Read Behind Closed Doors by J.J. Marsh Online

behind-closed-doors

Suicide – the act of taking one’s own life.Homicide – the act of taking someone else’s.An unethical banker suffocates. A diamond dealer slits his wrists. A media magnate freezes in the snow. A disgraced CEO inhales exhaust fumes. Four unpopular businessmen, four apparent suicides. Until Interpol find the same DNA at each death.Beatrice Stubbs, on her first real case sinceSuicide – the act of taking one’s own life.Homicide – the act of taking someone else’s.An unethical banker suffocates. A diamond dealer slits his wrists. A media magnate freezes in the snow. A disgraced CEO inhales exhaust fumes. Four unpopular businessmen, four apparent suicides. Until Interpol find the same DNA at each death.Beatrice Stubbs, on her first real case since ‘the incident’, arrives in Switzerland to lead the investigation. But there’s more to Zurich than chocolate and charm. Potential suspects are everywhere, her Swiss counterpart is hostile and the secretive world of international finance seems beyond the law. Battling impossible odds by day and her own demons at night, Beatrice has never felt so alone.She isn’t. Someone’s watching.Someone else who believes in justice.The poetic kind....

Title : Behind Closed Doors
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9783952397008
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 314 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Behind Closed Doors Reviews

  • Annemarie Neary
    2019-04-07 15:13

    Marsh introduces an intriguing new detective in the person of Beatrice Stubbs, but the whole package here is terrific - snappy yet believable dialogue, fat cats murdered in a series of precise, cinematic episodes, and well-deployed research. Most of all, I loved her deft, economical descriptions of places and people. Here is the man from Interpol 'His mud-brown hair was slicked back with gel, so that each individual tooth of the comb had left its mark. Something about him rubbed her up the wrong way; the high forehead, sharp nose and peculiarly British mouth, while his eyes had all the colour and animation of a dishcloth.' This is just one of a catalogue of sharply-written pen portraits (Ken, the anglophile Yugoslav, was another favourite). The sophistication of Zurich is wonderfully well evoked, and she somehow seems to capture a sense of fresh air, health and cleanliness to set against the murder and moral corruption. You probably don't know anything about DNA, the arms trade, CDOs, Interpol procedures or Rohypnol, but Marsh does (or if she doesn't she's an excellent bluffer). There are so many great one-liners, too - Here, Beatrice is heading home 'time for two of her favourite chaps; Earl Grey and John Humphrys' In Rome 'the sheer numbers spoiled its appearance, like blighted fruit.' Thrilling new crime fiction from a seriously good writer.

  • Libby
    2019-03-26 17:06

    This is another of these novels that I've had around the house for a while, but hadn't actually picked up until recently. But once I had -- well, I spent last night on a horrific Metro trek trying to get home from Franconia-Springfield, a task that involved multiple delays and the stupid train stopping for half an hour after Van Dorn Street, and while normally I'd be so annoyed I'd be breathing fire through my nostrils, all I could think about was whether Beatrice was going to survive the next few pages. I got home two hours late, found a place to sit, and tore madly through the rest of the book until I was finished.There were so many things to like about this book. Chris, Xavier, Conceiçao and Sabine were fun characters to watch, like squabbly little dots that you know will eventually come together to form something important, though you aren't sure quite how they'll do it. And I would be lying if I said I didn't love Kälin. The scene with the horse meat was kind of wonderful.I really liked knowing so much more than the detectives did, too. Maybe it's because I've only read a few detective novels (keep planning to read more Christie and all that, it just hasn't happened yet), but that's not a device I've seen often, and it enabled me to make theories and predictions in the same ways that the detectives were, which I loved. I've read so many books where there's no possible way for the reader to get anywhere near the truth of the mystery, and this book wasn't like that, and I appreciated that so much. That said, the ending wasn't even close to obvious. The final reveal was absolutely shocking.Beatrice was also great. A funny, very human combination of awkward and completely composed. I loved watching her relationship with Kälin and the group grow. And I liked that none of her flaws were masked just because she was making progress with the investigation. I found the bits about her bipolar disorder especially interesting -- it wasn't treated as this huge stigma, but you do see her dealing with it and struggling with it, and I thought that was such an incredibly human quality in a detective who is so brilliant at her job. There were a couple of parts of "Behind Closed Doors" that lagged for me, especially when people are talking in extreme detail about real estate or forensics or what have you -- things that are interesting within the context of the story, but that I found myself not wanting to read about at length, which slowed the pace of the first half of the novel a little. But once the pace picks up, it really picks up, and then it's totally unputdownable. *also, this book should get extra brownie points because it's so incredibly beautiful. Everyone who saw me reading it had to grab it from me and fawn over the cover. It's seriously gorgeous.

