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Behind Closed Doors

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The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.

Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.

Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.

From bestselling author B. A. Paris comes the gripping thriller and international phenomenon Behind Closed Doors.

293 pages, Hardcover

First published August 9, 2016

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About the author

B.A. Paris

17 books18k followers
B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, The Breakdown, Bring Me Back, The Dilemma, The Therapist and The Prisoner. Having sold over 5 million copies worldwide, she is a New York Times bestseller as well as a Sunday Times bestseller. Her books have been translated into 41 languages. Having lived in France for many years, she now lives in the UK.
Her seventh novel, THE GUEST, is due January 2024.

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5 stars
189,300 (35%)
4 stars
199,338 (37%)
3 stars
105,025 (19%)
2 stars
29,017 (5%)
1 star
12,180 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 42,794 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
June 16, 2018
congratulations! semifinalist in goodreads' best mystery/thriller AND debut author categories 2016!

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women's health calls this book "2016's ANSWER TO GONE GIRL"

dear women's health - please leave the readers' advisory work to trained professionals and stick to telling us how much water we should be drinking. for our vaginas.

this is nothing like Gone Girl. it's nothing like The Girl on the Train. i'm not even sure this can be classified as psychological suspense, really. this is a straight-up thriller. and there ain't a thing in the world wrong with that, except when people like women's health start getting a little loosey goosey with their suggestions and ruining the reputation of readers' advisory for everybody.

ice cream is good. cheese is good. both are dairy products. but telling someone, "oh, you like ice cream?? here, have some cheese!" is setting up an expectation that can at best end in confusion but more likely to result in resentment and murder.

and as much as i hate to use this review space to rant about something only tangentially related to the book, these things matter to me. plus, this is one of those books where i can already hear the shrieking of the people about how all of the spoilers in the world are being spoiled by me so it's probably best for me to do this instead.

i am absolutely fine with calling this a marriage thriller or a psychological thriller, but the word "suspense" and the wrong readalikes set up certain expectations that will be unmet by this book.

the focus of this book is the "perfect" marriage of jack and grace angel: he is a handsome lawyer specializing in domestic abuse who has never lost a case while she is beautiful and demure, retired from her high-powered career to transfer her accomplishments to the realm of the domestic arts: soufflé baking, painting, gardening, and entertaining; awaiting the day her special needs sister millie will turn eighteen, leave her boarding school, and come to live with them in their perfect house and be a part of their perfect life.

and that would be a terribly boring book without some conflict lurking underneath. the synopsis up there pretty much tells you all you need to know about what's really going on, but i'll repost it here in spoiler tags just in case:

so, you're a smart kid - you can do the math on that and figure out what's what.

(and, okay, so it's a little bit like Gone Girl, but only the parts.)

psychological suspense novels like Gone Girl are characterized by the destabilizing effect they have on their reader; where tension is built and maintained through misdirection and the manipulation of narrative twists, keeping the reader guessing, uncertain about what's actually going on, where the story is headed, if the narrator can be trusted.

the appeal of this book doesn't lie in its suspense at all, but in its action. after the initial discovery; once you know what you know (it's a relatively early reveal but i'll continue to play coy), the plot doesn't deviate from that scenario. this book is about this one thing and everything that logically follows that one thing. the fun of this book is not in figuring anything out, but in watching it unfold in its absolutely relentless pacing; one of those white-knuckle, edge of your seat reads where the story is broken up between the past and the present, as the time between those two periods narrows, bringing the two stories together for the dramatic explosion.

it's the literary parallel of the lifetime movie. in which assessment there is no pejorative value judgment implied - it is a marriage thriller, after all.

my only quibble

not terrifically realistic, but that doesn't mean it's not a lot of fun. but it also doesn't mean it's anything like Gone Girl. at all.

3.5 stars from me.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Deanna .
688 reviews12.5k followers
August 19, 2017
I finished this book late last night and I still can't stop thinking about it.

I have been wanting to read Behind Closed Doors for quite some time. When it was available on NetGalley I requested it right away but unfortunately was denied. I think that just made me want it more!

So when I finally got my hands on it I just had to put everything else aside and start reading. And I was pulled in right away.

***Possibly some very minor spoilers***

"The perfect marriage or the perfect lie?"

The story alternates between the present and past and is told from Grace's point of view. The past only a few months before Grace and Jack get married.

The book opens in the present. Husband-and-wife, Jack and Grace Angel are hosting a dinner for two other couples. One couple are old friends of Jack's and another couple is new to the area. Everyone marvels over dinner and the house. When talk turns to Jack's job as a lawyer, everyone congratulates him on his most recent conviction.

Jack champions battered wives and has never lost a case.

"I have nothing but contempt for men who are found to be violent towards their wives", Jack says firmly. "They deserve everything they get."

But of course things aren't always what they seem. As the title suggests, we do not know what goes on behind closed doors. Is Grace Angel an example of a woman who has it all? A perfect house, a perfect husband, the perfect life?

Grace serves an extravagant meal and both her and Jack are wonderful hosts. Grace makes sure that everything goes flawlessly. The food is wonderful, she asks all the right questions and answers all questions perfectly.

We learn more about how the couple got together. They met about 6 months before at a park Grace frequently attended with her 17-year-old sister, Millie. It was one of their favorite places as Millie loves music and there was often a band playing. Millie was enjoying the music and started dancing. After a few minutes though her dancing seemed to annoy a few people. Grace was just about to ask Millie to stop when Jack appeared out of nowhere, dancing with Millie and charming everyone watching, including Grace.

Millie has Down's syndrome and can be very spontaneous. When Jack comes to her rescue, people stop staring and start to clap. It was a very special and heartwarming moment. Both Grace and Millie fall in love with Jack almost immediately.

