Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.
Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace’s friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn’t Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?
And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?
The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?
Despite the fact that, no, I don’t know a couple like Jack and Grace (I obviously don’t mix in the right circles), I was still drawn to this book because of excellent reviews when it first came out. It’s been on hold at the library for a while and so I was excited when it was finally available. Overall, I have to say the wait was definitely worth it.
This is a fairly quick read – I managed it in just over a day – and a good one. Tightly plotted, it moves at quite a pace, and builds the tension right through to the end. All very good for a debut novel. It also presents a pretty disturbed world and does make you wonder what is happening behind the curtains of the people you know, your neighbours on the street. I spent a lot of time thinking Jack couldn’t get any worse or be any crueller.
All that said, and possibly because it’s a debut, I don’t think that the characters are as well developed as I would have liked. Jack is the stereotypical good looking, wealthy, man you find in these domestic thrillers – perfect to the point of being annoying and just a little sickly – and Grace is the woman who falls under his thrall way too quickly because of her own personal baggage. I would have liked to see a little more here that made me feel I could relate to them (I couldn’t). By the end, I was seeing it with Grace but it would have been nice so see it sooner as she was the main (only) narrator.
Still, it didn’t stop me reading or enjoying the book and I will definitely pick up B. A. Paris’ next offering as I have a feeling she is one to watch because, at it’s heart, this was a good story and a good book, one I liked and would recommend.
About the book…
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Pages: 336 (kindle)
Published on: 11th February, 2016