  • Jane Davis
    2019-04-10 14:25

    Don’t like crime novels? J J Marsh offers a very convincing argumentMy sister reads crime novels. Almost nothing but. I have never really understood the attraction. Someone you don’t get the chance to know dies. Why should I care? But I’ll watch 'Waking the Dead'. So what’s the difference?Essentially, I think it’s a question of characters ('Waking the Dead' has brilliant casting – Trevor Eve, Sue Johnson, Tara Fitzgerald…) and a very clever script. JJ Marsh offers both of those things. Fast-paced action is combined with clever characterisation. It’s an addictive cocktail, which kept me thoroughly absorbed on several commutes and over a rainy weekend. It’s hard to review crime without dropping any spoilers, so I’ll focus on things I particularly loved:1. The narration is peppered with subtle humour. (The landscape is described as: ‘Grey, flat and bleak, with the occasional windmill to make sure you are paying attention.) 2. The mix of personalities within the investigative team. Cultural differences are allowed to give rise to conflict and misunderstandings.3. The playful use of language. Things get lost in translation, but, Beatrice Stubbs also mis-quotes clichés. It is never explained whether this is for her own amusement, if she is forgetful or clumsy, or, occasionally, if she is employing sarcasm (as in ‘You’re worth your weight in coal’). 4. Discovering a casual reference to one of my heroines, Lee Miller. Serendipity!5. The book’s film-like quality. Shifting points of view facilitate scene changes. Murders are told from the victim’s point of view so that the reader ‘sees’ what they see, think what they think. You don’t just hear about it after the event - and you get to decide whether your sympathy lies with: the fat cats or the sexy serial killer.

  • Catriona Troth
    2019-04-14 20:06

    We recently had a lively discussion, stimulated by a question from Caroline Lodge of the Bookword blog (www.bookword.co.uk), about older women in fiction. One thing we did agree on was that crime fiction was better served than most when it came to older women as main characters. And one honourable addition to that number is DI Beatrice Stubbs – “bipolar sufferer, metaphor mixer and serial survivor,” created by my Triskele stablemate, J.J. Marsh. The easiest comparisons to make with Marsh’s writing are Golden Age detective writers like Dorothy L Sayers and Margery Allingham. Don’t run away with the idea that this means cosy crimes solved by some old dear in between knitting a bed jacket and planting out her spring bulbs. Beatrice is a modern police woman solving crimes with modern police methods. But if you like your crime fiction propelled by wit and intelligence rather than by violence, you will love this book.

  • Linda Gillard
    2019-04-01 12:21

    If you like your crime mixed with literary fiction, J J Marsh is definitely a new writer to watch. A motley crew of cops & criminals convince and entertain in an unusual and often chilling story that will have your Kindle thumb clicking fast until you reach the nerve-jangling denouement.Our detective heroine Beatrice Stubbs is likeable and flawed, with enough complexity to sustain a series (of which this is the first book.) I finished the book wanting to know more about her - always a good sign. I also wanted to see more of the keen young Swiss, Xavier Racine. (Like Stubbs, I too have a weakness for freckles.) I hope this appealing character will return later in the series.A stylish debut for Stubbs - and if she becomes the heroine of a hit TV series, I shan't be at all surprised.

  • Jean Gill
    2019-04-13 13:16

    Entertaining, European, intelligent detective storyI bought the boxed set, which is great value, as I'll definitely read the next two. The ageing female lead detective, Beatrice Stubbs, with her so-British background and her troubled psychiatric history (including attempted suicide) appealed to me straight away with her mix of courage and vulnerability. The realism of office politics and sexism had me short of breath in sympathy as I climbed all those flights of steps to the (switched) lecture room where Beatrice was supposed to present her case to a new, cynical team of police professionals. Any woman who's been an executive/manager would know all the choices Beatrice faces as she tries to re-arrange her wrecked presentation. To make matters more difficult, the new team is international and working in Zurich and that is where the novel really excels - in creating a believable international task force, in the Zurich setting. I loved the European flavour of people, procedures and setting (including the jokes at tourists' expense).The crime and its solution was enjoyable in the old-fashioned style of a detective whodunnit but with modern professionals (the profiler, the IT experts) using new technology. The cypher to be decoded was a fun element in the plot. Delivered exactly what I hoped for from the description - an entertaining, European, intelligent read. In a detective story, I find it much more satisfying to notice clues and figure out most of what's going on, as here, than to have some surprise whammy that comes out of the blue and does not convince. Others might prefer more of a psychological thriller.