At first Grace was hesitant to get involved in a relationship with Jack. Millie boards at a school where she is well taken care of. Unfortunately, when she turns 18 she's no longer eligible to remain living there. Grace's parents want to find alternate living accommodations for Millie as they want to be free to travel. Grace does not want that and has promised to take care of Millie herself. When Jack proposes he says he understands that Grace and Millie are a package deal. He proclaims to love Millie and is happy to help take care of her with Grace. But when talk turns to Millie coming to live with them, Grace seems more nervous than excited.

Jack really seems like the perfect man. Not just handsome and charming but loving and caring.

On the day of their wedding Millie has an accident and must go to the hospital. Grace is frantic and considers putting off the wedding but Jack convinces her that while Millie won't be able to attend the wedding, she is otherwise just fine. Jack and Grace go ahead with the wedding. After that they are off immediately to Thailand for their honeymoon.

And the nightmare begins...

I may have said it before about other books but this really took hold of me. I was constantly thinking about it or talking about it. One of my best friends and my mom let me go on and on as I got further into the book. Neither of them were going to read the book but they ended up being quite interested in the story once I started telling them about it. My mom would even phone to ask me what had happened next.

The book covers some very difficult topics and can be hard to read about. However, I feel the author did a wonderful job of telling the story in a chilling way, but without going overboard with graphic descriptions. It's hard to explain but it was still just as terrifying and kept me on the edge of my seat.

"Fear is the best deterrent of all"

This is a fantastic psychological thriller, complete with a monster so sadistic. I had no idea what was going to happen next. Every time I put the book down I tried to figure out how this horrific monster would possibly be defeated. Going over and over different scenarios in my head.

The characters were very well-developed. I absolutely loved Grace's sister, Millie. She stole my heart. Although I questioned some of Grace's decisions, it felt like one of those situations where you couldn't possibly know how you would react unless it was happening to you.

There may be some things that may not seem completely realistic or believable but I didn't care. I've read things and seen things on the news that seemed like they could not possibly be real. Yet they were. I tried not to analyze everything to decide if it could realistically happen that way. I just went with it and enjoyed the ride.

"Behind Closed Doors" was a thrilling read with many twists and turns that left me reeling. A thoroughly engrossing novel that I won't soon forget.

Honestly, in my opinion this was worth the wait. I'm very excited for this author's next book.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,990 reviews298k followers
August 5, 2016
3 1/2 stars. Okay, listen up. This book is not the next Gone Girl. Don't let anyone tell you that. It just isn't. It's not that kind of twisty, secretive book at all. It's the kind of fast-paced, pulpy read that plays with your emotions without ever making you think too hard. But, so help me, I could not put it down.

karen nailed it when she described this book as being fuelled by its action, not its suspense. The story actually gives up its secrets almost immediately - in fact, most of you probably figured it out after reading the blurb, right? It's not rocket science. And yet, this is a real strength here. The pages flew by in my desperate need to know what happens next.

It is an extremely emotional read with potential triggers*. I can't remember the last time a book made me feel such an all-consuming, visceral hatred for a character. I could feel my emotions bubbling up from the pit of my stomach; I could feel my heart pounding with fury and fear. Because this is a truly frightening book, a disturbing book. Scarier than any horror with demons and monsters.

It is an awful, exciting ride of terror. But a certain suspension of disbelief is a must. It is neither the most realistic book, nor the most deeply meaningful. There are some black and white aspects to the characterization -

Between the breakneck pacing and the emotional nature of the read (Grace's love for her sister with Down's syndrome is particularly heart-wrenching), my eyes were glued to the pages. Sometimes I saw some things coming before they happened but, rather than feeling "spoiled", this meant I just had to sit and watch the car crash happen with no way to do anything about it.

Yeah, what can I say? - I loved it. I know, I know, it's not even that fantastic, but I still want to recommend it. And I thought the ending was just perfect... the kind of perfect that makes you do an evil little smile. However, if you are looking for a dark, edgy read but are put off by the lack of depth in this one - try The Butterfly Garden instead.

*Triggers & warnings:

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Profile Image for Kevin Ansbro.
Author 5 books1,474 followers
July 22, 2020
Oh, the Russian roulette of having blind faith in a complete stranger's book recommendation!
"You will love this," gushed a crocodile-skinned English lady at my Thai resort hotel. "It's partly set in Thailand and is a real page-turner."

There followed one of the most ridiculous reads I've ever had the misfortune to experience. I'm completely baffled by all the five-star reviews for this one-dimensional yawnfest; the contrived storyline has to rank as one of the most implausible of all time.
Lead character, Grace, must be THE most gullible woman ever to walk the planet, and characterless Jack is about as evil as Mr Bean! And what were his 'evil plans' anyway? Were they oh-so-evil that we're too delicate to be told?
I ask you, who could possibly be duped by such a dullard? Dopey Grace, that's who! : D

I also wonder if the author has ever flown abroad in her life? She certainly doesn't seem to know how an airport works. And as for mentioning a Bangkok hotel 'with its own private beach', well that just creased me up. I've been travelling to Bangkok for twenty years and if there is a beach there, neither myself nor the locals know of its whereabouts!! Hilarious! : D
B A Paris even seems to think that you can get upgraded to First Class just by giving the check-in staff a hard-luck story. Oh, per-lease!

To make things worse, there is a stark absence of descriptive imagery, the characterisation is gossamer-thin and I've seen more twists on a runway.

Although I'm clearly not a fan, the crocodile-skinned lady, and many on Goodreads, absolutely loved it. So, what do I know? 😁
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,612 reviews10.7k followers
June 29, 2023
Behind Closed Doors is an edge of your seat, frustratingly WILD ride. I really enjoyed this, y'all!!!

I was flipping these pages so fast, it's a miracle my fingers didn't catch on fire.

I became so frustrated with the protagonist, Grace, that my stress levels were off the charts. I loved every minute of it!

