Creepy. Frightening. Chilling.
Behind Closed Doors is written from Grace’s perspective, interchanging between the past and present until the two meet at the finale of the novel. Grace is a confident, successful woman before Jack comes along. She is the sole carer of her sister, Millie who has Down’s Syndrome.
From the start Jack’s controlling nature is present but discreet. He is mistaken by Grace and those around him as gentlemanly. He is a prestigious lawyer, specialising in domestic abuse cases. He has never lost a case. You start off thinking that Jack is your run-of-the-mill domestic abuser (if there is such a thing) but he is much worse. He has targeted Grace for a specific reason – Millie.
The fact that Jack wants to psychologically torture someone with Down’s Syndrome is so off-the-charts-evil and totally messed up.
We see Grace try but fails to tell people, to escape but Jack is always one step ahead.
I read this book really quickly because I really wanted to know what was going to happen. There was things that annoyed me about it but it didn’t stop me reading on. The reader quickly picks up that something is not quite right in their relationship but you think you know what’s wrong – he hits her/controls her – something like that. But the reality is so much worse than you could ever imagine.
It is a little hard to believe at times. Why does she not just tell everyone, she constantly says “but they wouldn’t believe me”. I suppose unless you have been in that kind of situation you don’t know what you would do. But the way she hugs him for comfort – I couldn’t wrap my head round that one. She could have got herself arrested. It annoyed me the way they kept talking about an asylum – we don’t live in Victorian times. This was Jack’s threat to Grace, that he would put Millie in an asylum if she didn’t comply and I get that Grace didn’t want this for Millie but surely it would be better than what Jack had planned and buy her time to escape Jack? Grace seemed passive at times. She basically does nothing for 18 months then escapes and kills him all in one month.
As a psychological/suspense thriller this book does what it says on the tin. It keeps you turning the page. Yes, there are a few flaws in the story but if you can suspend your disbelief then it’s fine. It was genuinely chilling at times and Jack is a horrible, horrible character.