BOOK REVIEW: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell
Thriller / Suspense
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.
Behind Her Eyes is a hard book to talk about without giving something away that will undoubtedly lead to you working out the twist that has earned this book the hashtag #wtfthatending.
Many readers and reviewers are raving about this book and talking about how shocking and surprising the ending was. Perhaps it was going into the book with this knowledge that led to this reviewer figuring most of the ending out rather early on. To be sure, there was an element that I wasn’t entirely certain about before the end, but had strong inkling at least 100 pages before the end.
To be fair, the writing is easy to get into, and the book is a fast read with lots of short chapters, but a big point of disconnect for this reader was thanks to the personalities involved in the story.
- Louise: a divorced, single mum whose ex-husband cheated on her. Begins sleeping with her married boss.
- David: Louise’s new boss who is attracted to Louise. Begins having an affair with Louise.
- Adele: David’s wife, who isn’t as damaged or blind as she might seem. Is aware of the affair but has her own plans in place, though what these plans are take a while to become clear.
There is so much to dislike in these personalities, and though it is true that a character doesn’t need to be liked for the book to be enjoyed, when every single one of them is loathesome, it makes it hard to really care about what happens to them. One needs to either root for or against the characters to really engage, but when they’re all terrible you can’t exactly root for one over the others.
If you like your suspense novels with a twist on the usual, you’re bound to enjoy this one, though if you find the cheating triangle mentioned above unpleasant, it might well put a damper on your enjoyment.
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