Does that sound ridiculous?

Yes, it does, but I'm telling you, this one takes you there!

I just had to know what was going to happen.

If this were a movie, I would definitely have been yelling at the screen the whole way through. It was crazily vivid, in my opinion, and the last three paragraphs sent literal chills down my spine.

I love when a story can do that. Bloody fantastic!

B.A. Paris is definitely an author to watch.
Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
March 22, 2017
*4 stars* (Because 3.98 sounds too olympic-figure-skating-judgey)

Sorry you had to take all that heat, George Clooney…

If you can dig deep and find it in you to curb your need for concrete common sense and logic for the sake of some truly fun fiction, then you, my friend, are the perfect prospect for Behind Closed Doors .

Because this is the second book by B.A. Paris that I could not put down. Sure, I had to battle a few nagging concerns while I read:
- This wouldn't really happen this way…
-Surely someone would notice…
-Why doesn't she SAY something!…
-Is she for real?…
HE for real?…

But it was all in good fun…well, as fun as something this demented and extreme is allowed to be. And, like The Breakdown, my addiction to this read was instantaneous.

This author’s writing is so simple and straightforward, but her storytelling is potent, as is her ability to construct a tension-filled plot.

There isn't much mystery to speak of in this domestic thriller; its focus lies heavily on the struggle of our heroine and her desperate measures of combat.

This story highlights the fact that there are flaws lingering beneath all surfaces of perfection, and shows just one horrific example of what could really be going on behind closed doors.

Although its content is crawling with extremely twisted and bizarre insinuations, this story isn't the least bit graphic in what it reveals. It displays more mind-control and fear than anything else, but it's slightly exaggerated and ironically becomes almost funny at times. The *sickening* element is certainly present, but applied with a gentle hand and refrains from growing too dark or heavy.

I was speeding through these pages, oblivious to all the real life *stuff* going on around me. And all too soon came the ending, (which I’m beginning to see this is this author's forte) and ... just the highest of fives all around, is all I’m saying. LOVED IT - and I hope you will too!
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,481 reviews7,777 followers
August 4, 2016
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

My first warning should have been . . .

“The 2016 debut bloggers can't stop raving about. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train.”

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By the time I was finished, there was only one thing that was going to cure my misery . . .

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Grace was a big muckity muck – living a jet set lifestyle as a buyer for Harrod’s. That all changed, however, when she met George Clooney Jack. Jack swept Grace into a whirlwind romance, promised her not only the home of her dreams but also the opportunity to quit her job and have her sister (who was born with Down’s Syndrome) move in with them rather than live at her special school, and so the two were married in just six months. On the eve of her wedding everything changed for Grace. Because she was an effing IDIOT. Actually, let me back up a bit.

*insert rewind noise*

Despite Jack’s concerns, Grace insisted that her sister Millie stand as maid of honor. But on the couple’s wedding day Millie suffered from a terrible slip and fall down the stairs breaking her leg and removing her from the wedding festivities entirely (*dun dun dunnnnnnnnn*). That was page 64 and when I began screaming . . .

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Or Grace – you get the point.

The remaining 300 pages consisted of more quality Lifetime Television for Women drama until finally Millie, despite having dialogue written as if she had the mentality of a toddler, came up with a fix for alllllllllll of Grace’s problems . . . .

Behind Closed Doors is easily the worst thing I’ve read in 2016. I should thank Shelby for sending this to me, but I kind of feel like she April Fooled me a month late. Whatever the case, I’m moving on to better things – namely porn . . .

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If anyone is interested in this being paid forward (backward????) to them, I’ll happily send it on. Please note it has a little water damage at the top of about 15 pages because I read it at the pool and kids are splashy assholes. Also note I will include a barf bag in the package since you may now be picturing me in a swimsuit. Yes, it is EXACTLY how you are imaging it . . .

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Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,605 reviews5,988 followers
May 5, 2016
I've been dying to read this book every since I first saw the blurb about it. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty and I have an un-holy attraction to books about psychos.
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I don't want to give up too much of the book because the biggest draw for it is the twisty parts of it.
Grace has not had too much luck with men.
She has a younger sister Millie who has Down's syndrome, and most men kind of back off once they realize that Grace is Millie's primary caregiver and that she isn't going to change that.
Then she meets Jack.

Jack is a successful lawyer who defends abused women against their abusive husbands. He never loses a case. He is compared to looking like George Clooney so normal circumstances would have him having to push off the women.
These ain't normal circumstances.

Jack sets his sites on Grace and convinces her to marry him. He "sweeps" her off her feet and she can't believe how lucky she is. You know that crap is not going to last.
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Things get all kinds of ugly.

The thing is? I never really took Jack's menacing ways seriously. I really expected him to start twirling his mustache and cackling with an evil laugh.
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I agree with Millie..I hate "George Clooney."

Then Grace. I mean for reals? She basically talked her way into an awesome job at Harrod's and we are supposed to believe that she comes across as this weak and bidding?
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I was hoping for a save for the ending..but nope. Just a fizzle.
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I'm really pissed off that this book wasn't all I had built up in my mind. Several of my friends have loved this one but I think I had it built up in my mind to being awesome and for me it sucked big pickled eggs.

Booksource: After much of my begging around for this book I finally won a copy on Goodreads first reads. Miracles do happen because I didn't think anyone ever won one of those suckers.

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Brandie's review was the first time I noticed this book and she made me completely curious about it. Brandie has been my buddy since about the time that I joined Goodreads. She probably needs a medal for putting up with me for that long.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews599 followers
March 9, 2017

*Diving into the spoiler >>>> "Molly could only have been dead a few days at the most, because her body hadn't started to decompose. Jack had been very clever in that respect; he had left her some water, but not quite enough to last her two weeks until we got home. The shock of finding her dead was terrible. The look of malevolent anticipation on Jack's face as he opened the door to the utility room had prepared me for something --that he had left her tied up for the two weeks we were away, or that she wouldn't be there --but not that he had left her to die."
"At first, as I looked down at her little body lying on the floor, I thought the drugs he had given me had been playing with my mind, because I was still feeling woozy. But when I knelt down beside her and found her body cold and rigid, I thought about the terrible death she must have endured. It was then that I didn't only vow to kill Jack, but to make him suffer as he made Molly suffer"

My thoughts about the above situation.
Molly -the dog -- was killed...a horrific death - 'intentional' by a crazy man. There are many high ratings for this book --torture of Molly didn't lower their rating at all.
In another book I read two years ago ---One of my personal favorites about two aging Gay men --after WWII --"Hide" by Matthew Griffin", there is a very tragic accident where a dog is killed --but it was 'not' intentional. Readers 'did' lower their rating because of the tragedy of the dog's very sad death in "Hide". In "Hide" the prose is beautiful. Both men clearly love animals. --The author is a vegan with a house filled with dogs. Many low reviews influenced other readers from reading the book themselves.
In "Behind Closed Doors" -- you can see for yourself by the quote above -how furious an animal lover might be. It was a pure intentional horrific act of suffering and torture to that poor dog. Then, why didn't I see more readers lowering their ratings for "Behind Close Doors" --if they had for "Hide"? It makes no sense to me. ---A puzzle to me!

So.....moving on with this review:
I felt "Behind Closed Doors" started out strong. This book is only 300 pages. I enjoyed the first 100 of those. In the beginning the writing pulled me in with flavorful
descriptions of the characters-- not only Jack and Grace, the two main characters who get married after a short courting period....but other married couples were introduced right away. Diane and Adam -- Esther and Rufus. The six of them all had dinner together at Jack and Grace's new dream house. Grace cooked the PERFECT meal. Grace had the PERFECT thin body and could eat everything including dessert.
Jack and Grace were the PERFECT couple .......because that's what Jack is about: PERFECT.
Now -- we, the readers know Jack isn't PERFECT, so we are excited -- on the edge turning pages to find out 'where-the-holes are'. The supporting couples make the story interesting with their questions. The two other ladies want to get to know Grace more since she is the new wife - part of their clan now.

We learn about Millie, Grace's 17 year old sister who has Down Syndrome. Esther wants to know more about Millie......as Millie is going to live with Jack and Grace once she turns 18, and leaves the facility she has been living at.
Esther wants to know about Grace's interest - and become friends.

The dinner party is a happy -[suppressed happy] - evening....with a delicious complicated homemade dinner made to PERFECTION by Grace, under Jack's need for PERFECTION....., with wine, soufflé, and chocolates. The evening ends with Esther inviting Grace to lunch one afternoon.
All we know --- is Grace is later going to have to find a way to cancel. She just won't be 'allowed' it seems to enjoy a lunch date with a girlfriend. Why? We don't know yet. Point is ....WE ARE INTERESTED IN THE BEGINNING.....

Here are where things go wrong: ..... soon the storytelling becomes flat, and stagnant.
We quickly learn what is going on BEHIND CLOSED DOORS...but my interest started to drop a little --- then a little more. This creepy story just began to feel 'sleepy-boring- and a little too fake to take serious. Graces' character was pretty good - but Jacks's was completely dull.
Overall none of the characters are not developed 'enough' – – they are too one -dimensional. We begin to get 'told' what was happening - rather than get a full experience/ .......a showing, an authentic unfolding of the story.

The ending was predictable-- and it wrapped up too quickly.
So - there ya have it - a very unpopular review. Many people loved this book -- it was somewhat a page turner - but that doesn't mean it had inspiring attributes.

2.4 rating! Higher than 2 stars.... but not a solid 3 stars.
Profile Image for Jennifer Masterson.
200 reviews1,169 followers
August 12, 2016
I know a lot of you guys loved this book, but it turned out to be just meh for me. It had it's moments and kept me up late last night, but I had a hard time suspending disbelief with this one. I don't know why.

I listened to the audio version. The audio is good. It's short and only about 8 hours. The narrator does a good job, but the book translated into a Lifetime Movie via audio for me. It might be better to read a hardcopy of it.

Thank you to Lisa for recommending it to me. :). She loved the book and so many other people on Goodreads did as well, so don't take my word for it. Check Lisa's revue out. Here it is: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Profile Image for Jules.
1,049 reviews198 followers
October 16, 2016

Behind Closed Doors will capture your mind and keep your heart prisoner until the very last page!

I finished Behind Closed Doors about half an hour ago, and my heart still feels like it’s racing, probably not helped by me forgetting to breathe throughout the majority of the book. I found myself wishing I could read faster, just so I had a chance to catch my breath. Make sure you read this with a glass of wine or a box of chocolates, as they may save your life by distracting you from the story long enough to remind you oxygen is an essential part of survival.

My heart was pounding from stress. My feet twitched from anticipation and sheer frustration. I experienced a heightened level of anxiety throughout the whole of this book. The last few lines of this story sent shivers down my spine and I had tears in my eyes as I sat staring at the very last page.

This book should come with a free oxygen mask, beta-blockers and a box of tissues.

If you thrive on books that leave you feeling trapped, isolated and with no one to turn to, then this is definitely the book for you.

Behind Closed Doors is sure to be a huge success, and has definitely made it into my Top Ten Books of 2015.

I would like to thank the publisher, Mira UK, Harlequin (UK) Limited for allowing me a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for ✦❋Arianna✦❋.
790 reviews2,529 followers
February 15, 2016
4 Stars!!


"‘Fear,’ he whispered. ‘There is nothing quite like it. I love how it looks, I love how it feels, I love how it smells. And I especially love the sound of it.’ I felt his tongue on my cheek. ‘I even love the taste of it.’"

