Saturday, May 28, 2016

Behind closed doors by B.A. Paris

Jack and Grace have a beautiful home and a perfect marriage.  Jack is a successful lawyer who defends women who have been battered by their husbands - he may work long hours but he still finds time to take Grace on regular holidays to exotic lands.  Grace is refined and elegant, she may not be employed but she keeps an immaculate home and hosts amazing dinner parties.  They may have married after a whirlwind courtship but they are obviously in love and are counting down the days until Grace's younger sister Millie turns eighteen and moves in with them - making their family complete.  

But maybe things aren't as perfect as they seem, because while people see Jack without Grace, they never see Grace without Jack.  If only their friends knew the truth, that Grace is not a pampered and kept wife, she is instead a trapped and tortured captive.  Everything about her life is controlled and manipulated, from the clothes she does or doesn't wear, the amount of food she gets, and the tasks she has to complete.  Jack is controlling and manipulative and keeps Grace under his thumb through games that keep her on edge and nervous - but with Millie's life in the balance as well Grace may finally be able to fight back.  But fighting back is dangerous, and if Grace fails it is not only her life in the balance.

Behind closed doors was a rather sickening read, but it was also addictive and very difficult to put down as it ping ponged back and forth between events in the past and events in the present.  I almost gave up after the first two chapters, and I am really glad that I didn't give up because I would have missed out on a truly interesting psychological thriller that keeps you guessing what will happen right up until the end.  Grace is a normal person who ends up in a dark and dangerous situation, and through her eyes and experiences we get to see how women end up in destructive relationships.  People often wonder out loud how battered women end up in the situations they do, and trough Grace's experiences you get an inkling of just how easy it is for some men to manipulate women and keep them under their thumb.  On the flip side of the coin you have Jack who is poised and in control, and as the story goes on you get to see just how manipulative he really is.  

This is not a book for the fainthearted - Jack is not a pleasant person in any way shape or form, and some of the things he does go beyond manipulative to a true mark of the sociopath.  Paris managed to find a good balance between keeping the story moving forward and giving you the chance to catch your breath before moving on to the next nasty trick or manipulation.  The alternating chapters may annoy some readers, but for this story it really works because it lets you jump into the action without bogging you down in too much details, but it also then fills in the background without slowing down the main story line too much.  It will be very interesting to see if Paris writes any more books of this caliber because it was a very good read.

If you like this book then try:

Reviewed by Brilla

No comments:

Post a Comment