Monday 13 February 2017

Book Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough.

Product details:
Publisher:  HarperCollins 
Hardcover, 384 pages.

Release date: January 26th 2017.
Rating: 4½ out of 5.
Ages: Adult
Source: Received from publisher for review.

Only two can keep a secret if one of them is dead.

It’s said that the only people who really know what goes on in a marriage are the couple themselves. But what if even they don’t know the truth?

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. 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 could never have guessed how wrong things really are and just how far someone might go to hide it.

 They say that every marriage has its secrets and that’s certainly true of David and his beautiful wife Adele, a golden-couple living a truly charmed life.  Not only do David and Adele have an enviable lifestyle, they also have the perfect marriage, or so it seems to everyone around them. Scratch beneath the surface, though, and all is not so perfect. Louise knows this. Right from the start, Louise knows that her new boss is not entirely happy with his life - or his wife. How does she know this? Well, Louise may be David’s secretary, but before this, she was a woman he met on a night out – a woman he proceeded to kiss on that same night out.  Then there’s his drinking, which is a little out of control, to say the least. And that’s not all. Following a chance encounter, Louise and Adele become friends, and soon after this Louise starts to realise that David may not be the perfect guy after all.  Too bad then that she might just be falling in love with him.

Well, well, well…
I have to say that it’s not too often I’m surprised by psychological thrillers these days. I read so many that I’ll often spot a plot twist long before it happens on the page. Not this one, though. Nope. Turns out the hashtag got it right.  I do love a good twist, especially when it’s one that’s as well-plotted and intricate as this one is. Behind Her Eyes is horrifically twisted, and even a touch macabre at times. It’s also brilliantly executed and addictive – one of those books you simply can’t put down, even if you have a whole lot of stuff you really need to be getting on with.  All readers are different, though, and it turns out that some readers hated the ending of Behind Her Eyes, calling it ‘far-fetched’ and even ‘ridiculous.’  It’s not at all. Or maybe it is if what you’re looking for is yet another run-of-the-mill read that follows the tried and tested rules of every other psychological thriller out there. This is no run-of-the-mill read, that’s for sure. It’s certainly not your average thriller. The storyline here might seem familiar, but let me tell you, Behind Her Eyes is like nothing you’ve ever read before.  In Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough doesn’t just break all the rules, she makes up a whole new set of rules - and that makes for a truly immersive reading experience.

Apart from the dedicated #WTFthatending  hashtag that’s been doing the rounds on Twitter, I didn’t know all that much about Behind Her Eyes before going in and I think it works best that way.   That can be said of most psychological thrillers, I know, but it especially applies here.   I will say this: Behind Her Eyes requires you to keep an open mind. It also requires a little suspension of disbelief and a vivid imagination. Keep that in mind, and you won’t be disappointed.   It’s certainly the most fun – in a very dark and twisted way – that I’ve had reading a book in a long time.  A total winner. Read it now before someone spoils that WTF ending for you.

In short: Highly imaginative in a totally-twisted very off-the-wall sort of way, Behind Her Eyes is the must-read thriller of 2017.

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