‘The Man Behind Closed Doors’ is the latest book by Maria Frankland.
Domestic violence isn’t only perpetrated by men. Ask Paul Jackson who is on remand, accused of stabbing his wife, Michelle. As he reveals the reality behind their troubled and toxic marriage, it seems that only his six-year-old knows what really happened. But she’s trapped in her own world of silence.
This is a suspenseful and gripping story that really pulled the reader in.
The story is primarily is seen through the narrative of Paul, right at the moment that his wife is stabbed and he is arrested for attempted murder. Everyone involved thinks it’s a clear case of domestic violence, but as the story unfolds we see that it’s not a typical case and infact Paul is the poor victim of controlling and abusive behaviour.
The story is seen written in past and present tense, as Paul is in prison awaiting his trial and reflects back on the hardship of his relationship with his wife, Michelle. Michelle is a deeply troubled character, vicious and controlling. She’s jealous of anyone who takes his attention away from her even their own daughter. She’s vindictive and blames her behaviour on past relationships where she has been let down and is convinced that Paul will do the same. At every opportunity, she runs him down, attacks him and treats him badly in front of friends and family.
This book is genuinely a shocking and hard book to read. The story takes a different slant on domestic abuse, not the stereotypical story of the woman being the victim but the man and it truly makes for eye opening reading. We see Paul question his own masculinity at times as he wonders why he puts up with it all, but it’s down to the deep love for his daughter that gets him through the day. Paul isn’t the only victim in the story, as we see Emily the daughter retreat and become withdrawn with the most fights and tension that she is exposed to before finally becoming mute.
A gripping and powerful story about domestic abuse, ‘The Man Behind Closed Doors’ is a cleverly written story with flawed characters that you feel an empathy and a poor child stuck in the middle. This book takes a different slant on domestic abuse, with a thrilling twist that made for engaging reading.
You can buy ‘The Man Behind Closed Doors’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops.