Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Last year I read Sarah Pinborough's book The Language of Dying and liked it very much. Since that book had a magical element I early expected that Behind Her Eyes also involved something of the same.

Behind Her Eyes was a fast read, but I did not read it in one sitting as publicity warned might be the case.

The story is rather tawdry: single mom Louise meets David in a bar and they 'connect', but he says he can't and leaves. The next day she learns the man is in fact her new boss. Then 'by accident' the bosses wife, Adele, meets Louise and pursues a friendship. Adele hints at a troubled marriage and a controlling husband. Louise likes Adele, but then David shows up at her door and they act on their mutual attraction; an affair ensues.

Louise struggles to compartmentalize her life between Adele and David. Meanwhile, chapters from Adele's viewpoint reveal she is not what she appears to be, and her backstory is slowly revealed to Louise.

David and Louise are caught it a web, a trap, with a shocking and unpredictable ending, they get what they thought they want.

The novel carries the reader along and the pacing is great, and the reader is kept guessing and sidetracked by unreliable information.

Personally, the strange double coda of an ending seemed manipulative to me. The characters are not people we like, although because of their lack of self determination. So the emphasis is on the complicated and twisting plot.

I expect this new contribution to Domestic Noir will be a best seller. It is better written than several other thrillers I read in the last year.

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Behind Her Eyes
Sarah Pinbourough
Flatiron Books
Publication January 31, 2017
ISBN 978-1-250-11117-3