Before starting this one keep in mind that appearances can be deceiving. “Behind Closed Doors” is a gripping, thought-provoking thriller with some psychological and mystery elements that will keep you at the edge of your seat. The story has some interesting twists and turns and I have to say it has a good, solid plot that will keep you entertained from the beginning. B. A. Paris delivered an interesting, page turner thriller that will almost give you anxiety attacks. The story is written really well and overall it was a pretty addictive read!

The story fallows Grace, an elegant, ‘perfect’ housewife who seems to have it all – good looks, a perfect, caring husband and a lovely home. Her husband, Jack is a gorgeous man. He’s a lawyer defending abusive women. He’s charismatic, a good provider and a caring, devoted husband. They don’t have any kids...yet, but they are happy. At least they seem to be. Soon their family will grow when Millie, Grace’s little sister who has Down’s syndrome will come to live with them. They all look so happy, but not everything is as it seems. Only Grace knows what really happens behind closed doors.

The story is told from Grace’s POV, both in the past and in the present. At first the fact the events from the past happened only a year before the events from the preset seemed a little odd to me, but as the story progressed I ended up liking this aspect. I actually think it was pretty clever. The story is not actually gory and/or disturbing...well, not very, so prepare yourself “only” to be shocked. As the story unfolds, both in the past and in the present I anxiously waited for the other shoe to drop. So yeah, the story was intriguing. Some scenes were full of tension, some scenes will leave you with your mouth hanging open and some scenes will frustrate you like hell. But you will be engrossed in the story regardless.

Since we’re talking about a thriller/mystery, of course the story was more plot driven than character-driven. However, I think Grace and also Jack were well portrayed characters. Some of their characteristics were believable, with their flaws they felt relatable in some way or another and they were also very engaging. Grace was a likeable character for the most part, but honestly at times she was so frustrating that I really wanted to throttle her.

The writing was fantastic, the pace of the story perfect for this kind of read and overall the story had a realistic vibe that made me think and almost gave me the chills. Even if the story is about a married couple, the story doesn’t have any romance, which was fine by me.

The story ends exactly like I expected and I liked that. In spite of that, I have to say the ending felt a little rushed. Everything was somehow too neat IMO. I would have liked to know more about some aspects in these characters’ lives and also the story to be longer. Also, IMO would have been better with more psychological elements…I know, I know…I’m greedy, but it's what I would have preferred.

Overall, a great intriguing thriller!
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
June 2, 2020
this book is perfect proof as to why i think people who get married to someone they have known less than six months are completely out of their minds.

maybe ive been reading some pretty farfetched mysteries/thrillers lately, but this felt pretty realistic and plausible, which is probably why i enjoyed it so much. i think psychological thrillers that make you think ‘holy crap… this could happen to me.’ are the best kind of thrillers. and although i have a non-negotiable long engagement rule, this did make me a little paranoid.

i am also really pleased with the ending. it does end rather abruptly, but everything is tied up, so i didnt mind it. it doesnt happen often that i am satisfied with a conclusion to a mystery/thriller, so i am marking this one as a win.

this is a pretty solid debut novel and has definitely made want to pick up more of BAPs books!

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,950 followers
November 3, 2016
UPDATE: 11-3-16 $2.99 on kindle. Not sure for how long!

My initial reaction during the beginning of this book was, "What The Hell Is Going On." I knew it wasn't good and I had an idea but ideas are never totally what your thinking.

Jack Angel is a lawyer and his wife Grace used to be a lot of things but she's not any more. Oh, she's the perfect hostess when people are allowed to come over, but things are never what they seem. When I found out what was going on, all I could see was kill him! NOW!

How much I loathed Jack Angel is too much to describe!

Grace has a sweet sister named Millie who has Down's Syndrome. She is in a special school where she lives but she's supposed to go and live with Jack and Grace after she turns eighteen. Grace does not want this to happen and will try to figure out how she can stop it. Grace doesn't want Millie brought into the sadistic world she lives in with Jack.

At first I was upset with Grace for not getting out of there but things are not as easy as they seem. Grace is living a nightmare beyond comprehension.

And let me just say that little Millie, she's brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Millie has it figured out and now all Grace has to do is find a way to execute the plan. But in Grace's world there is nothing easy to execute. Prisoners in a jail have it easier than Grace!

But the end game. . . was magnificent! That's all I can say without giving any spoilers!

And remember. . . you never know what's going on behind any closed door!


*I would like to thank Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

♥ Thank you all for taking the time to read my reviews. ♥
Profile Image for Candace.
1,176 reviews4,332 followers
February 6, 2017
Check out more of my reviews at www.bookaddicthaven.com

Whew! This was certainly one creepy and screwed up story. I expected it to be really messed up, but not in quite the way that it was. A pervasive sense of uneasiness stayed with me the entire time that I was reading this book. Creepy...Very creepy.

The book opens with a dinner party at Jack and Grace's home. Jack is a successful attorney, well-known for advocating for battered women. Grace is the soft-spoken, elegant wife. Everything about their life seems to be the picture of perfection.

It is all a lie. What goes on behind closed doors would shock their friends and the community. Nothing is what it seems. Jack is not the man that everyone thinks he is. Only Grace seems to be aware of his true nature and she is racing against the clock to stop him before he does worse than he already has.

This story kept me on the edge of my seat right up to the very last word. There was no time wasted and the story moved quickly. It was a nice change of pace for me.

I was appalled by some of the things that Jack did in this book. Yet, it was the anticipation and the fear of the unknown that was most chilling. Unlike other books dealing with abuse and sociopaths, 'Behind Closed Doors' did not provide a lot of graphic, gory details. Instead, the author chooses to give you just enough information to piece things together for yourself and leaves the rest to your imagination. If your mind is like mine, it can go to some pretty disturbing places when lead down that path.

