Tag Archives: Behind Closed Doors

A superlative read

Behind Closed DoorsReading Behind Closed Doors I found myself thinking, “I hate you, Jill Marsh”. That is probably the greatest compliment one writer can pay another.

Behind Closed Doors is a Beatrice Stubbs novel by JJ Marsh. Beatrice, a Scotland yard detective with problems of her own, is loaned to Interpol in Zurich to help with the pressing problems of others when a Swiss policeman notices resemblances between a series of deaths of fat cat enemies of the people (in some eyes, at least) which have all been classified as suicides. Characterisation is sometimes rudimentary but I’m not recommending this book for its deep psychological insights ­– what marks this out as a gripping “must read” is the pace and believability of the writing. I regularly read reviews that say, “I was gripped from page 1 and I couldn’t put this book down” and think, “Well, I wasn’t and I could. And did. And I couldn’t pick it up again”. But Behind Closed Doors gripped me from page 1 and I couldn’t put it down. JJ Marsh is a British author who lives in Switzerland and the setting and local habits are completely convincing. The plot grips. The restaging of the apparent suicides, seen from the viewpoint of the person who dies, are writing of the highest quality. You know well before the end who the killers’ final target is going to be, you desperately don’t want it to happen and you are on tenterhooks as the action unfolds. I hate giving five star reviews because they should go only to the very best books ­– five stars should mean “This is a superlative read and there are very few like it”. Well, this is a superlative read and there are very few like it.

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