So I’m back to my “British women in peril” theme, apparently, and this entry is . . . not good. It’s gripping; I definitely wanted to know what was going to happen. And (a) there’s a denouement, and (b) some really key information was missing that would make me feel the level of dread I was supposed to.
The heroine of B.A. Paris’s Behind Closed Doors is given a backstory that is emotionally traumatic, but she doesn’t seem to recognize it as trauma, and seems to have no awareness of how that trauma informs her actions and decisions. She’s positioned as intelligent, capable, and savvy, but instead she seems . . . not that smart. The villain is definitely villainous, but it’s like the author couldn’t quite close the deal on his monstrosity (he’s going to do what, exactly? I’m not sure). There are really only two characters in the book who seem capable of strategy; either of them would have been a more interesting focus.
It was a page-turner, but in the hands of a more skilled author, it could have been much, much more.