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Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris : #AToZChallenge #BookRecommendations

By 02/04/2022April 21st, 2022atozchallenge, Featured
Have you read the book, Behind Closed Doors?  If yes, what did you think? What thrillers have you read lately ?

After long years of being away from the A to Z Blogging Challenge, I’m going to write about thrillers of all stripes, mysteries, and crime novels for 26 days in April, based on the letters of the alphabet. All posts will be linked here.

Since I’m writing up thriller and crime novel recommendations, I’m also giving away a 50 USD Amazon Gift card, to support reading, and to help my next novel THE BLUE BAR along on its journey.

Entries involve:

GET CURATED PUBLISHING RESOURCES     ADD ON GOODREADS FOLLOW ON BOOKBUB

After the mayhem of letter A with American Psycho,  for the letter B, I have Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris, a psychological thriller I read years ago, and have not been able to forget.

Behind Closed Doors: Book Description

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

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 is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are 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 she can 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 party is over, and the front door has closed.

Behind Closed Doors: Excerpt

The champagne bottle knocks against the marble kitchen counter, making me jump. I glance at Jack, hoping he won’t have noticed how nervous I am. He catches me looking and smiles.

Taking my hand, he leads me to where our guests are waiting. As we go through the hall, I see the flowering lily Diane and Adam brought us for our garden. It’s such a beautiful pink that I hope Jack will plant it where I’ll be able to see it from the bedroom window. Just thinking of the garden makes tears well up from deep inside me and I swallow them down quickly. With so much at stake tonight, I need to concentrate on the here and now.

In the sitting room, a fire burns steadily in the antique grate. We’re well into March but there’s still a nip in the air and Jack likes our guests to be as comfortable as possible.

‘Your house is really something, Jack,’ Rufus says admiringly. ‘Don’t you think so, Esther?’

I don’t know Rufus or Esther. They are new to the area and tonight is the first time we’ve met, which makes me feel more nervous than I already am. But I can’t afford to let Jack down, so I fix a smile on my face, praying that they’ll like me. Esther doesn’t smile back, so I guess she’s reserving judgement. But I can’t blame her. Since joining our circle of friends a month ago, I’m sure she’s been told over and over again that Grace Angel, wife of brilliant lawyer Jack Angel, is a perfect example of a woman who has it all—the perfect house, the perfect husband, the perfect life. If I were Esther, I’d be wary of me too.

My eyes fall on the box of expensive chocolates she has just taken out of her bag and I feel a flicker of excitement. Not wanting her to give them to Jack, I move smoothly towards her and she instinctively holds them out to me.

‘Thank you, they look wonderful,’ I say gratefully, placing them on the coffee table so that I can open them later, when we serve coffee.

Esther intrigues me. She’s the complete opposite of Diane—tall, blonde, slim, reserved—and I can’t help respecting her for being the first person to step into our house and not go on about how beautiful it is. Jack insisted on choosing the house himself, telling me it was to be my wedding present, so I saw it for the first time when we came back from our honeymoon. Even though he’d told me it was perfect for us I didn’t fully realise what he meant until I saw it. Set in large grounds at the far end of the village, it gives Jack the privacy he craves, as well as the privilege of owning the most beautiful house in Spring Eaton. And the most secure. There is a complicated alarm system, with steel shutters to protect the windows on the ground floor. It must seem strange that these are often kept shut during the day, but as Jack tells anyone who asks, with a job like his, good security is one of his priorities.

About the author B. A. Paris

B A Paris is the internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors, The Breakdown, Bring Me Back and The Dilemma. Having sold over a million copies in the UK alone, she is a New York Times bestseller as well as a Sunday Times bestseller. Her books have been translated into 40 languages.

Why pick up Behind Closed Doors

I read this book when it first came out, and remember my claustrophobia yet utter absorption. Psychological Thrillers were a new genre at the time (or new to me), and I ate this one up in two sittings.

Ingrained somewhere within me is a thirst for justice, and a fury against all kind of violence, especially violence against women. That carried me into a stifling, very tense read–and while it is very hard not to spoil the book in describing it, I fell for Paris’ powers of description.

The two main characters, one of whom turns out to be the villain, are deeply realized, and in showing the past and present, Paris shows the anatomy of domestic abuse: how everything that appears wonderful on the surface, is anything but, below. Some of the twists towards the end are a little far-fetched, but that’s the nature of the genre, and I didn’t mind them. There have been other psychological thrillers about marriages that are explosively bad within, but Behind Closed Doors was a relatively early and great example of unsettling characters done very well.

If you like pace, tension, and intrigue in your reads, pick this one up without hesitation.


Have you read the book, Behind Closed Doors?  If yes, what did you think? What thrillers have you read lately ?


American psycho A to Z Challenge Rafflecopter giveaway Damyanti Biswas The Blue Bar

Through the month of April,  to celebrate the challenge and get some support for THE BLUE BAR, I’m  holding this giveaway:

Enter to WIN a 50 USD Amazon gift card for this

RAFFLECOPTER giveaway.

Entries are simple: click the RAFFLECOPTER link above, and follow the instructions. It calls for a Goodreads add, a subscription request, and a follow on Instagram.


If you enjoyed the post,  click on any or all of the following to stay updated:

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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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