by B.A. Paris
Publication: St. Martin’s Press; July 13, 2021
When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…
As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.
Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…
I was such a huge fan of The Dilemna by B.A. Paris that I was thrilled when I came across The Therapist, but this has been sitting on my TBR shelf for quite a while and I struggled to get into it. Finally, I committed to the cause and dove into this one yesterday and found myself addicted fairly quickly. I’m not sure why I initially struggled getting invested in this one, but once I did, it proved to be an entertaining psychological thriller.
Alice is leaving her beloved cottage behind to move to London with her boyfriend, Leo. They have been seeing each other for quite a while, but up until this point, it was just on weekends due to his career. Leo chooses a house, sends her photos, signs on the dotted line, and the rest is history. Alice arrives to their new home in “The Circle” as they call it but immediately feels uneasy. She feels like neighbors are talking about her and not being welcoming. She struggles with the size of the new house and being alone all the time while Leo travels. And based on her behavior watching out windows and ambushing her neighbors – she is desperate for a friend. Anyway, against Leo’s wishes, she posts an invite for drinks at their home one evening to get to know each other better. Everything goes perfectly fine until a few days later she realizes that one of the guests at the party was not a neighbor.
That’s really all I can tell you about the plot without ruining everything. But let me tell you about Alice. Strong female personalities will most likely find her annoying as hell. It was cringeworthy watching her desperately try to be included or get invited to various activities that her neighbors Eve, Tamsin, and Maria typically did together. I think it’s ok to just have a curbside chit-chat with your neighbors at first rather than being penciled into every one of their routines, but Alice acted more like a little girl new to the playground than a grown woman just moving into a neighborhood.
Then there is Leo… Leo seemed a little odd and almost bossy at first, but then he changes into someone else entirely and continues to change throughout the novel. I was suspicious of him after only the first few chapters and remained suspicious of him throughout the novel. The author did a wonderful job developing and casting a light on his unreliability to where I was just waiting for him to screw up or reveal something creepy.
I found almost all of the neighbors at The Circle to be suspicious, gossipy, and dishonest. The only person that seemed somewhat normal was Thomas but at the end of the novel, there had been so many twists and turns I could hardly keep up with how I felt about anyone. However, when the big, final twist occurred, I was floored. I bet my mouth was hanging wide open from the big reveal to the end because nothing I had predicted had come to light. What’s better than a thriller that completely catches you off guard and discounts all of your own theories that had been building?
The Therapist is an excellent read as far as the shocking surprises along the way. This wasn’t a 5-star read for me simply because I had so many issues with Alice, but this is a great read that I recommend.
*Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review!