I’ve been in the mood for thrillers lately, so I decided to finally pick up Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes. Because it was recommended by both Stephen King and Neil Gaiman (and I’ve owned a copy since it came out over a year ago). This seems to be one of those books that people can’t help talking about, and I can definitely see why.
(All reviews are spoiler-free unless otherwise noted.)
(From Goodreads) 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.
Since everyone seems to talk about the ending, I’ll just jump straight in: it wasn’t my favorite. Yes, it was completely unexpected, but that’s mostly because the author doesn’t give us enough clues beforehand, and I’m not really a fan of that. I like either being able to guess the ending, or looking back and being able to see how we got to that ending. This one was kind of a curveball, and that’s just not what I personally like in thrillers. However, it definitely packed a punch. After reading the last few pages, I couldn’t do anything but sit there and think “what the f*ck just happened”. I honestly think I’m still a little bit traumatized. So I’m
The story itself is really unique and interesting. I loved how the perspective alternates between Louise and Adele, especially as their relationship grows more complicated. It kept me turning pages for hours, and I flew though this book. It was really hard to put down, so don’t start this if you have things to do. Trust me. Their stories played really well off of each other and each twist was fun and exciting. Ending aside, I think the most surprising part of this book was that there was a little bit of a fantasy or magical realism element. That’s definitely not something I was expecting, but I do think it added to the story. I’m definitely interested in more fantastical thrillers after this.
If I had to choose my least favorite aspect of this book, it would probably be the characters. I think they were a bit naive, and their relationships progressed a bit too fast to seem entirely realistic. There was also something about David and Adele’s relationship that I just didn’t like. It was really messed up, but their backstory was really sketchy and I struggled a bit because it’s an essential part of the story, but I wanted to avoid thinking about it.
Overall, I think this was a really unique thriller that will give you a lot to think about. This would make a brilliant book club read!
★★★★☆ – I really enjoyed Behind Her Eyes. Was it a perfect thriller? No. But it was a fun and exciting read with a pretty shocking ending. If you’re into thrillers and haven’t picked this one up yet, what are you waiting for?
Behind Her Eyes is available in hardcover and paperback now (order on Amazon here).
To get the audiobook for free, use this link to sign up for a free trial of Audible and choose Behind Her Eyes as one of your two free books.
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