this is the book for you!
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I read Breakdown by B.A. Paris earlier this year and was told that this one was even better, so I though I had better check it out. I was not disappointed. I listened to the audio book and really enjoyed it. The narrator did a great job of making the voices sound chilling which added to the story immensely.

The book begins with a dinner party put on by Grace and Jack Angel. The guests are two couples, one is a co-worker of Jack's and his wife, the other new neighbours. Everything is perfect, the meal, the house, the relationship between Jack and Grace and the excitement of a new marriage. Can everything really be that perfect? From the beginning Esther doubted that everything was as perfect as it seemed and asked questions to poke holes. It was lucky for Grace that someone could do it, since everyone adored the perfect couple. Grace has a sister, Millie, who has Down's Syndrome and is aging out of her residential school, so she will soon be coming to live with them. Jack is agreeable to this situation and admits that Grace's caring attitude toward Millie is one of the things that drew him to her. Jack is a lawyer who defends battered women and has never lost a case. 

The story alternates between the present and past and is told from Grace's point of view. The past is the recent past, only a few months before Grace and Jack get married. As the story goes on, the perfect man, perfect marriage, and perfect home become far from perfect and the situation Grace finds herself in is a horror. I do not want to give away the story so will not tell you anymore of the plot. The book covers some very difficult topics which can be hard to read about, but the author did not use graphic descriptions or gratuitous violence to tell this story.  

The characters were very well-developed. There was the character so sadistic that it was scary. I had no idea what he was going to do next. Grace frustrated me at times, but her love for Millie was so strong, she did what she felt she had to do to protect her. I absolutely loved Grace's sister, Millie.  She was so spontaneous, yet able to keep secrets. She was smarter than Jack gave her credit for, which probably saved the day. You will smile when she says, "I don't like George Clooney". She stole my heart. 

Make sure you have time to read this book once you start it, because I did not want to stop until the end. This is a great psychological thriller.
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(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.
Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?
And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?
The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie??

Your first clue about how a book is going to be is usually from the media hype - calling any book "The Next (insert name of popular novel here)" is guaranteed to mean that it is NOTHING like said book, but just the publishers trying to make money of someone else's book. This book is nothing like Gone Girl or Girl on the Train. Nothing. Except, maybe, there is a woman in the book...?

The sad thing about this is that the set-up - i.e. getting to know Grace and her sister, and Jack was the best part of the story. Getting to see how Jack likes things "perfect" was intriguing...

...and then nothing of any real interest happened. We were "told" what was happening. There was no real building of suspense as I, the reader, wasn't brought into the story. I was just told what was going to happen and why, rather than "showing" me what was happening and let me get invested in the plot. 

As for the characters, once we worked out what Jack was like pretty early on, he didn't veer much from that at all. In other words, boring after the first 100 pages. Grace, on the other hand, went backwards. At the beginning, she has a personality and is interesting - by the middle of the book, she had been dumbed down and was so annoying, I started not to care what happened to her. 

Again, like I said, the first (probably) one-third of the book got my interest up - but the rest of the book failed to deliver on the premise.


Paul
ARH
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I almost had to stop reading this. Almost!

I read horror on an almost daily basis. What this has that many horrors do not is a plot that is right in your face. Grace knows what is going on, almost from the very beginning and so does the reader.

There are some minor spoilers due to the way this is written and writing a review on this thriller is difficult! It is so terrifying and there seemingly is no way for Grace to do anything to get back at her captor. He even allows her to make choices but when she makes the wrong ones, he simply takes something away.

The timing jumps back and froth from past to today and back again, over and over. At first I wondered why but what this does is allows the reader to see little clues of what Grace is doing, or has done from step one. It’s completely terrible and horrifying to know that Jack had all the bases covered and Grace didn’t even know they were playing baseball. He had it all set in motion from day one which means that although Grace learns more and more about Jack, she is always a step behind.

The reason I wanted to put this down was because I had a hard time with sticking with this plot. I loved it, don’t get me wrong, but the horror of it all made me want to step away, or get through it fast. Grace goes through so much and the entire story is about a year and a half.

I listened to this one and the audio was fantastic. The narrator, Georgia Maguire, did a lovely job of portraying a woman first that is shocked and appalled, but then dejected. This character is so strong and Jack just beats it out of her, although not literally. He is too conniving to actually leave a mark on her. I listened at a faster speed than normal so I could get through it faster. There are a lot of pauses and even at 1.5 there were breaks. Nothing to take away from the thrill of the story, actually I used them as breathers. A second or two here and there to just hope that Grace was going to be able to outsmart Jack. I could listen to Georgia’s beautiful voice all day long. She was like a balm for this horrific ordeal.

