Published by Flatiron Books on January 31st 2017
Why is everyone talking about the ending of Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes?
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.
Though I wouldn’t call anything contained in this review a spoiler, if you are thinking about reading this book, you might want to think twice before continuing. I do not feel I can review this book without including certain information which has significantly influenced my rating and opinions.
Okay, now that the disclosure is out of the way, I’d like to state that once again, I seem to be the cheese that stands alone. This book is getting lots of well-deserved 5 star reviews. I totally understand why so many people loved it. I hope I’m able to articulate what it was that didn’t work for me in this book that has so many good things going for it.
- The Author – Sarah Pinborough is an incredibly gifted writer. She toggles effortlessly between the past and present and the voices of Adele and Louise.
- The Pacing/Suspense Factor – There is no doubt I was drawn in right away and kept at the edge of my seat till the very end.
- The Characters – Is this one good? Is that one evil? Should I feel bad for her? Or him? All three of our main characters are richly developed. (For better, or worse as in any good thriller!)
- The Plot – It’s a three-ring circus in just the right way! I don’t think I’ve read any other book with these particular husband/wife/mistress dynamics.
- Believability Factor – This is quite possibly the most outlandish psychological thriller I’ve ever read.
- Genre Miscategorization/Omission – This is the reason that what I initially thought was going to be a 5 star book turned out to be a 3 star book for me. While I can understand its categorization as a psychological thriller, there is a very, very strong intersection with another genre which has not been publicized. (I won’t name the other genre because I’m trying not to give too much away.) I can understand why this is the case, however, if I had known, I would not have read this book. At the end of the book, I felt disappointed and a little misled if I’m honest.
A Final Thought
While my overall experience with this book is only 3 stars, I’m not entirely sorry I read it. It’s creating a lot of buzz! Opposing views make for great book club discussions, online debates, etc. I’m looking forward to seeing how the reviews shake down a month or two after publication.
Many thanks to Flatiron Books for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.