There were several times that I did want to shake Grace. Mainly, I couldn't understand how quickly she seemed to submit to Jack's will. Although, seeing how things worked out for her on the few occasions when she did try to get away did help to convince me. It was unbelievable that Jack could wield so much influence, but it worked for the storyline I suppose.

Overall, this was a fantastic, fast-paced story. I listened to the Audible version and the narration was great. I highly recommend this standalone for anyone that loves a suspenseful, psychological thriller but cannot stomach the gory details. If you can keep your imagination under control, the author doesn't provide any horrendous details that will leave you scarred. You will definitely be creeped out though. Count on that.
Profile Image for Linda.
1,287 reviews1,328 followers
April 28, 2016
I received a copy of Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris from NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press, and to B.A. Paris for the opportunity.

"Gaslighting". Flip the switch. Move over Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman. This one is lit up and burning bright.

Jack and Grace Angel appear to be in love and so taken with one another. A dinner party showcases Grace's extraordinary culinary fete and highlights Jack's lavish attention upon his wife and their guests. Their posh home reflects the best in art and in decor. This lovely scene is swirling with the honeymoon affect.

But if you and I lean in a bit closer.....yes, closer, we will be assaulted by a fetid waft of air that is indescribable. We step back to try and clear the air of the noxious fumes, but we and our senses are held hostage by the toxicity of what lies beneath this panoramic view. All is certainly not what it seems here. And what lies beneath the surface will have you gasping for, perhaps, a last breath.

B.A. Paris invites you into this little abode. Her characters are well-defined and the storyline has a heartbeat of its own. Are there some loose threads along the seams of this story? Most certainly. I did question some of the scenarios that were presented. But what energizes this story is the uncanny desperation that you feel for not being able to look away. You are as driven as the main characters. You must know. You must know.

This is a debut novel for B.A. Paris. There are all indications of a remarkable talent in the making. Paris knows how to draw the cincture tighter and tighter. And that makes all the difference in keeping the story afloat and awaiting the next wave of attention. Looking forward to B.A. Paris' next offering.

Profile Image for Emily (Books with Emily Fox).
551 reviews60.5k followers
March 31, 2018
(2.5?) There's no way I can review this book without sounding like an asshole but I'll try.

Boring. Unmemorable.

You're following the story of a woman who's in an abusing relationship. Classic bait and switch. As soon as she gets married to him, she realizes he's a monster. However, even if the audiobook narrator did a great job, I just had troubling caring much about her or feeling like she didn't have opportunities to get out of there...

Wasn't for me. Wouldn't recommend.
Profile Image for Maureen .
1,444 reviews7,062 followers
February 9, 2017
* 4.5 Stars*

Jack and Grace have the perfect marriage, right? Well, scratch the veneer a little, and there's something really evil lurking beneath.
Grace is something of a trophy wife for Jack. And as for Jack, I can't really say HOW I feel about him. No, I really CAN'T say how I feel about him, because it would set me off on a rant, and I'd probably give the whole darn plot away! Let's just say that you wouldn't want to be married to him - no way. This is a chilling, claustrophobic, psychological thriller, that has had a huge emotional impact on me - and credit to B. A. Paris for managing to achieve that. If you get the chance to read this book, then do so, but just be thankful, that when you've finished, and you put it down, you can put Jack to one side forever. Deep breaths now Maureen. Normal service will be resumed ASAP!

* Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin UK for my 'Wish For It' copy*

Profile Image for Debbie.
454 reviews2,894 followers
June 11, 2017
5 oh oh oh stars!

Holy moly what a ride!! I HAD to find out what happened, so seriously, I stayed in bed until NOON, with no thoughts of family, friends, or world chaos. Dry eye made the words blurry, but who cares? And food? Is that really necessary? My only necessity was finding out how this story turned out, to get me out of the claustrophobic terror created by a holy-shit psychopath. It was some tense!

This guy Jack is one sick psycho. Just when I think he can’t get any worse, he outdoes himself and terrifies me all over again, and with each new act, the terror grows huger. Will he win in the end? I went back and forth many times, believe me. I'm super impressed that this new writer could come up with such far-out displays of evil and ingenious push-backs. I will be on the lookout for her next book, that’s for sure.

The writing is excellent—it flows seamlessly and there are no fillers. And the story is told by the woman, Grace. I always love first-person narration—it makes the story so believable (unless it’s an unreliable narrator, of course, which she is not). I won’t say anything about the plot because for me it’s more fun to go into a thriller blind.

The pace never lets up. Okay, actually it did get a tiny bit slow in the middle, but it could have just been my discomfort (super nail-biting unchiness) that made me want it to go faster so I could see what happened. I’ve never been so impatient. The beginning and ending were just scrumptious.

I was so caught up in the story, I didn’t really stop and think about whether it was all believable. Looking back, I’d say there are maybe two times I had to suspend disbelief, but I didn’t care—the story had me by the throat and I was fighting for breath. And I really loved the ending, but I wished for one thing that didn’t happen.

There’s definitely a Hitchcock feel to this book; I’d love to see it made into a movie. I’m not a big thriller fan, but this one really got me going. A good psychopath can take your mind off of anything. This was just what the doctor ordered.

Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.
Profile Image for Andrew Smith.
1,080 reviews619 followers
January 31, 2023
The book opens at a dinner party, held at Jack and Grace’s ‘perfect’ house. Jack is a successful lawyer, Grace an ex-buyer for the upmarket Harrods store, in London. The meal has been brilliantly prepared by Grace, though it’s clear she had to expend much more energy than she’d wanted to deliver to Jack’s expected standard. One of the guests is a new acquaintance of Jack’s and his wife is making slightly bitchy comments to Grace and asking her a series of questions about her life and her relationship with her partner. It transpires that Jack and Grace have been married just one year and that Grace gave up her job (a job she admits she loved) so that she could be home more often to support her husband. Then we learn that Grace has a sister, Millie, who suffers from Downs syndrome. Millie will soon come to live with her sister and her husband. These revelations hit slightly off-key notes in what otherwise appears to be a perfect set-up. Ok, so what’s the real story of this relationship and why is Grace’s sister coming to live with them?

