Review of ‘Behind Her Eyes’ by Sarah Pinborough

‘The most shocking ending you’ll read all year,’ promised the cover. I was sceptical but it turns out that the ending is very surprising indeed, even for a seasoned reader of psychological thrillers. The ending is the best part of a book which I otherwise had mixed feelings about.

The story focuses on Louise, a divorced mum and psychiatrist’s secretary who gets involved with a couple, David and Adele. There are secrets at the heart of this marriage. Louise can’t resist having an affair with David (who turns out to be her new boss) but separately she is drawn into a friendship with fragile Adele, who appears to be a victim of domestic abuse. However, the narrative from Adele’s perspective suggests that she is grooming Louise for some kind of terrible event. This book is mainly a psychological thriller but it does have a supernatural element to it, which seems believable because everything else is realistically portrayed. I thought that the author did a great job in keeping my curiosity high as to what was really going on and how the story was going to be resolved.

There was some things I didn’t like about this book. The story seemed too drawn out, meaning that around the two thirds point I was getting a little bored, although still keen to race to the end. There was animal cruelty (as you know, I very much dislike this in my reading and it does crop up in thrillers quite often). Some of the sentences were clunky. Although people’s dwellings were well-described, I didn’t feel there was a sense of place generally – I think it was set in London but I’m still not sure. What annoyed me were the constant mentions of wine. If you’re a wine fanatic, maybe there’s no such thing as talking about wine too much. Almost every chapter had people drinking wine. I understand that the characters like wine. It just seemed unnecessary to emphasise this.

I would recommend the book if you don’t mind the points I mentioned above and you want an unguessable ending. I liked her subsequent novel better.

First published in 2017.

18 thoughts on “Review of ‘Behind Her Eyes’ by Sarah Pinborough”

  1. I don’t like novels with supernatural elements but this one was the exception for me, it just worked and was believeable enough. I’m very curious about that subsequent novel now though, can’t wait to read that one! Great review!!

    1. It somehow didn’t seem too ridiculous. I don’t think there was a similar aspect to Cross Her Heart though. Thanks 🙂

  2. The premise sounds pretty intriguing. It’s pretty interesting whenever thrillers have a bit of a supernatural element to it, and it’s nice that the author was able to pull it off. I really enjoy reading plot twists, so maybe I’ll give this one a go. Great review!!

    1. Very good premise I agree, although I didn’t like how some of it was done… Hope you like it if you read it 🙂

  3. I really enjoyed this one! Even though it’s totally out there, I still found the ending very entertaining. I get what you mean about some parts being clunky though ?

    1. It was entertaining all right 😀
      I think if it had been shorter, with less wine, it would have been a better read for me.

    1. Thanks 🙂
      Sorry to hear you’re in a slump, hope you find something that perks you up soon. I do hear of people mentioning reading slumps, I think I must be unusual in that I have not experienced it.

    1. Oh I didn’t know it was going to be adapted – might be a tricky one? Just thinking of the narrative weirdness…

  4. Oh wow! That’s an interesting read. Good ending but the rest of it not so good. Bet you cringed at the animal cruelty part. Great revuew NS! ❤️

    1. The animal cruelty element was not too significant (I can’t even remember what it was, now) but I wish these kind of books wouldn’t include it. The book was worth a read, if only for the very surprising ending! Thanks Jee!

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