  • Margarita Morris
    2019-04-16 14:20

    Enjoyed this first in series book about the highly likeable Beatrice Stubbs. The writing is polished and fluent and the European settings are vividly drawn.

  • Lynn Mccarthy
    2019-04-08 18:17

    This is a first in a series about Beatrice Stubbs a detective.This book is an international thriller that revolves around the deaths of businessmen.A good written book with twists and turns.I enjoyed the character of Beatrice Stubbs.Thank you Netgalley the Author and Publisher for a chance to read this book.

  • Lindsay
    2019-04-20 16:03

    'I want to take this case, turn out its pockets, hold it by the ankles and shake it upside down.'Detective Inspector Beatrice Stubbs is working on her first case since a very serious incident in her personal life. She's been enlisted by her boss in London to head over to Zurich to work on what is termed a 'non-case' initially. There we follow her as she leads a small, multi-skilled international team looking into the deaths in recent years of several wealthy business men, so-called 'fat cats', all of whom seemingly died by suicide, and all of whom had questionable business practices. Did they all suddenly develop a conscience about the wrongs they had done, or was something else happening? The team starts to revisit the cases and discovers not only that they may not have actually been suicides at all, but that they may also all be linked. It made an interesting and pleasant change to read about an international team, and to have the main setting as Zurich. Several other European settings also feature, as chapters interspersed throughout the main story take us back and allow us to discover the different circumstances in which each of these wealthy men met their deaths. This slow revelation keeps us interested in where and how the different deaths occurred and what might link them. Beatrice has her own personal demons to battle. I'd like to know more about this side of her. The author introduces us to some aspects of Beatrice's personal past but leaves a lot unsaid too, and concentrates for the most part on the crimes and the detective work. There are more books featuring her - this is the first - so I'll be interested to see how JJ Marsh develops her main character in the next and subsequent stories. This isn't a criticism; I thought there was just enough to make you want to know more about Beatrice, but not so much that her personal life dominated the story; a good balance. I like Beatrice; she is flawed and insecure, but also self-aware, determined and tenacious; she keeps a hold on her team despite their deciding to sometimes deviate from the jobs she has tasked them with, and slowly develops a successful working relationship with them, and in particular with the initially rather terse Herr Kälin, this is no mean feat. She has a way of using everyday sayings or idioms but altering them slightly, which is quirky and amusing. I enjoyed this story and thought it was a very well written, assured debut, with a distinctive main character in Beatrice, other interesting characters in the team, plus an intricate plot and an intriguing set of deaths that had me wondering, not just about who had done this, but how and precisely why. I enjoyed the interactions between the international team, and the choice of locations for the story; I visited Zurich many years ago and this novel had me wanting to return. I also felt it was a lovely physical edition, with a gorgeous cover both in terms of appearance and the soft, smooth feel; it was a pleasure to hold whilst reading.

