The Therapist

St. Martin’s. Jul. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9781250274120. $27.99. SUSPENSE
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.
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