Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
No, this is not like Gone Girl or Girl On a Train. When will the Gone Girl comparisons end? Somewhere, I bet even Gillian Flynn is asking herself that question. “Is it over yet?” she ponders, sipping a martini and killing a character off gleefully. “Can I emerge? Will people ever stop this madness?”
Perhaps not. And even though Behind Closed Doors has zero in common with Flynn’s work, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t race out right now and buy it. Because you definitely should. Spare, unflinching and great fun even in its grossness, B.A. Paris’ novel is an unputdownable knife blade into the dark heart of a marriage.
Obviously saying too much will necessitate spoilers, so I won’t. The blurb tells quite a bit, of course. Grace, the perfect wife. Jack, the perfect husband. Friends, suspecting nothing. Grace’s thinness. Jack’s over-protectiveness. What does it all mean? A simple case of co-dependency? An abusive marriage? Something darker?
And it is dark. Paris doesn’t shy away from the vileness inherent in Jack’s rotten soul, nor are his motivations or his line of work made any less horrifying than they could be. Yes, he has a bit of the gothic to him, but he reminds me of Ted Bundy – good-looking, charming, careful. You’d never suspect him. Even as he snuck up into your dorm room and took a hammer to the eggshell of your skull.
Behind Closed Doors is a lightning read. I just kept going until it was over, and unlike others, I adored the ending. Everything that needed to be said was said in that moment. In the end, a small blip in time or a conversation that seems to mean nothing, can actually mean everything.