Book Review Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris {living outside the stacks}

Author: B.A. Paris

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Release Date: 9 August 2016

Format: Kindle

Pages: 304 {Print}


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.


B. A. Paris is from a Franco/Irish background. She was brought up in England and moved to France where she spent some years working as a trader in an international bank before re-training as a teacher and setting up a language school with her husband. They still live in France and have five daughters. This is her first novel.

You can follow B. A. Paris on Twitter.


So, I’ve been wanting to read this book forever. OK. Maybe not quite forever, but ever since I read the first chapter in one of those introductory book things that lets you know what a book is about… In fact, I was so excited to pick the book up and read it, that I accidentally bought another book instead {in my defense, The Couple Next Door and Behind Closed Doors are kind of similar when you’re in a hurry and you’re all excited because there’s only one copy of the book left on the shelf}. I know. Silly librarian. Anyway…

This book was so worth the wait. Someone equated it to a Lifetime movie in book form. And, yep, I’d totally agree. It’s an easy read (in the sense that it doesn’t take an enormous amount of time to read it), but you’ll get frustrated with Grace a lot, so you may end up putting the book down and walking away for a bit. Also you may need a break from the psychological terror.

I alternated between wanting to hug Grace and wanting to lock her in a room myself. Grace as a woman is any woman. That was the scary part. She’s spent her whole life dedicated to her sister, Millie, who was born with Down’s Syndrome and she all but expects that she’ll more than likely spend her life alone because she doesn’t want to burden anyone else with her sister’s care. Then she meets this man who is beyond wonderful. Not only does he encourage Grace’s love for her sister, but he offers to support Millie financially after she ages out of her school. The only thing Grace has to do is give up everything.

Unfortunately, it’s not until after Grace and Jack are married that she discovers that she’s married to a monster. However, I  have to wonder if there were chinks in the armor before they were married? As Grace relays the ins and outs of their relationship, you can see how she justifies little things that should’ve raised red flags. Even after she knows who and what he is, she still has a hard time reconciling the man she loves with the man she married. And it makes sense. How many times have we excused someone’s behavior even though it made the hairs on the back of our necks stand up?

The characters in the book were well developed and a bit frightening in their own ways. Jack was, as expected, an unsympathetic character who was both charming and horrifying at the same time. Grace was, I think, difficult. She wanted to believe the good in Jack, even when he showed his true colors. But Millie was, perhaps, my favorite character. She seemed to be the only one who really had a survival plan, thanks to her love of Agatha Christie novels.

I’d recommend this novel for book groups that focus on psychological thrillers.

This book contains intense psychological violence and some physical violence. If you have issues with domestic violence, this is not the book for you.


She looks steadily back at me. ‘What colour was Millie’s room, Grace?’

I can barely get the word out. ‘Red,’ I tell her, my voice breaking. ‘Millie’s room was red.’

‘That’s what I thought,’ she says softly.

page 293



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Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Let’s discuss…

Daenel T {Living Outside the Stacks}





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