  • Julie
    2019-04-11 20:00

    I downloaded this book and had finished it in two sittings - Interrupted by work (tut). I was completely immersed throughout the entire story. The characters, the plot, the pace and the settings are all excellently crafted and beautifully written. You can tell that blood, sweat, tears and a huge amount of research went into this absorbing book.Four unprincipled and unpleasant businessmen have apparently committed suicide. However, Interpol find that the same DNA is evident at each scene. What else links them? Perhaps the fact that the world is a better place without them?Interpol put together a team of experts to open a ‘non-investigation’ based in Zurich to establish if there is a murderer out there that is systematically eliminating ‘fat cats’Detective Beatrice Stubbs of Scotland Yard, is tasked to lead the investigation. She is unlike any detective you have ever met before. She has a passion for a well-known radio soap opera and has a comical knack for mixing her metaphors. However, if your first thought is that she is a little eccentric, like me, will probably change your mind as you read on. She is a professional and accomplished detective yet grows very fond of her juniors and is as proud as a University professor is of a favourite student/s. Beatrice is as intricate as the plot and although we are treated to brief snippets of her background, her loves and her personal battles, I sense there is much more to know, and I can’t wait.From chapter one the reader is offered more information than the investigators are a party to. This allows you to feel some ownership, you feel ‘in on it’ to a point. Furthermore as the targets’ last hours are played out, your own case notes are coming together nicely. But, there is still something missing. Why won’t the whole thing knit? The author frustratingly holds onto that until the very end. You are not permitted to beat the professionals to all the answers. Still, you feel like you did have an inkling, and therefore don’t feel robbed. This is another technique that sets Behind Closed Doors apart from many other crime novels. In other detective stories, I have frequently felt as though something is held back for no other reason than that you are treated to that ‘Ta dah’ moment. As I said the plot, the setting, the language and the pace are spot on. However, (I appear to agree with many other reviewers) it is the characters that will win most accolades in this original novel. Whether you love, hate, admire or scorn each of the characters, they are all incredibly real, you believe them, you want to know more about them, you invest.This is apparently Bea’s first outing. I eagerly await the next. Well done JJ Marsh and thank you.

  • Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
    2019-04-06 17:18

    Behind Closed Doors is a well crafted crime novel by debut author, JJ Marsh. Scotland Yard detective, Beatrice Stubbs has been tasked to investigate possible links between the apparent suicides of several high profile businessmen. Sent to Zurich and assigned a small team of specialists, Stubbs is under pressure to produce results quickly. With painstaking investigation they uncover a link to the CEO of a consultant firm with a deadly agenda.Deftly plotted, Behind Closed Doors moves between the investigation by Beatrice Stubbs and her team, and the death scenes of corrupt businessmen at the hands of a skilled assassin. The advantage of this approach is that the reader witnesses the steps the killer takes to make each death look like suicide, and therefore appreciates the challenges Beatrice's team faces in connecting the deaths. Though the identity of the person responsible for the murders is suspected early on in the story, proving culpability is another matter all together. Beatrice's team has to combine their skills and think outside the box to find the proof they need to stop the murders.The characters of Behind Closed Doors are an interesting group. We get glimpses of Beatrice's complicated personal history and romantic partnership but, normally based in London, she is away from her usual environment in Zurich so the focus is on Beatrice's professional behaviour. Beatrice proves to be a great leader of the team members she is charged with in Zurich, several of whom have quirky personalities. I enjoyed getting to know them, from the gruff Senior Detective Herr Kalin to the serious Estonian crime analyst, Sabine Tikkenen.The novel has a European feel of formality in both tone and dialogue but there is flow to the narration. The more mundane aspects of the investigation are interspersed with the descriptions of murders to provide continuing interest but the plot does lack a sense of urgency despite the tight time frame until the final confrontation.I was reminded of Nicci French's new series featuring Dr Frieda Klein as I read despite the obvious differences. Behind Closed Doors is an enjoyable read and a promising debut from a new author.

  • Jo Barton
    2019-04-08 20:11

    Sometimes a book takes you by surprise and Behind Closed Doors certainly surprised me. I don’t normally read books set in Europe but to have a crime book with such a sophisticated plot and with intelligent and witty dialogue was just a delight. I just couldn't stop turning the pages and read the book quickly over the space of a couple of afternoons.At first detective Beatrice Stubbs is an unlikely protagonist, she deeply flawed from a problem only hinted at, and we are led to believe that her secondment from Scotland Yard to head the Zurich investigation is her last chance at redeeming herself. Leading a group of European experts is never going to be easy, and as the complicated investigation into a series of unrelated high profile suicides gets underway, Beatrice and her new team need to work together in order to discover a possible link between the deaths of such high profile business men. Behind Closed Doors reads very well, it is neither too graphic nor gratuitously violent, and yet the air of menace is so well maintained that you almost find yourself holding your breath as the twists and turns in the plot get underway. Setting the book in Europe is inspired as it lends a certain solemnity to proceedings which is sometimes lacking in contemporary crime novels and also the occasional snippets of Swiss-German dialogue adds an extra dimension, as does Beatrice’s amusing ability to mix her metaphors. Her European counterparts are well described and form the basis for some interesting shared experiences.Overall, this was a very good debut novel; Ms Marsh has the undoubted ability to control a complicated plot, and with remarkable skill weaves together all the strands of the story to an exciting conclusion. I would hope that this is not the end of Beatrice; she has so much potential, it would be a crime not to write more about her.

