Book Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
Published in August 2016.

Behind Closed Doors summary on Goodreads:

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.

From bestselling author B. A. Paris comes the gripping thriller and international phenomenon Behind Closed Doors.


Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris is a gripping psychological thriller that kept me hooked in the first half. With its fast-paced plot and seamless transitions between past and present, the story unfolds with intensity and intrigue. Although there were a few elements that left me puzzled, overall, it was an enjoyable read.


The plot of Behind Closed Doors is undoubtedly one of its strongest aspects. The narrative maintains a swift pace, ensuring that the story never drags or loses momentum. I appreciated the author’s skillful handling of the past and present timelines, creating a sense of anticipation and gradually unraveling the mysteries surrounding the characters. It was this seamless transition that made the book all the more captivating.

However, while the plot was engaging, the story started to lose its charm about halfway through. There were a few instances that left me with plenty of questions. In the spoilers section below, I will delve into those aspects that didn’t entirely make sense to me.


The characters in Behind Closed Doors didn’t seem two-dimensional, however, they weren’t super-relatable either. Grace, the protagonist, initially displays strength and resilience, which made it somewhat jarring to witness her transformation into a meek and vulnerable character. Her sudden change seemed somewhat inconsistent with the initial impression we get of her. On the other hand, Jack, the antagonist, becomes increasingly dominant, which adds to the chilling tension of the story. The secondary characters, such as Grace’s sister Millie, the neighbors, and the friends, are also well-portrayed and perfectly enhanced the complexity of the narrative.


The ending of the book, in my opinion, was satisfying and anticlimactic – both at once. As the climax approached, I found myself eagerly anticipating the resolution of the story’s central conflict. The conclusion provided a sense of closure given the plot, but like I mentioned before, a few things didn’t make sense at all.

Rating: 2.5/5

Spoiler Discussion

Show Spoilers

    1. I understand that psychopaths do things because they want to. They don’t have to make sense logically. But Jack going out of his way to marry Grace only to terrify her and her mentally handicapped sister was a bit of a stretch and hard to believe. A lot of things could go wrong in his plan. Grace could retaliate more, could have gotten him in trouble, or tried to kill him much earlier.

    2. If Jack could “buy” terror in Thailand, and from the looks of it, he was in a high-paying job that allowed him to arrange Thailand trips for two every now and then, why couldn’t he just continue to go there and buy the terror? Instead he chose to marry Grace and put his life in absolute uncertainty.

    3. He was certain that Millie would die in a few months anyway (after she’d been through his torture) and also wanted to remove Grace from the equation, and he also mentioned that he might have to kill her parents at one point. This whole plan/lack of proper planning is just shaky and doesn’t make any sense. All this just for a few moments of fun? Didn’t make sense to me. He would be killing four people at this point and jeopardizing his entire career, facade, and future possibility of carrying out his monstrosity if he got caught – something I don’t think a psychopath would be okay with.

    4. When Grace visited Thailand the first time, instead of trying to talk to the police, she could have just attacked a tourist and they would be sent back because she was deemed mentally unstable (and at that point, a threat to the guests of that hotel). The British Embassy could also be involved and she would escape much sooner.

    5. At times it seemed like Jack had nothing else to do in life other than to think about Grace’s next move and and arranging some counter action to it. There should have been a steeper arch for Grace’s character because if she was a fighter from the beginning, Jack would have to employ all his time to ensure that she didn’t do anything stupid. She could start off as weak and meek and then later could have become stronger and start devising a plan to escape as days passed by.

    6. Jack’s fate was played out based on a few coincidences and none of that was Grace’s doing. If Jack hadn’t pushed Millie on their wedding day, she wouldn’t be mad at him. If Millie didn’t give her the pills, she wouldn’t be able to kill Jack. If Jack didn’t lose the case or hadn’t planned the Thailand trip, she would be in a big mess. It seemed as if Jack had anticipated her every move and deflected all her attempts to escape so far, and then suddenly by the end of the story, he wasn’t that smart anymore. I wish Grace could actually devise a plan that outsmarted Jack and got him into actual trouble.

    7. They justified murder in the story. This is unlike the Grace we get to know in the very beginning. She gets upset over pictures of bruised women, dead body of a dog, and the possible descriptions of Millie’s torture, yet turns into a murderer within a week or so? Highly unbelievable. She will likely be traumatized and guilty for the rest of her life for the crime she committed. Don’t become a monster to beat the monster. This only thrusts a new person into the same cycle once again.

    8. The world will never know what Jack truly was and what crime he had committed as a child. Grace should have outsmarted him and brought out his true face in front of the whole world. It would have been a more justified and satisfactory ending. Although I liked that he died from dehydration (hope Molly’s soul finds peace), it was a very easy ending for him, almost anticlimactic.

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