Behind Closed Doors
B. A. Paris
St. Martin’s Press, August 2016
Some have labeled this novel noir domestic fiction. I found it darker and more dangerous than that. The novel is also brilliant, in its structure, its characteristics, descriptions and stunning in its conclusion.
Grace falls in love with a slick, handsome well-educated lawyer. Jack is highly trained careful in his preparations and courtroom tactics and had never lost a case. He is also arrogant, cunning, manipulative and consummately evil.
The structure of the novel carries readers from present to past and back again several time. The story explores the marriage of Grace and Jack and details their relationship and its change over time, in a London suburb and in their travels to Thailand.
Grace has a younger sister, Millie, who is developmentally damaged and Jack cleverly manipulates the girl to maintain his control over his new wife. The relationship between the married couple forms the core of the story, but as the tale unwinds, it is an acquaintance named Esther who ultimately becomes the rock on whom Grace is able to secure a real future.
Well-written, intense, and elaborate, author Paris is destined for wide readership and many discussions.