Behind Closed Doors Summary,Themes,Synopsis & Characters [ by B.A. Paris]

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TitleBehind Closed Doors
AuthorB.A. Paris
GenrePsychological Thriller
Publication Date11 February 2016
Number of Pages‎352 pages
Age rating‎14 years and up
PublisherSt. Martin’s Press

Behind Closed Doors Characters analysis

The characters in “Behind Closed Doors” by B.A. Paris are:

1. Grace – The story’s protagonist, who looks to have it all together on the surface but is actually trapped in an abusive and controlling marriage with her husband, Jack.

2. Jack – Grace’s spouse, who appears to be a wealthy and charming lawyer but is in reality a vicious and manipulative abuser obsessed with controlling every area of Grace’s life.

3. Millie – Grace’s younger sister who has Down syndrome and is currently in a care home, but whom Grace is desperate to save.

4. Esther – A wealthy and elegant friend of Grace’s who appears to have a perfect life, but who is actually hiding a tragic secret of her own.

5. Diane – Grace’s other friend who suspects Jack and begins to investigate him after growing concerned for Grace’s safety.

6. Adam – A young kid Grace meets and befriends in a park, who subsequently becomes a key part of her escape plan from Jack.

7. Grace’s parents – Grace’s parents are mentioned in the novel but play no significant role in the action. They are oblivious of Grace’s mistreatment at the hands of her husband.

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Behind Closed Doors Summary

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris provides the reader with a well-structured plot presenting a marriage that appears great on the outside but is actually containing plenty of secrets. The story is recounted entirely in the first person & swings between the present day marriage of Jack & Grace Angel and the past, covering the months leading up to the wedding.

Grace Angel is married to Jack, an attractive lawyer. He enchanted her at first with his good looks & dedication to defending mistreated women, but largely because of his dedication to her Down’s Syndrome sister Millie. Grace discovers that Jack is a psychopath shortly after their marriage.

Jack grew up with a nasty father who put his wife, Jack’s mother, in the cellar. Dad and son tortured her together & when Jack was an adolescent, he killed her & blamed it on his dad. As a mature man, he is looking for a woman to imprison and torment in a same manner, he decided that Grace’s sister Millie, who has Down’s Syndrome, is an ideal candidate. Grace & Millie are easily lost in the world since their parents are uninterested in them.

While presenting himself as an outstanding as well as kind lawyer, Jack makes his wedding to Grace show up perfect by pressuring her to appear doting as well as lovely in public with his close companions. At home, he confines Grace to a small room & only feeds her on occasion. She tried to flee early in the marriage’s duration, but Jack made her existence smaller and smaller. His aim is to keep Grace around till Millie graduates from her school in a few months.

Grace suspects that their new neighbour, Esther, sees more into their marriage than other people, but she isn’t sure & she can’t risk saying anything to Esther & getting in trouble with Jack. Millie soon admits that she believes Jack is wicked. She smuggles a good amount of sleeping tablets to Grace a few days later & tells her to use them on Jack.

Even though the pills give Grace a sense of security that she will be able to flee her husband, overpowering him is difficult to plan. Fortunately, he has a role in a high-profile, time-consuming lawsuit that, as the day of trial approaches, begins to weigh on his mind. Grace takes advantage of it by bringing him into her room for a nightly conversation over a drink of whisky as they review the case. 

Grace believes she has time, but when Millie visits for a birthday celebration, Jack is hesitant to let Millie go & wants her to move in sooner. He says that they will make it happen as soon as the legal case is completed. Grace is under deadline pressure.

The day the case is settled, Jack returns home and tells Grace that they are leaving for Thailand and will return with Millie. Grace is able to get the crushed sleeping tablets into Jack’s scotch before luring him down the basement. “Millie’s Room” is a terrifying, windowless chamber that is painted completely red & locked from the outside.

Moreover, the walls have been decorated with grotesque paintings of Jack’s battered & bruised former clients. Even though Jack wanted the room for Millie, Grace draws him in and locks him in. She travels to Thailand alone herself, telling everyone she knows that Jack wanted her to take a break so he could finish up the court battle he had recently lost. Grace informs Esther that Jack will be joining her in a few days.

And obviously, Jack never appears. Meanwhile, Grace calls him frequently & leaves him messages, allowing everybody in the hotel to see her searching for him. The London police finally intervene & discover Jack dead from dehydration in the cellar. Grace hurries back home. Esther meets her at the airport and teaches her over coffee on what she should say to the cops in order to get away with murder.

Behind Closed Doors Themes

Domestic Abuse – The book explores the theme of domestic abuse, shedding light on the hidden violence and manipulation that can occur within seemingly perfect relationships.

Deception and Manipulation – The story delves into the depths of deception and manipulation, as the main characters portray a facade of a loving marriage while hiding dark secrets and ulterior motives.

Appearance vs. Reality – The theme of appearance versus reality is prevalent throughout the book, highlighting how things are not always as they seem, particularly when it comes to relationships and the lives people project to the outside world.

Control and Power – The novel delves into the theme of control and power dynamics within relationships, examining the psychological and emotional toll it can take on individuals trapped in abusive situations.

Survival and Escape – The theme of survival and escape emerges as the main character, Grace, seeks ways to break free from her oppressive marriage, emphasizing her determination and resilience in the face of adversity.

Trust and Betrayal – The book discusses the themes of trust and betrayal as Grace realizes the extent of her husband’s deception and betrayal, prompting her to question the sincerity of their entire relationship.

Psychological Manipulation – The novel delves into the theme of psychological manipulation, portraying the ways in which the antagonist uses subtle tactics to control and torment Grace, highlighting the chilling effects of psychological abuse.

Strength and Empowerment – Ultimately, the story celebrates the theme of strength and empowerment as Grace fights back against her oppressor, demonstrating her ability to reclaim her life and assert her independence.

Isolation and Entrapment – The concept of isolation and entrapment is explored as Grace is cut off from the outside world and locked within the limits of her home, highlighting the suffocating nature of her abusive marriage.

The Dark Side of Perfection – The novel delves into the theme of the dark side of perfection, exposing how even the most picture-perfect relationships can harbor hidden darkness and abuse behind closed doors.

Behind Closed Doors Synopsis

The protagonist of the story is Grace Angel, a clever and gorgeous lawyer who appears to have the perfect life with her wealthy husband, Jack. Behind closed doors, however, things are not as they appear.

Jack is a ruthless abuser who has secluded Grace from the outside world and subjected her to indescribable sufferings in their opulent mansion.

As Grace fights to awaken from her nightmare, she understands that her husband has meticulously built an image of the ideal pair, and that if she speaks out, no one would believe her.

Behind Closed Doors FAQs

What is the plot of Behind Closed Doors?

“Behind Closed Doors” is a psychological thriller book about a seemingly perfect couple hiding dark secrets.

Is Behind Closed Doors Based on a true story?

No, “Behind Closed Doors” is a work of fiction and is not based on a true story.

What does a closed door symbolize in literature?

In literature, a closed door often symbolizes barriers, secrecy, exclusion or the unattainable.

How did Behind Closed Doors end?

In the end of the book, Grace departs for Thailand, leaving Jack to die in the chamber she had locked him in.

What is Jack’s role in the story?

Jack is the abusive husband and antagonist in “Behind Closed Doors” who manipulates and controls his wife, Grace.

About the Auhtor-B.A. Paris

Full NameB.A. Paris
GenrePsychological thriller, Suspense, Mystery
Notable Works– “Behind Closed Doors” (2016)
– “The Breakdown” (2017)
– “Bring Me Back” (2018)
– “The Dilemma” (2020)
– “The Thera

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