The Therapist – B.A. Paris

15 June 2021
The Therapist Book Cover The Therapist
B. A. Paris
St. Martin's Press
13 July 2021

The multimillion-copy New York Times bestselling author B.A. Paris returns to her heartland of gripping psychological suspense in The Therapist—a powerful tale of a house that holds a shocking secret. When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive... As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before. Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem...

The Therapist is the latest psychological suspense thriller from B.A. Paris, with a murder mystery that occurs in a small private housing community. Alice and her boyfriend Leo buy their first-ever house together in an exclusive gated housing estate called The Circle, in Finsbury London. It astonishes Alice that they have been able to buy this house because it appears way beyond their financial means. With only 12 houses, the neighbours provide an intriguing array of colourful characters and relationships that range from friendly to hostile, from genuine to deceitful, and from interesting to boring.

Alice is an exhausting character, fretting about the neighbours and how she should fit in, wondering why Tamsin seems hostile, and why she has thoughts that someone is always watching her. Alice soon discovers that the house’s previous owner, Nina Maxwell, was murdered by her husband, Oliver. While this is news to Alice, Leo has known this for quite a while – which becomes a major issue of trust and openness; why didn’t he explain all this before buying the house.

Alice doesn’t believe Oliver killed his wife and tries to unravel the mystery of the murder, which she is coincidentally able to involve a private investigator Thomas. They suspect almost everyone in the community, and every chance Alice gets to interrogate her neighbours, she does. The ability to generate as many suspects is a great feature of the mystery, and Alice’s behaviour is an important way to uncover the secrets. Still, it does become frustrating, watching her stumbling about missing some very obvious clues, grabbing at stupid thoughts, and making bad decisions. I felt there were quite a few plot holes that eventually descended into unbelievability.

I listened to the audiobook version, which was very well performed, with a narrator very easy to listen to at length, and it probably kept me invested in the story much more than if I’d been reading it. The Therapist is a great easy read murder mystery that will entertain many and keep some readers captivated throughout. I struggled to stay invested in the story with the annoying main character and the convoluted plot restricting my rating of the book. I would also like to thank Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for providing me with a free audio ARC copy in return for an honest review.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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