Friday 5 February 2016

Reviewed: Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris

Behind Closed Doors will be published by Mira on February 11, 2016.

Thanks to Cara at Mira for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Last year I read tons of thrillers waiting for the one that ticked all the boxes – with believable characters, a story that makes your skin crawl and your mind go into overdrive, controlled pacing that isn’t too slow-burning but not so fast-paced that it turns from twist to twist without any context in between and a book that all you want and need to do is talk about it, shout about it and recommend it to absolutely everyone. There were so many hyped-up psychological thrillers in 2015 that I became a bit fed up of not one of them completely living up to expectations, and then 2016 arrived.

Behind Closed Doors, the debut novel of B A Paris, is out on February 11 and it is simply brilliant. Suspenseful to an addictive level, I was reading each chapter at break-neck speed and then kicking myself, wanting to re-read each one, slower, so I could try and work out what was to come or so I could try to take in the twist and discover the characters’ motives. Behind Closed Doors was so intelligently written that it became so intriguing and exciting to read.

The opening few chapters to the novel set the scene flawlessly. When I was reading them, in the back of my mind I was thinking they were a bit slow and maybe this would be yet another book that everyone loved except me. But as the story developed, I realised that those opening chapters were so vital and so necessary to drag you into the story of what’s to come and have you hanging off the author’s every word in anticipation for what’s about to happen next. I genuinely didn’t know what to expect as the book continued because the perfect lie felt obvious and so I expected really it could only go one of two ways. The author completely destroyed that idea. Twists weaved their way expertly and subtly through the pages and as the characters’ actions became darker and more sickening, the tension built up to a chilling level that genuinely had me jumping at any little noise I heard when reading it.

Behind Closed Doors is the story of the couple of Jack and Grace, and Grace’s seventeen year old sister Millie, who has Down’s syndrome. From the outside looking in, Jack and Grace are the perfect couple living the perfect life. Good-looks, lots of money, plenty of exciting plans for a new home, another holiday… It was practically love at first sight for Grace, and Jack was even more special to her because he was the first partner she’d had that fully accepted Millie as a part of their lives. Plans are in place for Millie to move in and everything appears to be working out wonderfully for them. From a reader’s insight, we’re shown that things aren’t quite as perfect as that. I loved that part, getting to know the true story behind Grace and Jack when everyone else on the outside was oblivious. Piece by piece, the reader gets to learn more and more about the life of this “perfect” couple and it’s so incredibly fascinating.

One thing I really loved about Behind Closed Doors was Grace’s narration of the story. As the book transports back and forth between the past and the present, we follow Grace through every emotion and it’s so powerful to read. It’s the way the story is told that makes this book so compelling, not the twists, and that makes it stronger and more rewarding so that in turn, when the twists do arrive, they’re a complete mind-fuck. The tone to Grace’s voice, her telling of the mind-games, of the life she’s living, comes across as so realistic I could imagine it all happening in real life and trust me, it’s not a nice thought! But huge credit to the author for writing such a realistic and thought-provoking story.

I could go on about this book for a while yet but I think it’s better if you read it for yourself instead. With interesting characters, a stunning ending and a plot that is both disturbing and shocking whilst at the same time, scarily real, it’s such a worthwhile read that will have you engrossed, especially the further you get into it where it becomes kind of impossible to put down and take a breath. As I became less and less the outsider and more in the know, it was a bit of a frustrating moment when I realised the book’s pages were running out! Behind Closed Doors is a fantastically taut thriller, cleverly written and maybe #StaySingle really is the answer, because I think I might just have been put off marriage for life…


  1. I loved this too! Addictive reading :)

  2. I couldn't have said it better. This was a great book and the emotions were so totally realistic. I am passing my copy around and I hope to see much more from this author

    1. Thank you! And me too - can't wait for their next book.


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