  • Frances Plino
    2019-04-02 18:20

    Behind Closed Doors introduces us to a new detective – one that I hope is going to feature again and again in future books. Beatrice Stubbs came to life for me in a way few fictional characters do. She irritated me at times, but not because she wasn’t well written, quite the opposite in fact. She annoyed me in exactly the same way a close friend would. I wanted to yell at her when she did something I considered dumb, hug her when she felt down and cheer her on when she got things right. In other words, J J Marsh has created a living, breathing person with whom readers can identify.The plot is well crafted and original. DI Stubbs has been seconded to Zurich to uncover the truth behind a series of supposed suicides, which are, in fact, carefully crafted murders – each one designed to fit the ‘crime’ for which the killer has deemed the victims guilty.We know fairly early on who is orchestrating everything, but not how or why, and it is this need to know which keeps the reader turning pages.Behind Closed Doors straddles the boundary between literary fiction and crime writing, but it sits comfortably in both camps. It is, quite simply, a very well constructed crime novel written by an author in total control of her material.I can’t wait for the next Beatrice Stubbs novel. My only concern is that the author has set the bar so high this is going to be a hard act to follow.

  • Sarah Buchmann
    2019-03-26 13:11

    JJ Marsh’s debut hooks the reader with its promising title: because Behind Closed Doors anything can happen. The first door to be opened leads into a luxury hotel suite where the reader is witness to the murder of an arrogant jerk. The second door to be opened is that to Detective Beatrice Stubbs’ London flat. She gets an exceptional visit from her boss who has come to make her head of an interdisciplinary investigation into a couple of seemingly suicides. Beatrice meets her team of specialists in Zürich. The town’s little-big-city atmosphere is depicted both with accuracy as well as charm. But the investigators get few chances to enjoy. As much as they struggle with the case, they also struggle with their cultural and personal differences. Meanwhile, the reader is witness to more bad guys walking into traps. And parenthetically, how the real estate bubble burst is explained in a way even a schoolchild could understand. Having been witness through space and time to the obscured murders, the reader knows more than the detectives, which at one point leads to the Punch-and-Judy joy of screaming out loud: “Don’t go there!” as a door is closing behind Beatrice Stubbs. And from here, the reading speed accelerates…

  • C.P. Lesley
    2019-03-28 12:10

    JJ Marsh mentions on her website and elsewhere that her agent couldn't sell this book to a commercial publisher because it was "too cerebral." I don't know: a smart, technologically sophisticated mystery set in Zürich and most of the surrounding countries and featuring a bipolar detective and quite a few surprises appealed to me. I'll definitely be reading more about Beatrice Stubbs.Industrial fat cats are dying all over Europe at the rate of one per year, each implicated in some kind of unethical behavior, each eliminated in a manner curiously appropriate to his offense and under circumstances that point to suicide. They seem to have little in common. Beatrice Stubbs of Scotland Yard, appointed to lead an international team, fights to solve the case before Interpol loses patience with her. But first she has to convince her team to follow her lead....I received a free copy of this book for my unbiased review.

  • Mar Dixon
    2019-04-17 16:27

    From the onset, JJ Marsh captures your attention with a conversation that puts you in a conversation you want to find more about. The journey doesn't end until the last page, but even then it leaves you yearning to find out more about the complicity of the characters within the book.The plot revolves around seemingly unconnected deaths of business people with unethical backgrounds. A special unit, lead by Beatrice Stubbs, is put together to see if they can find a connection - if any exists. The story pulls in threads from several lines - death, romance, friendship, etc. While it could have been cliche, JJ Marsh skillfully tips the story back at just the right time.I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was extremely happy when I read: Coming Next in the Beatrice Stubbs series ...Just hope we don't have to wait too long!

  • Chris Curran
    2019-03-24 15:25

    J Marsh kept me guessing until the nerve shredding climax of Behind Closed Doors. However it's not the very topical puzzle of who is disposing of a succession of fat cats or even the fascinating Zurich setting that make the book special, but the superb characterisation. Beatrice Stubbs and her mismatched team of Interpol investigators leap off the page as fully formed and utterly believable individuals. Their developing relationships prove as fascinating and unpredictable as the central mystery itself and I can't wait to meet Beatrice again.

