Title: Behind Closed Doors
Author: B.A. Paris
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Fiction, mystery, suspense
Setting: Modern day England.
Source: I received this novel in a Goodreads giveaway from the publisher.
Publication Date: Aug 9, 2016
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?
What I Say:
This was very Sleeping with the Enemy-esque but unique in its own way. The story starts out in the Present with Grace and Jack hosting a dinner part at their home. Things seems pretty much normal and even pleasant if it weren’t for Grace’s nervousness about the entire evening. This is our first hint that things aren’t as they appear and that Jack and Grace aren’t the perfect couple that their friends think they are.
The story goes on to switch from the Present to the Past in alternating chapters and is told in the first person point of view from Grace’s perspective. This was the first thing that I thought was unique about this book. Granted, this isn’t a novel in a genre that I normally read, but I fully expected it to be told in the third person. How can an author maintain that edge of suspense when the main character is giving everything away? Paris does so and very well. She manages to reveal certain things in the present but the reader doesn’t truly get their meaning until Grace is relating events from the past.
Another unique aspect of the book is that though the chapters alternate from past to present, they gradually come together in time. I don’t recall another novel using this same method and I thought it was really clever. Paris managed to portray a woman at the mercy of her husband who was both strong and flawed, which is something that I personally appreciate in female characters. I don’t need them to be perfect, but I can’t get on board with pathetic either, lol.
While Paris does use some of your traditional suspense writing methods, I thought it was balanced out and equaled a very enjoyable suspense novel. I read the book in one sitting in about five hours (my Internet went out in the middle of the day, lol). It was an entertaining and easy read, great for a cold afternoon on the sofa with a blanket over your lap.