After Alice Dawson, the narrator of this twisty if flawed psychological thriller from bestseller Paris (The Dilemma), and her boyfriend, Leo Curtis, move into a house in a London gated community, Alice can’t figure out why the neighbors keep their distance. Then she learns from Thomas Grainger, a private investigator who appears at the door, that the previous occupant, therapist Nina Maxwell, was murdered there more than a year earlier; Nina’s husband, now dead, was falsely accused of the crime, and Thomas is looking into a miscarriage of justice. Alice reels at the news. Why did Leo, who handled the sale and must have heard about the murder from the estate agent, not tell her? That Alice’s deceased sister was named Nina makes her prone to take a strong interest in anyone with that name, and she determines to help Thomas investigate. Alice soon discovers everyone in the community has secrets, including Leo. An intriguing setup and a closed circle of well-drawn suspects compensate only in part for a confusing conclusion and Alice’s unconvincing reason to get involved in the murder case. Paris has done better. Agent: Camilla Wray, Darley Anderson (U.K.). (July)
A July 2021 Indie Next Pick!
One of the "Best Summer Reads of All Time"—Reader's Digest
One of "The Most Anticipated Mysteries and Thrillers of 2021"—Goodreads
One of the "Best Beach Reads of Summer 2021"—SheReads
One of the "Spring and Summer Thriller and Mystery Must-Reads"—Ms. Career Girl
One of the "Best Books of 2021, For All Your TBR Needs"—Popsugar
One of the "July 2021 Books [That] Will Have You Turning Pages"—Parade
"[A] thrill-stuffed novel about a posh London gated community that’s a hotbed of secrets and lies."—The Washington Post
"The Circle evokes the chills of 'The Stepford Wives.' A well-crafted psychological thriller."—Booklist
"As the story progresses, the reader learns new information, and Alice soon suspects everyone around her as the possible killer. The readers are right there with her wondering who to trust or if anyone is even trustworthy. The plot twist will come as a surprise and keep you flipping through the pages until the very end."—Mystery & Suspense Magazine
"Psychological thrillers don’t get any better than B.A. Paris’ scorching The Therapist, one of those books that make you want to draw the blinds to make sure nobody’s peeking inside."—Providence Journal
"There's plenty of guessing and twists in this story of obsession that will leave readers wondering who to trust."—Parkersburg News and Sentinel
“A whodunnit domestic thriller that will keep you guessing until the final page. In the Circle everyone is a suspect and everyone has a motive. A pacy page-turner that fans of Those People will love!” —Catherine Steadman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Something In The Water and The Disappearing Act
“B.A. Paris knows how to build suspense in an unforgettable way.” —Tarryn Fisher, New York Times bestselling author of The Wrong Family
"A delicious web of lies."—Jane Corry, bestselling author of My Husband's Wife
"Tense and compulsive."—Louise Candlish, bestselling author of The Other Passenger
"Suspicion, betrayal and dark secrets abound in this tense story—all hidden just beneath the surface of a seemingly perfect suburban life."—T.M. Logan, author of The Vacation
Alice and Leo have been dating long-distance when he asks her to move with him to London, into a posh gated community called the Circle. While Alice is reluctant to leave her home in the English countryside, she loves Leo and wants a future with him. As soon as they move in, she learns that their new home is the site where a therapist named Nina was allegedly killed by her husband. Why didn't Leo tell her about the home's history? Alice decides to play sleuth and solve the mystery, even though everyone on their block is convinced it was Nina's husband. As Alice tries to befriend her neighbors and break into their inner circle, she becomes more and more suspicious of everyone, including Leo. She eventually joins forces with a private detective who is also investigating Nina's death. VERDICT Paris's fifth novel (after The Dilemma) is not on the same level as her great debut, Behind Closed Doors. Alice is overeager, insipid, and immature; she makes terrible decisions and flails willy-nilly throughout the story. Supporting characters are not fleshed out nor likable, making it hard to become invested. The big reveal is unconvincing, and the killer's backstory isn't particularly believable. Only for diehard Paris fans.—Marianne Fitzgerald, Severna Park H.S., MD
Having just moved to London with her partner, a woman seeks to discover the truth behind the murder/suicide of her home's previous occupants.
Alice is a 35-year-old freelance translator who has recently uprooted herself from her cottage in Harlestone and moved to London to live full time with Leo, her long-distance partner of a year and half. They were previously able to see each other only on weekends, and this move is supposed to be the start of the rest of their lives. Upon moving into The Circle—as their gated cul-de-sac of 12 houses is called—things just seem a little off, and Leo doesn’t want Alice getting involved with the neighbors or inviting them over. But invite them she does, and Maria and Tim, Tamsin and Connor, Eve and Will, and Cara and Paul all accept her invitation on the neighborhood group chat to join her and Leo for drinks in their garden. But when Alice discovers that an uninvited guest—a man she'd thought was Tim—has shown up and then disappeared without anyone else seeing him, her hackles are raised. And then she discovers that her home's previous occupant—Nina, a therapist with the same name as her own beloved dead sister—was brutally murdered in the house and that Nina’s husband, Oliver, killed himself when he was arrested for the crime. Alice is determined to get to the bottom of the murder and discover just what her neighbors in The Circle are hiding. Author Paris has done a masterful job of upping the creep factor in this volume, hinting at the secrets that everyone is hiding and peeling back, layer by layer, the story of what happened to Nina and Oliver as Alice goes through her day-to-day life and struggles to make new friends and deal with her suspicions. As in her other books, Paris has created complex, flawed characters who grapple with death, obsessions, and fear as they try to live their lives.
This enthralling book is a mystery, a thriller, and an exploration of how trust—or the lack of it—can color relationships.