  • Liza Perrat
    2019-04-15 19:59

    A brilliantly-crafted crime story in which, via the expert hand of JJ Marsh, we move through one high-profile murder after another. The plot is intricate, inspired and the conclusion daunting. I identified and sympathised with the detective, Beatrice Stubbs who, with her flaws, strengths and determination to track down this elusive killer, is a refreshing change from the usual tired-out, detective hack of so many crime novels. If you enjoy high-quality crime novels, you will be as gripped as I was, and will be looking out for the next Beatrice Stubbs story!

  • Liza Perrat
    2019-04-02 15:27

    A brilliantly-crafted crime story in which, via the expert hand of JJ Marsh, we move through one high-profile murder after another. The plot is intricate, inspired and the conclusion daunting. I identified and sympathised with the detective, Beatrice Stubbs who, with her flaws, strengths and determination to track down this elusive killer, is a refreshing change from the usual tired detective hack of so many crime novels. If you enjoy high-quality crime novels, you will be as gripped as I was, and will be looking out for the next Beatrice Stubbs story!

  • Susan
    2019-04-03 17:14

    When Interpol find the same DNA at several suicide deaths a team is formed to determine the facts. Beatrice Stubbs a Scotland Yard detective arrives in Switzerland to head the team.It was an interesting enough premise, but I didn't think that the dialogue always flowed and I was not totally convinced with the characters. I much prefer to find the guilty party right on the last page.A NetGalley Book

  • Calzean
    2019-04-01 18:21

    A series of suicides of high flying business people. The only thing they have in common is that they are not nice people.A vigilante appears to be faking their murders and making it look like suicide. An Interpol team is established to hunt the killer down.The writing is fluid, there is some humour, a bit of insight into the Swiss, an investigative lead police woman who suffers from bi polar and a team of specialists who all have their nuances. A good yarn.

  • Valentina
    2019-03-24 18:27

    Interesting reading. A police investigation started about some dubious suicides, not many elements available as the deaths happened several years before the team started working on it. Interesting investigation plot which a nice twist at the end.It started a bit slow but gained up speed quite fast. I would definetely read another book from this writer.

  • Lee Holz
    2019-04-20 18:27

    Behind Closed Doors is a complex international police procedural and exciting thriller rolled into one highly entertaining book. Main characters are well developed and the writing is seamless and engaging.

  • Eli
    2019-04-08 17:11

    Definitely one of the best mystery books I've read! I totally loved this read. It was very easy to follow and captured my interest from the first chapter. I loved all the characters, especially Beatrice and Chris. The only downside is I just didn't want the book to end!!

