Book Title: Behind Her Eyes
Author: Sarah Pinborough
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense, Fiction
Date Read: 11/26/16
Pub Date: 01/31/17
Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone. When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake, but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise. And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend. But she also just happens to be married to David. And if you think you know where this story is going, think again, because Behind Her Eyes is like no other book you’ve read before. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife. But then why is David so controlling? And why is Adele so scared of him? As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise can’t guess how wrong―and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.
This might be one of the most difficult reviews I’ve had to write in the entire time I’ve been writing reviews. How does one convey their thoughts on just how addicting, intriguing, and consuming of a book this was, without exposing all the delicious spoilers that make it such a fun read? Behind Her Eyes was the 200th book I’ve read this year, thus completing my Goodreads challenge early, so I guess you could say I’ve read quite a bunch of books in 2016. Out of all those books, this one will stand out for many reasons, but one of the largest would be due to the fact it is quite unlike anything I’ve read thus far in the genre.
I can’t rave enough about how compulsive a read this was. I found myself wandering in and out of rooms to avoid people so that I could sneak in “just a few more pages”. The slow building suspense was gripping and so incredibly well written. Sarah Pinborough has become of my top 10 favorite authors this year and for good reason. Earlier this year I read The Language of Dying and was blown away by her creation of something so beautiful yet disturbing; it absolutely wrecked me. Her talent can’t be confined to one genre; it’s too complex and excellent for that tiny box. She has taken the typical love triangle and made it anything but; there are multiple POVs and storylines intricately woven together to seem unrelated but, come on, we know better. She delicately brings each piece together until the precise moment she wants to drop the #WTFthatending moment. IMO there were really multiple twists that connect into one; the how/why/who was just as important separately as they were in one entity.
I read quite a few early reviews on this book, and while some chose to include elements that I view as spoiler material, I almost wish I had seen them prior to reading this book. I believe my expectations would have been altered and I could have accepted this for what it was; an excellent book with a clever, mind-blowing twist that shouldn’t be confined by genre. The best way I know how to explain what I mean is that it doesn’t play by the usual rules of a psychological thriller. If you’ve seen anything yet about this book, you are clearly aware that there is a shocking ending with a whopper of a twist. The catch 22 is that, if this particular element I’m referring to was hinted at via genre description, the surprise aspect of the book is spoiled. The entire ending and twist are dependent on this aspect being kept secret, so you can see the dilemma I’m facing. I take full responsibility for this as it’s a personal problem based on my expectations of something filed in the “psychological thriller” genre.
I can’t really say anything else without taking the fun out of reading this one; suffice it to say this is a must read. I think the most wonderful aspect of this book is that you don’t have to love how the plot works out to love reading the book. Whether you are drawn toward the ending or throw your book across the room, this is a story you must read if you call yourself a fan of any type of thriller. You might even need to read the beginning pages again for full clarity and comparison at just how beautifully Sarah Pinborough has slapped you across the face. This book buried into my brain so deeply that it was in all my waking thoughts and dreams for days; I couldn’t shake it. I’m just going to go ahead and let her take all my money; I’ll read anything she writes compulsively and will be sitting on pins and needles waiting for her next book.
Many thanks to Sarah and Flatiron Books for my treasured copy. She worked tirelessly to make sure my arc arrived and I’ll never forget that kindness. I’m paying it forward to Amy at Novelgossip so that we can discuss like ditzy school girls. 🙂