So far so good, but for me it didn’t go much further. It wasn’t long before light was thrown on the real goings on behind closed doors. It didn't feel as though any real surprises were uncovered; it was pretty much what anyone would have expected from the introduction provided. And now maybe all that was left was to see how it was all to be resolved – except I’m less than half way through! In addition, I think Grace is a wimp and I’m struggling to find much sympathy for her.

I got this book on a daily deal from Audible. It’d had good reviews and, to be fair, it might be that there were some surprises I didn’t get to (I’d given up at the point I mention above). But frankly I don’t care. I’d stopped enjoying the book soon after I started and only hung in there to see if it would improve. When I saw it was going further in the wrong direction I pulled the plug.

Only one star from me – my standard offering for any book I fail to finish.
Profile Image for Melissa.
647 reviews28.7k followers
May 12, 2017
I’m not sure if my expectations were hijacked by the hype or if some of the other thrillers/suspense novels I’ve read this year have set the bar really high, but either way, this didn’t exactly work for me. I’m not saying it was awful or poorly written, it just wasn’t anything I would consider special. It didn’t wow me.

For about the first 100 pages, I was all in. Sitting on the edge of my seat, excited to see how things were going to unfold with Grace and Jack. By all appearances they had the perfect marriage, but we all know looks can be deceiving. It was definitely an interesting, but eerie scenario.

I couldn’t wrap my mind around how Grace was going to get herself out of the situation she was trapped in. While I thought there were a few opportunities that presented themselves, I could understand her trepidation and the need to protect her younger sister. Millie turned out to be one of my favorite things about the story. Was it just me or did she have way more guts than Grace?

It was somewhere around the halfway mark that my feelings started to change. The story became stagnant and took on a bit of a repetitive feel. I kept waiting for something big to happen. Something to breathe some life back into this story. It was a lot of talk, but not much action. I don’t know what this says about me, but I was kind of disappointed that we never truly got to see what Jack was capable of. I felt like we were only given a small glimpse of his dark side.

I will say, the author delivered with the ending. While slightly unbelievable, I would expect more of an investigation obviously, it made me like the story that much more. It was kind of clever the way Grace pulled it off. The fact that someone else knew what really happened, and how she figured it out, was an added bonus.

While I can’t say I loved this one, I liked it enough to consider reading another book from this author.

*ARC provided by St. Martin's Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*
Profile Image for Maxine (Booklover Catlady).
1,348 reviews1,250 followers
May 17, 2021
I have voted in 2 categories for this book in the 2016 Goodreads awards and with good reason!

You know that couple that looks SO perfect for each other?

The ones that click together in every way when you see them and you feel a jealous twang that you don't have the same thing? Sometimes what you see on the outside can be very deceptive, never ever judge a book by it's cover, always read the fine print in the middle.

Behind Closed Doors is a chilling and atmospheric psychological thriller that I predict will be one of the BIG reads of 2016. I have read a few books recently about marriages that are not all they same and when this theme is done well (as this book does) it's absolutely breathtaking and scary. Disturbed is what you will feel with much of this book, don't be surprised if your mouth pops open (watch out for fruit flies at that point).

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.
You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.

I had mixed feelings about Grace as a character but was very clear on my feelings for Jack - I did not like him, I hated him. Full stop. As for Grace? Well I felt much for her ranging from pity and empathy to annoyance and rage. I wanted to yell at Grace many, many times and jump in the book and give her a good shaking. BUT I get it, I get the whole syndrome, the cycle that kicks in within a marriage of THIS kind, so I could not feel those feelings for long for her. Grace...

The plot interested me from the start, I read the book in one glued-eye sitting until the early hours and was glad that I did, this my reader friends is one of those real escapism books. Love them. Taut, terrific and terrifyingly real at times. I have no doubt these marriages do exist. Think on that.

Loved, loved and loved Behind Closed Doors and am intrigued to read more from B.A. Paris. This book gains a 5 star rating for me and as I have already said 2016 is going to be a GREAT year for books! Go on, give it a whirl, peek behind the door and see what REALLY goes on. I double dare you.

Many thanks to Harlequin UK for my copy of this book in exchange for a professional book review. All opinions are my own.

For more of my book reviews, plenty of awesome books to win, and author Q&A events come to: https://www.facebook.com/BookloverCat...

To follow me on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/promotethatbook

Profile Image for Misty Marie Harms.
559 reviews415 followers
May 29, 2022
Holy crap, that was seriously intense. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I almost couldn't finish it because I wanted to cover my eyes and hum the bad away. It is one thing to be abusive, but quite another to be psychotic. I am off to get someone to sing Soft Kitty to me. Recommend only if you have a support system to get through the middle parts.
Profile Image for Dem.
1,190 reviews1,131 followers
February 15, 2016
2.5 Stars

An page turning debut novel but a ridiculously flawed conclusion.

There seems to be a great deal of new releases on the best sellers lists for psychological-thriller style novels about relationships between married couples and they all seem to be readable but quite mediocre and this was among one of three that I downloaded that has fantastic reviews but failed to deliver a satisfying and credible ending.

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace, successful, newly married, devoted to each other but is their relationship and life as rosy as it appears on the outside?

I fell for the premise of the story as the characters are well drawn and the plot well executed to begin with but about half ways through the story I was finding myself having to suspend belief at some of the actions of the characters and plot line weakened and became repetitive. I read this on Kindle and thought I was missing pages as the book seemed to end so abruptly.

