Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris


Gone Girl has a lot to answer for. It’s spawned a whole new crowd of domestic thrillers, at an airport bookshop near you. This is almost certainly one of them.

Behind Closed Doors is about Grace and Jack, newly married couple with a perfect house and a perfect life. However, all is not as it seems (clue: Jack is a psychopath). Jack doesn’t physically abuse Grace but keeps her captive for nefarious purposes.

I hoped this would dig deeper into the genre and explore topics like emotional abuse and control. It does to a degree. The most clever, tense scenes are when Grace is on best behaviour in front of a third party. Paris creates a charged dynamic where Grace and Jack have a battle of wills, whilst still appearing normal in front of a colleague or friend.

All the scenes with just Jack are less subtle. They descend into a reiteration of just how evil he is, like a movie villain. His speeches are clunky exposition and he has practically no motivation apart from a flimsy backstory.

Don’t get me wrong: I felt anxiety at parts, surely the correct reaction to a thriller. But it’s an easy option when there was potential for something more.

Read: if you can’t get enough of that Gone Girl thrill

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