Just Sherring

Sherring’s Goodreads: Behind Closed Doors

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Jack Angel is anything but an angel. He’s a freaking psychopath by his own admission. His wife Grace doesn’t find this out until the day after they get married after a short courtship. A short, perfect courtship. He’s obsessed with perfection. With her putting on the appearance of them having a perfect marriage, perfect home. Grace must host perfect dinner parties with dinner served at the perfect temperature and soufflés that come out perfectly.

It’s all too much.

After Grace meets whom she thinks is the perfect man, he turns out to be anything but. He keeps her prisoner in their home. Ironically, it’s her sister Millie, who has down syndrome who comes up with a sinister plan, albeit innocent in her mind thanks to her Agatha Christie books, who sets the wheels in motion to set to her big sister free. Also, the one person who appears to be her biggest nemesis and critic, turns out to be her savior on more than one occasion.

I knew early on that not only would Grace escape her situation, but that she would be the victor. After all, she is the one narrating the story. Also, I knew there was something behind the façade in the way she spoke about Jack in the dinner party that opens the novel. There was something odd in the manner in which she often had to defer to him. Whether it was the feminist in me or whatever, I didn’t like when he seemed to proudly proclaim that he had Grace quit her high position job as a fruit buyer at Harrod’s because when he came home from long, trying days as an attorney he wanted to be the one to do the offloading about his day and not be offloaded onto. The only part I could agree with and understand is that after being single for so long, he didn’t want to be married and yet still come home to an empty house. I get that, however, I would not require that my partner quit their job for that reason.

When it slowly becomes apparent that Jack is manipulative and controlling—he prefers her to wear neutral colors, asked her to quit her job shortly after he proposes—it gave me Big Little Lies vibes. When Grace suspects that he might be gay because he doesn’t make love to her, and even abandons her on their wedding night, I get The Talented Mr. Ripley vibes.

I don’t usually gravitate towards psychological thrillers. I’m unsure about the reason. I enjoy them, even if a majority of the time I figure out the plot before it’s revealed. Things unfolded slowly and kept me guessing. The only part that felt rushed to me is the obligatory explanation of the villain’s backstory. It seemed to come out of nowhere, but it explained a lot and allowed for the book to progress as it did.

This was a book club pick which I debated reading, but I listened to the 8-hour audiobook in one day. It kept me hooked. I wanted to know what would happen next between Grace and Jack, the seemingly perfect couple, but obviously not.

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