  • E.L. Lindley
    2019-03-24 19:11

    Behind Closed Doors by JJ Marsh is an international thriller that revolves around the deaths of unscrupulous businessmen. It’s a well written novel that engages the reader from the offset and keeps us guessing right until the very last page. The bulk of the novel is set in 2012 when Scotland Yard Detective Beatrice Stubbs is despatched to Switzerland to head up a team of multi-agency staff investigating a spate of seeming suicides amongst the echelons of power and money. It’s a high profile case with the potential to ruffle lots of important feathers. However, Detective Stubbs is nothing if not tenacious and thorough, refusing to take the easy route of accepting the deaths as suicide. It is Beatrice Stubbs who is the heart of the novel and she makes a compelling protagonist. Middle-aged and frumpy, Beatrice is a refreshing champion for ordinary working women. She is the perfect mix of hard working, courageous and neurotic. I applaud the way that Marsh examines mental health issues through Beatrice who has Bipolar and has regular telephone counselling sessions to keep her afloat. Beatrice’s Swiss counterpart is the middle-aged, grumpy Karl Kalin who, in his own way, is just as dysfunctional as she is. Their initial encounters are hilariously brusque and prickly but over time a mutual respect develops and by the end a tentative friendship emerges. The rest of the team are made up of experts from throughout Europe. Chris Keese is from Europol, Sabine Tikkenson is an Estonian crime analyst, Conceicao Pereira da Silva is a DNA advisor and Xavier Racine, a young Swiss detective. All of the team are likeable and the procedural police work is offset by hints of the team’s personal lives. Although the novel is in parts quite dark, there are flashes of humour which prevent it from becoming too heavy. Beatrice for example is a creature of habit whose main concern at taking a job overseas is that she will miss her daily fix of The Archers. Chris Kees is a hapless womaniser whom the reader realises is barking up the wrong tree long before he does. Marsh makes the most of the setting and her descriptive language is very visual and filmic which is particularly effective. As the team travel around Switzerland and further afield to visit murder scenes, the landscape plays a huge part. Also as the plot involves the world of big business and wealth, the sense of opulence and extravagance is never far away. There is no doubt at all that Marsh is an accomplished writer and she skilfully navigates the different threads of the story before bringing them together in a successful denouement. A technique that she uses to give background to the murders is to intersperse the ongoing narrative with flashback chapters. In doing this she allows us to get to know the victims and see the murders take place. This adds to the mystery but also slowed the story down somewhat and for me felt a bit intrusive each time my attention was diverted away from the primary story. I really enjoyed that Marsh uses her story to ask questions about morality and retribution. The victims of the crimes are all despicable people who have caused much harm to others, people who we might say deserve what they get. Marsh explores the corrosive nature of vigilantism however and the fine line between wrongdoer and executioner – does setting ourselves up as judge and jury not lead us into becoming the very people we are trying to punish? The novel on the whole is a reflection of Beatrice who stresses to her team that it’s the “daily slog of solid police work” that solves cases. The plot builds slowly and with each layer our tense anticipation mounts until by the end we are desperate for answers which Marsh provides in a very satisfactory manner. I really enjoyed Behind Closed Doors and warmed to Beatrice Stubbs who also features in other JJ Marsh novels. If you like an intelligent police procedural thriller with realistic, down to earth characters then you’ll love this one.

  • Dawn Gill
    2019-04-09 15:08

    I discovered Beatrice Stubbs, accidentally as part of a collection, which meant I started reading #2 in the series. I enjoyed that so much I bought the box set and fed my completest compulsion by reading Behind Closed Doors, re-reading Raw Material. It’s stood up unusually well to what’s been a relatively recent re-read. I’m currently on #3 Tread Softly.My favourite thriller / procedural novel type has a strong female lead. One that is convincingly human and real, who isn’t the classic maverick detective, but works as a cog in a team, supporting her colleagues, just like in real life. Oh, and she needs to have some flaws. I need them to be written honestly, with interactions, opinions and emotions that echo people I know. As a bonus I’d like to find them entertaining enough to spend time with in person (it’s fiction; I can pretend she’d want to spend time with me).Beatrice has all this in spades. So, JJ Marsh can create the perfect (in her imperfections) character, but can she write plot? Or create a sense of place? Or suspense? Yes. This she can do, excellently. Beatrice’s partner works and lives in Devon. Rather close to me as it happens. I can vouch for the sense of place. Plot? Suspense? Well. The first novel has a serial killer that would appear to be acting as an assassin, and doing so with a sense of morality. Despite the majority of the killings having happened already, there is another in the planning. Spoiler alert – I wasn’t sure who the target was going to be and I stayed up later than I should have at night, and neglected my jobs in the morning to try and squeeze precious moments of extra reading in. Always a good sign.I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve already recommended this series to a couple of people, and I’m really pleased to know there are a few more novels already completed I can buy when I complete this set.In case you are interested - I give 5 stars to books I want to reread and often buy as gifts after reading AND want to buy the whole of the author's back catalogue, 4 to ones I immediately want to buy the entire back history and 3 to books I enjoy but don't quite meet those criteria. If something doesn't at least meet a 3 star, then I won't review it - I don't have the skill or the talent to write so who am I to criticise someone who does

