Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

behind-her-eyes

Rating: ★★★★★

I’ve said on a couple of my recent blog posts that some of the books I’ve read have been difficult to review without giving away spoilers.  They all pale in comparison to Behind Her Eyes, however – this is without a doubt one of the most difficult books to review without giving anything away.  As such, I’ve decided to use the Goodreads synopsis of the novel, rather than trying to write my own:

David and Adele seem like the ideal pair.  He’s a successful psychiatrist, she is his picture-perfect wife who adores him.  But why is he so controlling?  And why is she keeping things hidden?

Louise, David’s new secretary, is intrigued and drawn into their orbit.  But as Louise gets closer to each of them, instead of finding answers she uncovers more puzzling questions.  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 a marriage’s secrets.

Pinborough does character really well.  The three main characters – David, Adele and Louise – are all brilliantly realised.  And I loved Louise!  I’m not sure that this was the intention, but in some ways she reminded me of Bridget Jones!  I mean that in the way that Bridget Jones is easy to relate to – she’s a normal person that you see elements of in the real world (although usually not all in a single person!)  Like Bridget, Louise is carrying a couple of extra pounds, she drinks too much and smokes too much, but she gets by and finds things to laugh and smile about despite life not turning out quite the way she’d hoped.  She’s easy to empathise with, and this really helped to draw me in to the story.

Behind Her Eyes has everything that a psychological thriller should have, yet also goes a step further and delivers something that is a little different from the norm.  And the #WTFThatEnding marketing campaign is completely accurate.  I had to reread the last chapter because I struggled to accept what I had read the first time.  Throughout the novel, it’s clear that something isn’t quite right, but whatever I was expecting, it wasn’t this.

Behind Her Eyes is the first novel of Pinborough’s that I’ve read, and it won’t be the last (not least because I have 13 Minutes sitting on by TBR pile!)  A brilliant novel, and one that I expect to be a big hit when it’s published on 26 January 2017.  In the rather crowded field of psychological thrillers, I think that it can be difficult for an author to make their work stand out, but Pinborough has managed it with Behind Her Eyes.

Many thanks to Jaime Frost for providing an ARC for review.

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