Jack and Grace are the perfect couple. He is rich and charming with a respected name and an important job. She is beautiful and everything she does is done to complete perfection. They live in a dream house and they even have a perfect love story of how they met. But something is weird. You may start to wonder why Grace and Jack are never apart. Or why Grace has quit her job to be a housewife, and still never has the time or possibility to show up on lunchdates. Or why she doesn’t have her own cell-phone. Or why there are bars on the windows in one bedroom.
First line of the book: The Champagne bottle knocks against the marble kitchen counter, making me jump.
Title: Behind Closed Doors
Author: B.A. Paris
My edition: an e-book edition from the Norwegian E-library.
Genres: Psychological thriller, thriller, mystery thriller, suspense, mystery, Adult, Adult Fiction, Crime.
I attended a bookmeeting with my coworkers from the bookstore I work in, and this was one of the books featured there. It keeps getting more and more popular in Norway. It’s been a while since I read a psycholigal thriller, and this has in fact been on my TBR since February so I decided it was time to check it out.
First things first, I need to clarify something. While everyone, including myself, keeps comparing this book to both Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train, this is both right but also wrong.
The thing about Gone Girl and the Girl On The Train is that half of the thrill with these two are the unreliable narrative – and the fact that you never seem to know what kind of plot you’re really dealing with.
Behind Closed Doors are not that kind of book, hence the wrongdoing in comparing it to the other two
I still wrote on Goodreads that this is the best psychological thriller I’ve read since Gone Girl, and that is because I can easily compare the excitement – the need to read page after page and not put the book down. So in that way, it is right to compare the books.
So. The plot in Behind Closed Doors was kind of a disappointment during the first two chapters because I thought I was in for some dramatic hours of guessing what really was going on. And since this is not Gone Girl, it is easy to guess what’s going on. And it is also revealed really early in the book that what I – and probably most readers – guessed was going on, is in fact going on.
But, I soon learned that this would not make the book boring at all. In fact, from the chapter where “The Big Reveal” happens, I spent another six hours reading before I had to put it down because it was three hours until I had to wake up again, and then my whole next day revolved around how I was going to find the time to finish it. Keep in mind that I had an exam coming up the same week, and a pretty big one too. And I found the time to finish this one, and it was worth it.
The plots surface is simple enough, really – but Parish has put depth to the plot that takes it to a new level. I couldn’t put it down because it was exciting as hell, and the closer I got to the end, the faster I read. I also found the plot surprisingly believable. I’ve seen some reviewers complain that it is not quite that, but I thought it was. And I am always a sceptic, and I spend an annoying amount of time looking for plot holes or explanations that doesn’t make sense. In this book it makes sense. It is explained in the book through the MC’s reflections and it makes sense to me. Although it’s not exactly a case we see every day…
So I was very pleased with the plot and I found it almost too exciting and fascinating, and I was left reflecting about how it would feel like or how I would react. On my list of criterias for perfect books (which should seriously become a blog post I can refer to soon), that right there is one of my major criterias.
The MC, Grace – is a good main character. The story is told very good from her perspective, and since the book has a good balance between action and Grace’s reflections, I always felt that I knew how she reacted to the situations. I could relate to her, and I was more than once left thinking that I would have done and acted in the same ways that she did, which made it easy to feel sorry for her or root for her in the correct places. The character has a perfect balance between flaws and perfection, which makes her feel like a real person to me. I really liked Grace.
I’m having a little harder time with Jack. I feel like his way of behaving is explained in a short an unnecessary way – which is kind of excused nonetheless because Grace reflects over that later in the book that kind of made me forgive it. But I still feel that the author could have given him even more depth, explained even deeper why he acts the way he acts. Not necessarily because everyone needs a reason for behaving the way they do, but sometimes during the book I wanted to know why certain things made Jack feel the way he did. I’m fascinated by this guy, and my fascination over him is incomplete because I miss an ever deeper depth to the character. But, his part in the story works very good and his actions are fascinating to read about and really bring the plot forward.
The most important minor characters was Millie and Esther. Millie was just beautiful and I fell in love with her right away. I liked Esther too, and I very much like to hope that I’m a bit like her.
The writing is very good. Very very good actually. I love the combinations between the MC’s reflections and the action taking place and I so often related to Grace because her thought are formulated in a way that made me sit there and think “this is my thoughts exactly too”. The writing is easy enough as well, and the describing of both the environment around and how Grace feels was so accurate that I felt I was there and felt the same. Beautiful. And the last page gave me the chills. I litterary had goosebumps when I closed the book. That doesn’t happen often.
YES YES YES YES YES!
I ‘m so happy! It was so cleverly done and I GOT THE CHILLS!
I’m just really pleased with this book! I regret a little starting this on the week I had my exam because I HAD to continue reading this and I couuldn’t stop reading at all, but I loved it and I found it really exciting and fun. I liked the chracters, I loved the writing and I LOVED the ending!
02/20 – Marked as to-read
10/17 – Marked as currently reading
10/17 – 30% I was just going to check it out, read a few pages before bedtime and now I’m 30% in and I was going to put it down like an hour ago but I can’t
10/17 – 31% But if there is no plot twist it has been predictable from page one and what I suspected has just been revealed, so I’m unsure if the book can pull through to keep the action going
10/18 – 82% I can’t stop reading this book. It was kind of predictable, only ten levels higher. I should have slept hours ago, but I’m going to finish this book before I go to sleep.
10/18 – 100% I seriously got chills while reading the last sentence. best pshycholigcal thriller since Gone Girl!
YES! I am going to buy it in hardcover and put it on my thriller-shelf!
If you liked Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and also Beofre I Go To Sleep, you will like this one! Everyone who likes psychological thrillers, or fastpaced and exciting books!
My favorite quotes from this book will spoil the book for you – so in this review I write them. READ THE BOOK and you will find them for sure.