2020 Reading List: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

I feel like I haven’t read a good thriller lately, so I was ready for this suspenseful page-turner.

Behind Closed Doors, by B.A. Paris is about a couple who is, seemingly, perfect. They have the perfect house, cook the perfect food for their guests, and live the perfect traditional life of not-so-recent newlyweds. That’s what Jack wants everyone to see. A husband doting on his loving, beautiful wife.

But behind closed doors, you realize that everything is a lie. Jack is actually a psychopath, who feeds on fear and terror. He locks his wife up in a sparse bedroom, controls her every move, her meals, her wardrobe, her money, her sister, her life. He has physically and emotionally kept her in a prison for the past year since their wedding, biding his time.

What was crazy to me about this book was not the plot (I’ve read crazier plots obviously, this one is pretty tame). It was the fact that Jack knows and admits that he’s a psychopath. He openly says, I’m a crazy person who enjoys fear and control and I know exactly what I’m doing. I feel like you don’t often get that in these psychological thrillers. Often the reader knows that the character is a monster, but the character doesn’t actually admit it themselves.

From the first chapter of this book, I thought that Grace’s new friend, Esther, was going to play a bigger role throughout the story. I’m not saying she doesn’t play a big role. But she is largely absent, and you question whether she actually suspects anything or whether Grace only thinks that she does. Or whether Jack is manipulating everything to make Grace think that Esther suspects the less than perfect life. It sounds more twisted than it is though. This book is mostly in Grace’s head. It’s her swirling thoughts describing her life and her dire situation and her desperation to figure something out. Though she doesn’t seem all that clever – it’s been a year and she hasn’t figured out much.

This was a quick and fun read, but ultimately a little superficial and predictable.

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