Title : Behind Closed Doors
Author : B A Paris
Genre : Adult psychological thriller
Goodreads summary :
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.
Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace’s friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn’t Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?
And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?
The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?
This book was one of the ‘big releases’ of last year. It gained a lot of hype, and was extremely popular, and of course, I was bound to pick it up! But sadly (though not so surprisingly) – this one too ended up disappointing me. Big time.
The story is interesting, I have to give it that. It’s interesting enough that it makes you want to keep reading to find out what happens. One of the big letdowns was how the shock factor of the book is clearly displayed on the back cover. The story follows Jack, who keeps his wife a prisoner in their house, and I just feel like it’s too big a detail to be disclosed on the back cover. Agreed, that this is something which the reader gets to know in the first few pages, I still feel like I would’ve loved it a lot more had the wife being kept a prisoner thing had come as a surprise to me. The rest of the story follows Past and Present, and culminates into whether the wife is able to break away from the bondage or not.
The pacing in the first half of the book sucked. It was slow, and I was trying very hard to gain interest. The first half just contained things which weren’t enough to make the thriller chilling enough, and I was constantly thinking about how the fuck the book even passes as a psychological thriller. However, things change in the last hundred pages. The plot quickens, things get worse, and I did have some moments where I was either chilled by the atrocity on the pages, or just rushing to find out what would happen. As a psychological ‘thriller’, I expected the book to be a lot more chilling, mysterious, fast-paced and exciting – but sadly I only got that in the last few pages.
A huge flaw I felt was evident from the very beginning was how (especially in the first part of the book) cliched and one-dimensional the characters were. They were purely cardboard characters. The villain especially (the husband) was way too cliched and he kept saying things which you’d expect a villain or a man like him to say. There weren’t any other layers to him, he was just that : a man keeping his wife prisoner and saying these cliched lines which were extremely obvious of how horrible he was, and yet we are supposed to be thrilled by it. Like, instead of saying something discreet or secretly sinister, he kept saying things which were obviously negative and expected of a villain, which made him extremely uninteresting. Grace (his wife) is also a very one-dimensional character and so uninteresting. I wasn’t invested in any of the characters, and they were just bland and poorly sketched.
And now we come to writing. Honestly, the book felt like it was written by a twelve-year old. It was so simple and bland and boring. When I read a psychological thrillers, I expect an interesting play on the characters mashed with some sinister writing and though of course not all psych thrillers are written that way, this book was written really badly. I just really hated how simple the sentences were which made the average story just really boring.
The ending was frustrating and ‘meh’. I was like, wtf? That’s it? I literally checked online whether my copy was missing any pages. The entire book is drowned in overexplanation and unimportant details, and just when it became interesting in the end, that’s it! Ended with a ‘huh’.
Overall, I am not the hugest fan of the book. I’m still glad I picked it up (I definitely don’t regret picking it up) but let’s face it : this book could’ve been WAY better than what it actually was.