In short: This book is horrible but fabulous. If you can deal with the subject matter, it is definitely a good read. You’ll want to get to the end if you pick this up.
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Excellent read, great for book clubs. It was not what I was expecting.
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BEHIND CLOSED DOORS will stay with you long after you close the book. This thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat because of the real possibilities of the story. B.A. Paris is an amazing writer with all of the twists she provides her readers.
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This was a good quick read. It was a little predictable, but that could be because I read so many of these kinds of books. I liked the twists and turns and how it wrapped up. All in all good story.
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Where do I even begin with this book? Everything is not as it seems for Grace and her husband Jack. While they might live in a huge and beautiful house, go on fabulous vacations, and look like the perfect doting couple, they are in fact not. Grace is actually a prisoner in her own home and tried desperately to escape multiple times. Will she ever be able to escape her sadistic husband?

This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. It's pretty graphic with the abuse that Grace sustained being married to Jack, which wasn't terribly violent but terrorizing is the perfect way to describe it. The book went back and forth between the past and present which I liked, although it did get a little confusing at the end. 

I think that I was so horrified by everything that was happening that I couldn't put the book down and read it super fast. Definitely pick this up if you're in the mood for a psychological thriller!
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Oh my goodness.  Behind Closed Doors wound me so tight, I had to take breaks during my reading (and still read it in one day.)

Jack and Grace have the perfect marriage, the perfect life.  They live in a beautiful house, Grace doesn't have to work outside the house, and they are very happy.  But...all of that is only appearances.

In reality, Jack literally keeps Grace locked in a room as his hostage.  Grace has a sister with Down Syndrome who Jack holds above Grace's head anytime she won't behave.  Because Jack has custody of Grace's sister. How will Grace ever get out of this situation?  Jack is preparing for Grace's sister to come live with them so he can literally torture her, and Grace has to figure something out before it's too late.

The books is told flipping from past to present scenes, which works beautifully to explain how Grace got herself in the predicament.  And eventually, past and present come together for a spectacular ending.

I do have to make one comment that really bothered me.  I was reading an ARC, but it is of the paperback release.  The book is already out in hardback.  And Paris says the sister has "Down's syndrome."  The proper name of this genetic abnormality is "Down Syndrome."  I can't believe someone didn't catch that.

This book made me very tense.  Like I said, I had to take a couple of breaks.  And I did read it in a day (I was on vacation, so that helped.)  Some of the situations were a little contrived.  How Jack was so easily able to convince everyone Grace was emotionally unstable was a bit to easy.  But the end result was a great, suspenseful read. Jack is so diabolical. The way he sets up Grace to try to escape, just so he can punish her is fascinating and horrific.

And the ending was perfect.  No ambiguity here, everything ties up neatly. Highly recommended. I think my older teens will like Behind Closed Doors too.
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I've been looking for a good psychological thriller for a while, and this hit the spot. It's a very fast read, and I couldn't put it down. The chapters alternate between past and present, which speeds it up too. It took me a bit to get into the author's writing style, but it wasn't bad. 

It's hard to say too much about what the book is about without spoiling it. Basically, Jack and Grace appear to have a perfect marriage. In reality, it's not what it seems. The reality is difficult to wrap your head around. 

I will warn that Behind Closed Doors is not for the faint of heart. It gets very disturbing at certain points, and I know a few people who couldn't make it all the way through. I'd be hesitant to recommend it to strangers at work. I have a pretty high tolerance for violence, and a few scenes were right at my limit. If you're able to soldier through, though, I do think it's worth it.
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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to review this ARC.

This was NOT an easy read.  I had to go in increments to get through it.  

Jack Angel is the perfect husband to Grace.  He's handsome, charming, wealthy and an overattentive partner.  Way too overattentive.  It turns out that Jack is harboring a secret which turns Grace's life into a horrible game of cat and mouse that she must escape before her sweet disabled sister comes to live with them.

I would consider this to be a domestic thriller.  But while their situation was an extreme case of emotional abuse, there were aspects of it that were a bit too realistic for me to stomach.  I cringe to think that I may know someone that is suffering in this way.  I was happy with the ending, but dang.  Proceed with caution, I'm exhausted.
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I read this book in less than 24 hours. The author drew me into the story with a subtle tug here, a mild pull there, and I was hooked. I had to know where the story was headed, and although she revealed a lot throughout, I was still surprised by the end. I enjoyed the parallel storylines of past and present. I would definitely recommend for fans of thrillers.
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Had me on the edge of my seat right up until the end. One of the best psychological thrillers I've read in a long time!
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