In the animal kingdom, a powerful predator sniffs, listens, observes, takes his/her stance, and pounces on the weakest animal in the herd. So, it is with humans. Predators watch for their opportunities to find the weakest among the human herd.
Grace is a woman who, out of love, has given half her life for the care of her younger sister, Millie, who has Downs Syndrome and will soon be graduating from her special school. Grace’s parents wanted to institutionalize Millie, but Grace fought to work and provide solely for Millie’s education and other expenses. Although Grace traveled out of the country for work, she still led a sheltered life because she allowed herself no social or love life other than to take care of her sister. This denial of life made her a target.
People like Jack Angel can recognize a person who would be weak to his looks and money. He watches Grace and Millie in public and decides they will be his next victims. He does the dance isolating them from the rest of the herd and pounces. Jack could tell that Grace craved physical contact and love, which he held out to her like a last meal.
Jack put tremendous pressure on Grace to marry him after 3 months. But, what happens when you marry a predator? The worst horror of all is when the person you love turns out to be a monster. Especially when the monster comes wrapped in love, money, talent, and beauty—all the things you would want in a future spouse. But, pull back the wrapping and you have Jack Angel, a predator.
It’s like watching an accident while driving, but you just can’t take your eyes away. By page 80, I was nauseous because I could see and “hear” the clues and feel the tension when Grace couldn’t. Nor did she follow her instincts when things weren’t right. It was hard to put the book down, but I had to keep breaking away to save my own sanity.
B.A. Paris has written an exquisite horror story from which others would do well to read and learn. I liked Ms. Paris’ writing style in the third person from Grace’s point of view. I also liked the way she entitled each chapter either PAST or PRESENT so it was easy to keep up with flashbacks. This was an intense read.
B.A. Paris, Behind Closed Doors, a novel, St. Martin’s Press, 2016
Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin