Rounded up to 2.5.
The Circle – A gated estate of twelve houses, built around a garden square. Alice and Leo are new to number 6, and Alice is eager to fit in and make friends. But her happiness is soon overshadowed when she discovers that the previous owner – Therapist Nina Maxwell – was murdered by her husband in her new home. And the more Alice learns about Nina's death the less convinced she is that the Therapist was indeed killed by her husband. And in The Circle, there are eyes everywhere.
In all honesty, I struggled to keep my eyes open for most of it. Follow Alice's routine as she spends the first 70% going to the park, meeting and socialising with neighbours, chatting with old friends, discussing living arrangements, and even more mundane – working, eating, and sleeping. The Therapist is 90% domestic drama, 10% mystery/suspense. There's little development to the thriller plot in the first three quarters of the novel and what there is, was rehashed endlessly, with multiple conversations repeating the same information.
The pace accelerated towards the end – finally! – and included a couple of satisfying twists, one red herring, and some cleverly planted clues, but it was too little too late I'm afraid.
If you enjoy reading about Alice's trust issues, obsessive thoughts and behaviour, and her mourning her country cottage and struggling to adjust to London life, then you might relate to this more. There just wasn't enough to hold my interest or move the plot forward.
I'm afraid this is where BA Paris and I part ways. She started strong with Behind Closed Doors, and The Break Down, but has gone steadily downhill since.
I'd like to thank Netgalley, HQ Australia, and BA Paris for the e-ARC.
UK/AUS/NZ Publication Date: 7th January, 2021.
US Publication Date: 13th July, 2021.