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Um, what just happened? Wait a minute. What?! No!
Those were some of my responses to the end of Sarah Pinborough’s thriller/mystery Behind Her Eyes. I had been warned that the ending has a killer twist, so I had my eyes open, my senses on full alert, my imagination rattling off the dozens of possibilities for the novel’s ending. But still I was surprised (and also horrified, if I may be honest) once I reached the last page and realized that it was over.
But let’s start at the beginning.
This is the basic plot: Single mom Louise kisses a stranger named David who it turns out is married, and it also turns out, is her new boss. David is a psychiatrist who is married to Adele, a beautiful woman who chiefly stays at home during the day. Louise and Adele become friends. Louise and David begin sleeping together.
Are you still with me?
Then Louise gets the sense that there’s something wrong with Adele and David’s marriage. To be specific, that there are several things wrong, and that something very dark lies at the center of that wrongness.
Louise is sleeping with David, and friends with Adele, and her complicated feelings for both people means that she’s even more conflicted about who the guilty party in the marriage is.
It's hard to reveal too much about the plot without ruining the book. A big part of the fun and the mastery of Pinborough's storytelling is how marvelously she has structured the book. We read Louise’s perspective and we read Adele’s, we read from a notebook that Adele has gifted Louise, and we jump in time from the present moment to the past. The structure of the book ensures that the reader’s tension is amped up to the thousandth power. We see the lies that each character tells to herself and to others, and we see the manipulations and the violations.
Pinborough skillfully plays with the reader’s expectations, heightening the drama and the anxiety within the story and all the while leading us to a truly explosive ending.
You don’t know how many times I wanted to talk to the characters while reading this book. It was frustrating and also wonderful.
If you’re in the mood for a beautifully written, smart thriller, check out Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes.
I got my copy of the stellar book, Behind Her Eyes, from the Book of the Month Club, a site that I’ve praised on the blog before. When you subscribe to Book of the Month, you select one book a month from five options, all carefully selected by a panel of prestigious judges. The book offerings are diverse, but if you’re not enticed by any of the options, you can choose to skip a month and save your book for another month. I subscribed to the three-month plan, and chose Behind Her Eyes the month that it was offered. If you subscribe and select a book, your hardback book will ship to you in a cute box with a cute bookmark, and then you can add your pretty copy to your bookshelves with a feeling of supreme joy.
This month (March 2017), Book of the Month is offering two special deals. Check them out below.
3-months Membership For $9.99 Per Month + Free BOTM Tote
$5 for 1-month memberships
About the Author
When my toddler and infant sleep--or are otherwise engaged--I write, read, and eat lots of chocolate.