Published by Flatiron Books on January 31st 2017
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Psychological, Mystery & Detective, General
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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.
Behind Her Eyes is one of those books that has been hyped to the max on Twitter – with its own publishers touting the #WTFThatEnding hashtag (If I used a hashtag, do I need to say hashtag? IDEK). It’s not my kind of marketing scheme, because it kind of promotes skipping the whole book and reading the last page, but it IS effective, because here I am, having read the book, talking about the book and that ending is very much worthy of the #WTFThatEnding hashtag, because just when I thought it was all over and done with, boom, it so wasn’t. I applaud Sarah Pinborough’s imagination and writing ability because she pulled that off so incredibly well. There were no hints at all at what was really going on, and I’ve genuinely never been more surprised by a plot twist.
Before you get to the ending, though, there’s still over 375 other pages to read and to really get the full effect of that ending, you really do need to read them. Because they are amazing. I devoured over 200 of them in two hours, and I literally had to force myself to stop so I could go to work, but I would have happily finished this in one sitting, had I had the opportunity. It was just intoxicating. It didn’t feel like you were reading the book, because the pages just flew by and the pace was at full throttle throughout. For once, a rarity in a thriller, we have two narrators who actually seemed quite competent. Louise liked a drink (in fact, she liked a drink so much, I thought it was going to become an issue) and Adele had her moments, but all in all, I actually trusted them both (#whatafool). I never felt they were leading me up the garden path (#whatanevenbiggerfool) and I liked them both as narrators.
The story itself is fairly simple – girl meets man, man is married, girl works for man, they become involved, girl then makes friends with his wife. Basically Louise is the middle of a very bizarre game of piggy in the middle and Louise doesn’t tell David or Adele that she knows the other. While that may sound unreal, it’s actually super compelling, because it makes for a great narrative, because it’s just all happening. Louise is trying to be a good friend to Adele, but she feels something for David, and then there’s all this subtext about what mind have happened the night Adele’s parents died and what the hell went on with Adele’s friend Rob? And it’s just so compelling. I actually think I preferred Adele to Louise (what the hell does that say about me eh? Eh? Eh?) if only because I knew there was something up, and she hints to things she’s controlling, but I liked that about her. Louise actually got on my nerves, like an insistent fly.
Really what makes Behind Her Eyes is how it all comes together. It’s so masterful, so intense, so incredibly unbelievable that you have to keep reading because surely that isn’t how it’s going to go?!! Not that I saw for a second how it was going to go. BUT IT WAS AMAZING AND INCREDIBLE. I only get excited about books I really love and I’ve struggled recently with thrillers, feeling like they’re all the same, but this is brand new, compelling and just plain nuts. It genuinely amazes me how authors come up with such compelling stories and even more incredible plot twists. Sarah Pinborough has read the thriller of 2017, I dare any story to even try to come close to how absolutely astounding Behind Her Eyes was. I will never, ever forget this story. And even if I did forget the story, that ending will stay with me forever, I swear.