Today I am reposting the review I wrote back in November of a recently released book. Here's what I want to say about Behind Her Eyes now though. You might think that you are sick of the "Girl" trend in psychological suspense and can skip this one. That would be a HUGE mistake.
Behind Her Eyes is amazing and nothing like you suspect. I am still thinking about it.
I saw some people talking about it recently and realized that my review came out so long ago that you might have pre-ordered it and forgotten about it. If it is on the shelf at your library I guarantee that there is a reader who will walk into the library today who you can give this to. This is like Bird Box. Anyone who can handle an alternating storytelling style, likes creepy without gore, and enjoys a good twist will love this book.
CLICK HERE for the original review. Now just read this book! [Yes, that is an order.]
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Jan. 2017. 320p. Flatiron, hardcover, $25.99 (9781250111173).
First published November 1, 2016 (Booklist).
Pinborough was already an accomplished author of horror, mysteries, dark fantasy, psychological suspense, and science fiction [for TV], but she has drawn on all of her gifts and expertise to tell her latest story, a masterpiece of suspense centered around a bad marriage that makes Gone Girl look quaint. We are in London where we meet Adele and Louise, our alternating narrators. Adele is a troubled young heiress married to successful psychologist, David. Louise is David’s secretary, and mistress, oh, and she is also Adele’s new best friend. With alternating points of view between Adele and Louise, short chapters, a few key flashbacks, and anxiety and unease beginning on the first page and permeating every word thereafter, the story creates a sense of disorientation and dread that is highly satisfying. But it is with the plot, so tight and yet also intricate, where Pinborough’s prose shines. Not a detail or character appearing in this novel is extraneous. Every single word comes back into play and matters as the story moves to the disturbing conclusion that everyone is talking about [it has it’s own hashtag #wtfThatEnding]. But even knowing this in advance, the ending will still shock you. You will never see it coming, you think you do, but you don’t, and that is a rare joy for readers. You will not be able to look anyone, especially your loved ones, in the eye for a few days after you turn the final page. Give this intense book to patrons freely, but especially target those who have fatigue with the current spate of female driven psychological suspense. While this will be one of the first books you read in 2017, and it could easily remain the best one you experience all year.
More comments: This review was hard to write because I wanted to give all of you enough information to book talk it, but I also could not give away any of the plot twists or the ending but it's an ending that opens up a whole new world of suggestions. It's frustrating yet the frustration is because the book is so well executed. It's hard to be mad at that.
I am not exaggerating above when I say reading this book is an amazing experience.
Three Words That Describe This Book: unreliable narrator, intense, disturbing
Readalikes: Anyone who has been binging on the "Girl" books of psychological suspense but is not finding the satisfaction they did previously should read this book.
If you want a tiny spoiler readalike, click here. That review doesn't have the spoiler, but if you have read that book, you will know a little about what is coming at the end-- not all, but more than anyone else.
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