  • Debbie Young
    2019-03-26 20:22

    Always good to discover the first in a new series and to enjoy it so much that you look forward to continuing in the company of the characters in later books, and this is what happened with "Behind Closed Doors". I don't usually read modern police procedurals, preferring cosy crime and stories from the Golden Age of detective stories, but I was drawn to this one by its pan-European setting and international cast of characters. It is also driven more by character than by crime for its own sake, and although it followed the story of a serial killer, it was not graphic or gratuitous in its descriptions of the murders.I also really liked the central character, DI Detective Stubbs, a police officer with a troubled past that is gently trickled into the main story while leaving plenty more to explore in future books. She reminded me of Dorothy L Sayers' Harriet Vane when she first encounters Lord Peter Wimsey - smart, self-knowing and self-protective, but vulnerable. I'll be interested in seeing how her relationship with her apparent partner Matthew, seen in this book largely through his reassuring phone calls, develops in future adventures. As well as enjoying getting to know more about life in Switzerland, where most of the action is set, I liked the flashbacks throughout to each of the murders, which almost felt like short stories embedded within the novel, building detailed profiles of the victims and their personalities. In less capable hands, that could have been a risky structure, but in Marsh's safe hands it works well. Like other reviewers, I was surprised to realise that this was her debut novel, because it's accomplished, deft and confident without being showy. Now looking forward to working my way through the rest of the series, of which the sixth is about to be launched. I may be some time...

  • Diana
    2019-04-16 17:06

    I thoroughly enjoyed my ‘boxed set’ of 3 titles by JJ Marsh. The ‘set’ consisted of the first 3 books in Ms. Marsh’s Beatrice Stubbs mystery series: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS - RAW MATERIAL - TREAD SOFTLY.The lead characters were very flawed; very likable; very detailed. Beatrice - bipolar with hints of a prior suicide attempt, Detective Inspector for the Metropolitan Police; her husband Matthew and neighbor Adrian.The plots were edgy, suspenseful and detailed; very character-driven.The ‘sense of place’ (which first attracted me to the series) was extremely well-done. I really felt a part of the locations.BEHIND CLOSED DOORS took place mainly in Zurich, Switzerland. I liked the back and forth of the murder scenes and the current investigations. It helped set the tone and especially the personalities of the victims. I quite liked the development of the team’s characters and Herr Karl Kalin.RAW MATERIAL was set in UK locations. A seemingly innocent set of photographs from a beach holiday turn into the basis for a major investigation. Adrian and Matthew ‘help out’ on the case.TREAD SOFTLY was my favorite title mainly because of its northern Spain location. The descriptions - of foods, wines, vineyards, wineries, Spanish cities and towns, people - were superb. The plot was very well-paced which I liked.I liked these mysteries so much that I ordered the next 3 titles in the Beatrice Stubbs series.**I do want to note that I didn’t order the ‘boxed set’ - I ordered 3 individual books. The digital ‘set’ titles were awkward to read. There was no access to each title’s table of contents. I like to move around in a book and often reread passages or confirm details. While I could bookmark, I couldn’t maneuver well in the books. This is nothing to do with the writing, but a glitch or problem with the format.

  • Jack Hrkach
    2019-04-19 16:09

    Just fyi, I read the Kindle Edition, not the paperback.There are several reasons, I suppose, to pick up a novel by an unknown author (unknown to me, and not an author who is well-known). I almost never do, but I have just finished re-reading Don Quixote and after that a rather academic though informative tome on Spain's Golden Age. I wanted something light, relatively easy, but something related to at least one of my interests.As you can tell by the sub-title, this is a work of detective fiction. I enjoy some of the genre, usually by authors that, while I have not yet read, I am already aware of. What caught my eye in the works (I know of six about this Scotland Yard DI) of JJ Marsh was DI Stubbs's propensity to travel, or at least being forced to travel for work, to several different European countries, all of which I have visited.I am about to travel myself. While I should probably expand my horizons, Europe is my cuppa tea, and a city I have come to love is Zurich, the setting for this somewhat mechanically written but quite engaging tale of a serial killer who has for at least 5 years eluded the authorities. To solve the case experts from several different areas have been brought together, and they are led by Stubbs. Is she up to the job? She has only just recovered from...well that would be telling, but there are questions in the minds of some of those in the group that she has what it takes. In fact she questions it herself. Excited yet?I wasn't at first, but as noted, the lure for me was Zurich itself, and I gradually allowed myself to be hooked. As you see it took me less than three days to finish it and it was certainly worth it to me. If you like detective fiction and love Europe as I do, it might be worth that much of your time too.

  • Raven
    2019-04-13 15:16

    JusticeInternational crime seeking justice in a corrupt wealthy community while team of investigators track the killers thru time and countries. Wait it gets better when the target becomes a team member. The team races to save there own, catch the killers and save the day. Partial success, the story continues unresolved.