“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’s a flawless homemaker and a masterful gardener, and she dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they’re 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 can she 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 parties are over and the front door has closed.”
If you read my July 2017 Favourites post, you’ll already know how much I loved reading this book. And, as promised, here’s the full review.
When you first start reading Behind Closed Doors, you think you already know how the story’s going to go because of the blurb. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book summary that seems to be giving this much away. And yet, I was still super intrigued. Even though you kind of already have a grip on whatever seems to be going on between Jack and Grace, you still really want to read the story and find out exactly what’s happening.
And let me tell you, you are in for a surprise. Whatever you think is going on, the reality of it is much worse. You almost can’t believe that that’s what’s going on, but then it also makes complete sense. It sounds confusing when I put it like that, but it’s written so realistically that, even though you’re convinced it’s too messed up to be the truth, you completely accept it. You just roll with it, basically, and it’s a crazy roller coaster ride. But a really good one. The best.
I honestly didn’t think a book with this kind of storyline could get as creepy and scary as it did. Obviously I knew it was going to be a thriller, but I didn’t think it’d go this far. I suppose that has to do with how the whole story is written, too. With every chapter, a new tip of the veil is lifted and you get a tiny bit closer to the truth. It’s similar to how The Lie was written: you get a chapter that tells you what’s happening in the present, and then a chapter revealing events from the past. And it really adds to the suspense, because you slowly get more insights into the characters’ motives and end-goals. With each page you turn, you’re gradually putting the puzzle pieces together.
The character development is so on point as well. You really see the dynamic between certain characters change gradually and it’s so realistic. I imagine (although I hope not) similar things happen to people on a daily basis: you think a person is one way, but then slowly you start to realise that they’re pretty much the complete opposite. And it’s daunting. Of course, it doesn’t always escalate to the point it reaches in the book, but even I’ve been in situations where a person revealed their true colours and it was not a pretty sight. I think that is part of what makes this story so scary: you start to wonder whether someone would be able to trick you like that.
But it’s not just that. There are subtle changes in certain characters’ behaviours that don’t stem from them being manipulative or lying about who or what they are, but that come from them growing as a person as the story progresses. They learn new things about themselves, and we as readers learn along with them. You’re taken on a journey of self-discovery together with the characters and it’s amazing. I always love it when a book can make me feel like I know the characters and I’m rooting for (some of) them, and Paris’s story does just that. When the main character feels hope, you feel hope. And when that hope is crushed, you are just as shocked and scared as the character is.
There’s also this whole plot twist that I don’t think anyone would be able to see coming. And it’s the best! You’re left so shocked and almost stunned, it’s incredible. The hero of the story is the person you’d least expect. And actually it’s still a lot messed up, but somehow you are rooting for them. You know it’s not right, but at the same time you also know it’s inevitable. It’s a very grey area but that is exactly what makes it so good; nothing in life is ever black/white and, honestly, it adds to the rawness of this story.
In case it wasn’t quite clear yet, let me just tell you straight up: this book is an absolute page-turner and I didn’t put it down for almost 48 hours straight. That‘s how good it is. It’s B.A. Paris’s debut novel, and wow – what an introduction into the literary world! She’s also released a second book, The Breakdown, and I really want to read it (even though I have absolutely no clue what it’s about). If it’s even half as good as Behind Closed Doors, I just know I’m going to love it.
I hope I managed to give you guys a good indication of why I loved this book so much without giving too much away. And I hope you’re now itching to read it, too! Let me know in the comments if Behind Closed Doors sounds like your cup of tea.