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Thursday, 1 June 2017

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris (2016)

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. Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or can’t meet for lunch - without Jack - even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.
Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

Author:  B.A. Paris is from a Franco/Irish background and was born in 1958. She was brought up in England and moved to France when she was 21. 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. Her first novel “Behind Closed Doors” was published in 2016 and became a tremendous bestseller.

My thoughts: After reading “The Breakdown”, which is the second book by B.A. Paris, I wanted to read this one, which is her first novel. I read it in early April and I loved it. But, to be honest, I prefer by far the first one I read. “Behind Closed Doors” is a superb psychological domestic thriller, but best suited as a summer read.

It is a surprising and suffocating story but without any spectacular twists. It is a “huis clos”, as its title evokes. It makes us think how much we know about the people we choose to marry and how much we know about the secrets of our friends and acquaintances…

It's the story of an apparently perfect couple – with the looks, career, money, a beautiful house and, as they say here, “with all the superficial things that matter”. How appearances can be deceptive!
Jack is a handsome, brilliant and dedicated lawyer and a loving husband. Grace is an elegant and gracious hostess and a devoted wife. They live in the most beautiful house in the village and they often travel to Thailand and go on getaways around the country. They are also such altruistic people; they look after Grace’s sister named Millie who has Down’s syndrome. How on earth don’t they get sympathy from us? Well, the reality is, in very subtle ways, as scary and sinister as it can be. As you know, I never give away a plot in my reviews, but put the words captive and psychopath together and you know what this domestic thriller is all about.


24 comments:

  1. The title itself is catchy because I immediately want to know what is behind those closed doors.

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  2. This sounds interesting.

    Within the private lives of most people I think there are secrets and surprises. For a few people I think that these secretes are explosive. Such secrets can make for great storytelling.

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    1. Brian, you've said it all very accurately :)

      Behind the brilliant lawyer, Jack is diabolical. Friends and acquaintances only see that they are a perfect couple in a perfect home with a quiet life...

      This is an intense thriller with a scary climate. I liked the flowing writing and the "past-present" way this story is told.

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  3. Um livro com uma história super interessante...
    Nem sempre tudo o que parece, é... parece ser a ideia chave, do livro... e certamente muita coisa se revela diferente... por detrás das portas fechadas..
    Um controla... o outro deixa-se controlar... de contrário...
    Adorava ler esse livro! Deve-nos reservar... bastantes surpresas...
    Beijinho! Continuação de uma boa semana!
    Ana

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    1. Olá Ana, você compreendeu perfeitamente o conteúdo deste thriller, intenso com um clima assustador.
      Gostei da escritura fluida e do modo "passado-presente" que é contada esta história. Por trás da máscara de advogado de defesa eficaz para as vítimas, Jack é diabólico. Grace é prisioneira em sua grande casa cercada por muros altos e janelas gradeadas. Os conhecidos e amigos só vêem que são um casal perfeito em uma perfeita casa com uma vida tranquila.
      Acho que a Ana vai gostar deste livro, espero que encontre em Portugal. Beijinhos e bom fim-de-semana :)

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  4. Mais uma sugestão de leitura que registo com todo o agrado.

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    1. Acho que o Pedro vai gostar deste livro, espero que encontre em Macau. Bfds :)

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  5. Holy Moly!!! It looks so frightening that I feel like I want to read it now… I'm pretty sure that Jack is a potential psychopath. Thanks for this great review.

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    1. Hello Rebecca! You know what? I did not imagine that a "simple" couple relationship was going to give me so many emotions. From the first pages one feels a discomfort and that, decidedly, something is wrong with this couple.
      I will be glad to hear your thoughts when you read it. Have a great weekend ahead :)

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  6. Bonjour ma belle!! Tu vas bien?
    En lisant le synopsis, on comprend rapidement que Grace va être retenue prisonnière par Jack derrière les façades de leur maison. J'ai envie de lire ce roman pour découvrir comment c'est arrivé, pourquoi Grace a accepté cette terrifiante situation. Et savoir si elle va s'en sortir ? J'ai hâte de le lire. Gros bisous, Chantal <3

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    1. Salut Chantal, je vais bien, merci!
      C'est un bon thriller psychologique. Je crois que tu vas aimer. Grace, c'est une battante qui va tout faire pour échapper à son mari psychopathe un homme extrêmement intelligent.
      Bises et bon weekend :)

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  7. It all sounds sinisterly interesting! I will add this to my summer reading list - I am intrigued to discover the tension of this "huis clos".

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    1. It really is sinisterly interesting!! :)

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  8. Usually I don't read that kind of books but this one sounds interesting :-)

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    1. I could not put this book down! I definitely recommend it to you. :)

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  9. Nice to have you back, my friend!! This is a fabulous book! I just couldn't put it down, but the ending was a little too calm considering...

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    1. I second that!!
      So happy to have you here! :)

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  10. A book review! I am so happy. I might try this one. It sounds like a cross between Daphne Du Maurier and Patricia Highsmith.

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    1. I adore Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I truly think that B. A. Paris's books are not a piece of literature. That said, I found that the choice of B. A. Paris to tell the story in the first person gave a truly exceptional dimension, it is a real descent into hell.

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  11. It does sound creepy & scary ... and perfect as a summer read. thanks!

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