The Therapist by B A Paris

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The Therapist by B A Paris

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An exceptional thriller - I read until late into the night - and then I couldn't sleep! Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: January 2021
Publisher: HQ
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0008412005

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When Leo Curtis found the house in The Circle, a gated community, Alice Dawson was in Venice. Leo wanted to move quickly on the property as it was on the market at such a reasonable price that Alice wouldn't have to sell her cottage in Harlestone for them to be able to afford it. Alice agreed - she was tired of their long-distance relationship. Now they would be able to spend most of the week together instead of just the weekends. Leo had some work done on the house: he made two bedrooms into one and although Alice knew that the house was stunning she just didn't feel comfortable there.

Of course, that could be because London was so different from Harlestone. She and Leo are at number six The Circle, opposite the gate. Next door are Eve and Will Jackman. Will's an actor and just beginning to be quite well known. Eve's friendly and welcoming, but the same can't be said of her friend Tamsin who seems to have something against Alice. On the other side of Alice and Leo from Eve and Will, there's an elderly couple, Edward and Lorna Beaumont. Their son had been killed in Afghanistan and now they are virtually house-bound ( Edward had a heart attack) which is a shame as they'd moved to London in the hope of seeing more of the museums and art galleries.

It wasn't long before Alice discovered why Tamsin didn't like her. There had been a brutal murder in Alice and Leo's house and the victim, therapist Nina Maxwell, had been Tamsin's best friend. She thinks that Alice is insensitive for moving in and won't believe that Alice didn't know anything about the murder. Leo had known about it but hadn't told Alice because he so loved the house and thought that Alice wouldn't want to move there if she knew the property's history. So, Alice is living in a house where there's recently been a brutal murder and she can't completely trust the man she's living with. Nina Maxwell's husband, Oliver, committed suicide when he was accused as Nina's murder and most people in The Circle have come to accept that Oliver was guilty. It's the easy way and makes them feel safe, but Alice doesn't feel safe, particularly as she's sure that someone is coming into the house at night. Is it Nina Maxwell's spirit?

Oh, but this was a good book. I was grabbed before I got to the bottom of the first page. We hear about the therapist, who's meeting new clients. I was intrigued. Were we going to find out who killed Nina Maxwell and why? But we're quite a way away from that. Alice becomes obsessed with the murder of Nina Maxwell after she's approached by Thomas Grainger, a private investigator. Part of the reason goes back some twenty years when Alice's parents and her elder sister, another Nina, were killed in a car accident. She's always had an obsession with people of that name. There's also the feeling that Nina's spirit is about in the house and she'd like her to have justice.

Obsessives can be annoying but I never had that feeling with Alice. Yes, she's like a dog with a bone but she has cause. Leo's been less than honest with her and she's pretty certain that there are secrets and lies all over The Circle. Then there was the whispered warning from her next-door neighbour...

You need to indulge yourself with this book. Put the time aside to read for as long as you want to. Check the doors and windows before you start reading - and do try not to hold your breath!

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag. For more from B A Paris, try Behind Closed Doors or The Breakdown, which really kept one of our reviewers hooked. For another top-class thriller, try A Time to Lie by Simon Berthon or She Lies Close by Sharon Doering.

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