Monday, August 8, 2016
From author B. A. Paris comes a thriller and international phenomenon Behind Closed Doors. -- St. Martin's Press
Things aren't always what they seem in the new novel BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B.A. Paris! Jack and Grace seem like the perfect couple. He is handsome and has a prestigious job as a defender of abused women, while she is lovely and the perfect hostess. They also are madly in love with each other... or are they?
When Grace meets the dashing Jack one evening at a park when she is watching her sister Millie who has Down's syndrome, she is immediately swept off her feet. Jack is the perfect gentlemen, and even better, he seems to not only understand her obligation to Millie but wants to have Millie join them in their dream house. They quickly fall in love and get engaged after only a few months. Grace couldn't be happier!
Unfortunately right before their wedding, Millie falls and has to be rushed to the hospital. She has a broken leg and Grace wants to be with her, but Jack insists that they still get married. The couple leaves for Thailand, and Grace quickly realizes that Jack is not the man that she thought. He basically keeps her prisoner in a hotel room for the entire honeymoon, and Grace realizes that she is powerless against this man.
Needless to say, Jack keeps Grace from having contact with her family and friends. In fact, Grace can't even go to lunch without Jack. She also doesn't ever answer the phone, and she doesn't even have a cell phone. She makes perfect meals but also maintains a very thin figure, and there are bars covering her bedroom windows. It isn't until Jack has a new couple to a dinner party that the woman begins to suspect that something isn't quite right with this seemingly perfect couple.
Time is running out for Grace! She realizes that she has to come up with a way to escape from Jack before Millie comes to live with them. For as much as Jack likes to torture Grace, Millie is the one he really considers a prize!
I really enjoyed BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. It's definitely a twisted tale about one man's obsession and his desire for both psychological and physical abuse. At times, this novel was an uncomfortable read (as I'm sure the author intended), and I rushed through it to see how (or if) Grace could escape from this mad man's clutches.
I really appreciated the way the author decided to tell this story. The book was written in alternating chapters between the present and the past in Grace's voice. I think having her as the narrator gave an especially desperate feel to the story. In addition, I enjoyed learning about Grace's situation in the present while getting fed pieces of the couple's past story. It was interesting to see how things went from good to bad to worse for Grace, and I liked that Jack's back story was eventually revealed... although I will say that it didn't make me very even the slightest bit of pity for him!
I also think Ms. Paris did a very good in building suspense. One way she did this was by having Jack get more and more unhinged. There became a point where he was almost so crazy that I didn't know where the story was going to go. Also knowing that Millie's arrival was imminent made Grace feel an utter desperation and made me feel even more uncomfortable. And finally, the back-and-forth games between Jack and Grace kept me on the edge of my seat!
I had a feeling throughout the entire story that Grace would be able to redeem herself against her insane and very cruel husband; however, I honestly had no idea how. It almost seemed hopeless to me. I don't want to give too much away, but I appreciated how the story was resolved. There was a twisted sense of justice... and that's all I'm saying!
Overall, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS is a suspenseful read that I found to be disturbing but in a good way!
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.
Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.