07 June, 2021

#BookReview :: The Therapist by B.A. Paris - @HarperCollinsIN #DomesticThriller #PsychologicalThriller


When Alice moves into a beautiful house in an exclusive gated community with her boyfriend Leo, she ignores the uncomfortable feeling she gets about the house itself. Once settled in the house, throwing a house warming party to get to know her neighbours seem the right thing to do to Alice and goes ahead with her plan despite Leo's misgivings about it. Then she discovers that a stranger had gate crashed her party and no one else seems to have seen him. It bothers Alice that a stranger could get into her house uninvited when security was one of the to features of the society. But slowly she unearths secrets about the previous owner of the house, her partner and her neighbours. It seems like any one among the numerous people in the neighbourhood could be a murderer. Only no one has any answers for her and everyone seems to have a secret of their own.

In some ways, The Therapist can almost be considered a locked room mystery. Almost. The gated housing society that Alice and Leo move into is pretty exclusive with a handful of houses positioned in a circle. And the major cast and characters involve a 'stranger' and Alice's neighbours.

The setting, the variety of characters and the protagonist herself all play an important role in shaping up the plot. The author has done an admirable job of introducing the characters to the readers in a way that each character is distinctive. That added with ample description of the gated housing society that the story is set in, this book is a treat for readers who like to visualise the story in their mind as they read. It was really easy to get into the book and stay hooked right up to the end. Alice, the protagonist is overall quite likeable and the reason behind her obsession with the history of the house and the murder victim actually humanises her quite a bit. She is a normal girl who is relatable for most parts. The author unfolds the mystery layer by layer, revealing information that looked incrementing for most of the characters. As the suspicion falls on each character by turn, the reader gets the opportunity to not only try and figure out the 'whodunnit' aspect of the plot but also the 'how'. And add on the suspicious thing happening in the house itself that lends an air of supernatural to the plot.

This book is a nice addition to the psychological thriller genre. I kept playing the guessing game right till the end and was taken by surprise. Once I finished the book, I realised that the author had given us breadcrumbs to follow, but there were a couple that I missed sorely and the climax was a bit over the top. This was the second B.A.Paris book I have read in two months and while I find the narrative style a bit slow - it is that very style that adds to the plot making it stick it to the readers.

Review copy received from Harper Collins India

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