Book Title: Behind Her Eyes
Author: Sarah Pinborough
REVIEWED BY: DENNIS
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Crime Fiction
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. 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.
I finished Behind Her Eyes late last night and I’m still at a loss for words on how to accurately rate and evaluate this novel for you. Let me do a quick summary of the plot and maybe it will help me form actual sentences and thought processes… here’s hoping!
Louise is a single mother, an administrative assistant—bored, lonely, and slightly depressed after a divorce left her feeling pity upon herself. After a night of drinking, Louise meets a man and makes out with him in a drunken stupor. Ecstatic that Louise has finally made a move on someone, she reports back to her friend Sophie and gives her all the gossip. When Louise goes into work the following Monday, she is shocked to see that this mystery man is now her new boss, David Martin. David is a psychiatrist that just joined the practice, as he and his wife Adele just moved into the neighborhood. Louise is so upset with herself, but she can’t seem to shake the feeling that their drunken make out session was something more captivating.
Louise ends up meeting David’s wife accidentally and the two ironically hit it off. As time progresses, Louise can’t help but to be drawn by Adele and David, but in different ways. Adele is the friend that Louise needs, David is the man she wants, and they both have secrets that are just not adding up for her. Louise starts witnessing the unraveling of a marriage gone wrong, but she just can’t figure out what exactly.
That quick synopsis did help gather some ideas and thoughts for discussion. First and foremost, if anyone tells you more than what I just told you in the plot, they aren’t your friend. Behind Her Eyes is the type of book that I went into blindly and appreciated my friends for not snitching. You cannot enjoy this book if you know too much. Call Will Smith and get the mind eraser tool from Men in Black or something, but if you end up knowing too much then just skip this read. When I first began this story, it started playing out in a similar domestic thriller fashion that was starting to bore me. Once I hit the halfway mark, things weren’t what they seemed for me. Something was off, but I couldn’t figure out what. I was glued to the story! Sarah Pinborough’s storytelling here does not go unnoticed, as I was completely sucked into the plot. Do I hate Louise, do I hate Adele, do I hate David—WHO DO I HATE?! I NEED TO HATE SOMEONE, RIGHT?! And more importantly, who do I root for? This is a rare find with books where I found myself not rooting for anybody, but still wanted to know what happened. These people are not people you can relate to (hopefully or you’re probably not that good of a person). Overall Sarah Pinborough’s storytelling won me over!
HOWEVER let’s talk about that ending.
Girl, bye! The reason why this novel didn’t get a full 5 star rating from me can be attributed to the ending. UGH! I want to rip every single final chapter from every single copy of this book out of the story! I want a reprint without that final chapter! I am so frustrated, but I will not divulge why here (I’m also slightly offended by it, but if you are my friend/read this book you’ll know why). Thinking back to the final wrap up of the novel, the final chapter does make sense to how the story played out as there were nuggets of information sprinkled throughout the book that led to the final conclusion—but it sucked. I would have totally given this book a 5 star review if we ended the story right before the last chapter. The story didn’t need it and was strong without the back-to-back twists. Sorry, but I just felt that the story was doing too much with that final ending.
Overall, I want to thank my friend Kourtney at https://www.kourtneysbookshelf.com for providing me a copy! It was a very intense read that I do recommend to anyone who hasn’t read it already.