An entertaining beginning but a disappointing conclusion and a novel that lacked any real depth.

Profile Image for Tina Loves To Read.
2,529 reviews1 follower
March 3, 2023
This is a Thriller. This one was not for me. I have read a lot of thrillers, so of course I find some that is not the best. I felt that this thriller was like so many others I have read, and I guess what was going to happen way before the information was reveal. There was nothing new, and the twisted was not that good. This is just my opinion, and not all books are for everyone.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,633 reviews34k followers
November 4, 2016
Enjoyable, even though the psychological pathology and methodology really don't make any sense. But it's written in a way that keeps the pages turning, even if the plotting and details are a bit loose and the characterization not hugely complex.

I'm a little surprised to see this described as "terrifying" and other such adjectives, though. Maybe I've been too hardened by other thrillers and life to find it that exciting. But I liked the book overall, especially the note on which it ended.
Profile Image for Sue.
2,729 reviews221 followers
February 7, 2016


I have read some fantastic books so far this year. This year I have a feeling is going to be awesome. I finished last year on a high and this year has started on a high for just awesomeness in book material.

Jack & Grace

They seem the most perfect of couples. Surely you have experienced it. The typically "forever happy, never row, never have a cross word, smiley at each other, gooey eyed seemingly perfect couple".

Do you get envious?
Or do you think "hmm yeah yeah"

I am sure there are couples out there that get on very well, but the appearance of Jack and Grace and how they both conduct themselves in the public eye is nothing far from awesomeness. But behind closed doors...........

Yep, that is when you see Jack for what he is.

This is not an upsetting brutal man in the full sense of the word as in beatings, so don't be mislead that this may turn your stomach, because it won't.

I knew right from the start that I didn't like Jack. I felt very strongly where I wanted to kick him to make it hurt and worse.

Grace I thought at times was shallow, but the more I read the more I could understand her situation.

Who is going to believe her?
And when will she get any time to herself and an opportunity to even do anything remotely like changing her life situation.

The author has written a strong plot, a plot that will keep you engrossed so well you definitely won't be able to stop reading, if you need to sleep, be aware that you may not be able to, or at the least, wake to find yourself reaching for your book/kindle before even breakfast!
I kid you not, this is one awesome read.

Its strong, its solid, no flaws, the pitch the power and pace is just right for any reading to be pulled along its path.

The conclusion was SUPER.

Would I recommend this book to you?
Would I hell......YES, go get it NOW.
You won't be sorry you read this one. Seriously.

* I need to say Harlequin (UK) Limited via Net Galley and of course the author B. A. Paris for my copy*
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,027 reviews372 followers
September 15, 2022
Traiçoeira Perfeição

As portas abrem-se e os convidados entram — ela encanta e ele magnetiza.
São jantares glamorosos, eletrizantes, onde os convivas se deixam arrebatar por aquele fabuloso casal, tão requintado, tão carismático, tão perfeito!...

Fecham-se as portas e o pano cai:
De encantadora, ela passa a invisível.
Há telefones que tocam, sem que ninguém os atenda.
E porque haverá grades nas janelas dos quartos?

É a metamorfose do Glamour num suspeito Secretismo!...

Ergue-se o pano e a adulada perfeição é um sapato de cristal com salto agulha 👠 — um deleite para quem olha e uma tortura para quem calça!😜

Moral da história:
A Perfeição cheira a esturro — Desconfiem!!!🤔

Ao Fechar a Porta é complexo, rebuscado e lê-se de respiração suspensa. É empolgante e recomenda-se!!! 👍🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟👍
Profile Image for Julie .
4,077 reviews59k followers
September 12, 2016
Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris is a 2016 St. Martin’s Press publication.

Behind Closed doors is yet another outstanding debut novel, and one that came highly recommended to me by folks who understand my taste in books.

The story sucked me in swiftly, delivering that jarring blow to my psyche, and then pumping up the adrenaline with a blood pounding intensity, leaving me with sweaty palms and my heart racing at warp speed.

Grace has a handsome, devoted husband, a beautiful house, and by all appearances, a perfect life. But, as we all know, appearances can be deceiving.

Grace had nearly given up on marriage because she is happily responsible for her mentally challenged sister, Millie, and the two are a package deal, but some men just can’t handle that.

But, when Jack meets Grace and Millie, he knows instantly Grace will be the one for him, and of course Millie is welcome to live with them. It will all work out perfectly, but once they are married, Grace finds out married life is not all it’s cracked up to be, but no one would ever guess how truly unhappy she is because no one knows what really goes on behind closed doors…

Normally, when a sub-genre becomes mega popular and tons of books flood the market trying to cash in on the trend, I burn out on it fast. But, I have always loved a good mind game, a dark, tense psychological thriller that keeps you on edge from start to finish. So, I am loving all these new novels of suspense, and I love the new talent bursting out into the forefront, which is long overdue.

While most any debut novel will stand on shaky legs,at least to some extent, this one is pretty solid, and quite unique. I felt sucker punched once I got a few chapters in and it took me a while to shake off the cobwebs. Once I got my bearings back, I was riveted by the race against time atmosphere, and filled with a feeling of dread, wanting to scream at the characters to DO SOMETHING!! Somebody, anybody! I got my wish from the most unlikely of sources and I loved that part best of all.

This author has the right idea, knows how to create a taut situation, and knows how to evoke emotions too, which is something many of these newer psychological thrillers are missing. I have to care about the characters, in some way. Love them, hate them, either way- but they must have some complexity, or development in order for the reader to feel completely engaged, and this one scores on that front, which is impressive considering the atmosphere of the novel.

If you like psychological suspense, you don't want to pass this one up!

Overall, a terrific debut!
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