Friday, September 17, 2021

The Therapist by B.A. Paris


When Alice and Leo meet, Alice wants to take it slow.  She hasn't had a relationship with a man in several years plus it will be a long distance one since Leo lives in London and she lives an hour or so away.  Alice is a therapist and leaving her clients behind would be a wrench.  But the relationship seems to work out and thrive and after a while, the couple starts looking at houses.  It's almost unbelievable when they find a marvelous house in a gated community that is everything they would ever want.  They buy it and move in.

Leo still has to travel for his work so Alice is left there to meet the neighbors and start a new life.  She notices that some of the neighbors are very standoffish and she wonders what she could have done to attract that.  Slowly the secret emerges.  There was a murder in their wonderful new house which is why the price was so low.  While Alice is reeling from this discovery, she makes a worse one.  Leo knew all about the murder and just didn't tell her so that she would agree to move and live there with him.

Alice is appalled and unsure about the future of her relationship.  She decides that she will discover the truth about the murder and the couple who lived there before.  Obviously they had relationships with her neighbors and she needs to know what those were.  As Alice starts to delve into the past, she begins to encounter resistance from the neighbors and spooky things around her house.  Did she really hear someone moving around the house during the night?  Have things disappeared and other things appeared?  What other secrets does she not know?

B.A. Paris has written an unsettling portrayal of upper class suburbia.  There are many layers of secrets and betrayals.  I had a hard time sympathizing with Alice.  She seemed incredibly naive and obtuse for someone who supposedly made her living 

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