Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

29437949Publication Date: February 11, 2016

Jack and Grace Angel are the perfect couple. He's a high powered lawyer and she's a stay-at-home wife. Every woman in the neighborhood envies the life Grace gets to live - but they don't see what happens when they leave.

The doors are locked, windows barred, and no matter what, Grace never seems to gain any weight from the delicious meals she cooks. She always cancels plans at the last minute with a perfectly reasonable excuse. What really happens when no one is looking?



Rating: ★ ★ ★

Date Read: March 20, 2018

I had heard some really good things about this book from a lot of people in the BookTube and Goodreads community. Several people said that it was on par with Gone Girl or that it was one of the best mysteries they had read in awhile, so I had pretty high hopes.

But, after reading the synopsis and listening to the first two chapters on audiobook, I can't say that I understand why there was so much hype around this book.

I had figured out the ending by the time I finished listening to the second chapter of the book, which meant that I had about 8 more hours to listen to. Granted, I listened to the audiobook at 1.5 speed, but it was still a lot to listen to when I was 99% sure that I knew how things would end.

I kept listening because I wanted to see if I was right, and also to see how exactly things would play out. There was a small chance that I would be wrong about the ending. So I spent a decent amount of time getting to know the stories of these characters and the events that led to the current plot points.

The biggest problem I had is that I didn't find the characters likable. While I know that I'm supposed to feel sorry for Grace, I found it really hard. Maybe it was because she was so easily swayed by Jack when they first met, or it could have been something else about her, but I found it so hard to empathize. If anything, I was more annoyed when she did things that a normal person would do. To me, it felt like there were smarter ways to approach her situation, even though I know that's not a reasonable thing to say.

The ending, while it was everything I predicted, felt like it was too easy. Parts of it didn't feel like it fit with the rest of the story and how much the author had built into the plot. In many ways, the way the book ended felt like it wasn't true to the characters and how things would actually play out. It just felt like everything fell into place because it was necessary, not because it was actually plausible.

I didn't really like Grace, even though I know that's a terrible thing to say. The problem was that I didn't understand why I should feel bad for her, other than the obvious point that she's being held captive by Jack. I never connected with her, nor did I think that the author did a good job in building her character or giving her much growth. It felt like she just teleported from Point A to Point B at the end of the book.

Jack was...generic in all the bad ways. I wanted something more original for a character like him. Nothing stood out about him.

I did like Millie, but I can't speak for how accurate the representation is for people with Down Syndrome (I believe that's what Millie has, but I can't be sure). Some things felt accurate, but since I'm not an expert and have very little personal experience in this area, it was hard for me to know if the portrayal was accurate and respectful.

3.5 stars. It's a meh book, but I think that if you're new to mysteries, this could be an interesting read.

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