Sunday, November 20, 2016

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris

Behind Closed Doors, the first novel by B. A. Paris, is a Domestic Noir thriller that catapults your interest. Told first person by Grace, in alternating chapters set in the present and the past, the story has psychological intensity. It's hard to put the book down; I read it in one day.

Grace and Jake Angel are the perfect couple. Jake's movie star looks and successful career as a lawyer is combined with a never flagging interest in making sure everything is perfect for his newly wed wife Grace. He even embraced Grace's upcoming custody of her younger sister Millie, who has Down's syndrome. Grace's past lovers couldn't handle her commitment to Millie's guardianship.

Grace's happiness didn't last past her wedding night, when she discovers the nightmare of her new reality.

During their rare socialization with other couples, the other wives note that Grace has given up a career she loved and doesn't carry a cell phone or use the computer. They don't really buy her line that keeping house and waiting for her man to come home is filling her days and fulfilling her every need. But Grace can't reach out for their help, for with every act of escape brings punishment. As the day of Millie's coming to live with Grace and Jack nears, Grace must figure out how to free herself, and save her sister, from Jack's control.

The novel is not without its faults. I would have liked a more subtle and measured revelation of Jack's background and character. Cold and dispassionate with an evil scientist intellect, Jack's restraint, given his professed obsession, is remarkable. He is a character readers will love to hate; he is totally one sick puppy without a redeeming trait. Jack is more about threat than acts, and his most heinous acts are off camera--thankfully, because I can't deal with graphic violence!

Grace suffers isolation and starvation but her amazing strength makes her a modern heroine that female readers will appreciate.

Millie is a savvy girl who relishes Agatha Christie murder mysteries. She knows how to play the game and ultimately suggests a solution to Grace's dilemma. The story has a quick wrap up and a neat ending.

The novel was a best seller in England.

Read the first five chapters at
http://us.macmillan.com/static/smp/behind-closed-doors/

I received a free book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Behind Closed Doors
B. A. Paris
St. Martin's Press
$25.99 hard cover
$9.99 ebook