Published February 16, 2016 (UK)
Published August 9, 2016 (US & CA)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I finished this book late last night and I still can’t stop thinking about it.
I have been wanting to read Behind Closed Doors for quite some time. So when I finally got my hands on it I just had to put everything else aside and start reading. And I was pulled in right away.
***Possibly some minor spoilers but I honestly tried my best!!!***
“The perfect marriage or the perfect lie?”
The story alternates between the present and past and is told from Grace’s point of view. The past only a few months before Grace and Jack get married.
The book starts in the present. Husband-and-wife, Jack and Grace Angel are hosting a dinner for two other couples. One couple are old friends of Jack’s and another couple is new to the area. Everyone marvels over dinner and the house. When talk turns to Jack’s job as a lawyer, everyone congratulates him on his most recent conviction.
Jack champions battered wives and has never lost a case.
“I have nothing but contempt for men who are found to be violent towards their wives”, Jack says firmly. “They deserve everything they get.”
But of course things aren’t always what they seem. As the title suggests we do not know what goes on behind closed doors. Is Grace Angel an example of a woman who has it all? A perfect house, a perfect husband, the perfect life?
Grace serves an extravagant meal and both her and Jack are wonderful hosts. Grace makes sure that everything goes flawlessly. The food is wonderful, she asks all the right questions and answers all questions perfectly.
We learn more about Jack and Grace and how they got together. They met about 6 months before at a park Grace frequently went to with her 17-year-old sister, Millie. They liked to go there as there was often a band playing and Millie loves music. Millie was enjoying the music and started dancing. After a few minutes, though her dancing seemed to annoy a few people. Grace was just about to ask Millie to stop when Jack came out of nowhere, dancing with Millie and charming everyone watching, including Grace.
Grace’s sister Millie has Down’s syndrome and can be very spontaneous. When Jack came to her rescue instead of people staring they started to clap, leading to a very special moment. Both Grace and Millie fell almost immediately in love with Jack.
At first Grace was hesitant to get involved in a relationship. Her sister Millie boards at a school that she loves and where she is well taken care of. Unfortunately, when she turns 18 she’s no longer eligible to remain living there. Grace’s parents want to find alternate living accommodations for Millie as they want to be free to travel. However, Grace does not want that and has promised to take care of Millie herself. But when Jack proposes he says he understands that Grace and Millie are a package deal and that he loves Millie. He will be happy to take care of Millie along with Grace. When talk turns to Millie coming to live with them though, Grace seems more nervous than excited.
Jack really seems like the perfect man. Not just handsome and charming but loving and caring.
On the day of their wedding, Millie falls down the stairs and must go to the hospital. Grace is frantic and considers putting off the wedding but Jack convinces her that while Millie has a hurt leg and won’t be able to attend the wedding, she is otherwise okay. Jack and Grace go ahead with the wedding. After that they are off immediately to Thailand for their honeymoon.
And the nightmare begins…
I may have said it before about other books but this really took hold of me. I was constantly thinking about it or talking about it. One of my best friends and my mom let me go on and on as I got further into the book. Neither of them were going to read the book but they ended up being quite interested in the story once I started telling them about it. My mom actually phoned me at one point asked me what had happened next.
The book covers some difficult topics and can be hard to read about. However, I really found that the author did a wonderful job of telling them the story in a chilling way, but without going overboard with graphic descriptions. It’s hard to explain but it was still just as terrifying and kept me on the edge of my seat.
“Fear is the best deterrent of all”
Honestly this is a fantastic psychological thriller, complete with a sadistic monster. I had no idea what was going to happen next. Every time I put the book down I tried to figure out how this horrible monster would possibly be defeated. Going over and over different scenarios in my head.
The characters were so well-developed. I absolutely loved Grace’s sister Millie. She stole my heart. Although I questioned some of Grace’s decisions, It felt like one of those situations where you couldn’t possibly know how you would react unless it was happening to you.
There may be some things that may not seem completely realistic or believable but I didn’t care. I’ve read things and seen things on the news that seemed like they could not possibly be real. Yet they were. I tried not to analyze everything to decide if it could realistically happen that way. I just went with it and enjoyed the ride.
Honestly, in my opinion this was worth the wait. I’m very excited for this author’s next book.