Behind Her Eyes: Twisty thriller with cross-genre appeal

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah PinboroughBehind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough horror book reviewsBehind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Louise is an insecure single mom who, one night, meets and kisses a dashing stranger. She’s mortified the next morning to find that the stranger, David, is now her boss. Her married boss. Then she (literally) bumps into David’s wife, Adele, and the two of them hit it off.

Despite her best friend’s warnings that all of this is a bad idea, Louise falls in deeper: into a full-blown affair with David, and into a close friendship with Adele. In particular, Louise and Adele bond over their shared experience with night terrors.

This triangle is a freight train barreling toward trouble, and Louise soon learns that the stakes might be deadlier, as questions and mysteries lurk beneath the surface of Adele and David’s lives: Who, if anyone, killed Adele’s parents? Who, if anyone, killed Adele’s teenage friend? Is David abusive? And most importantly, what’s being plotted in the here and now?

Behind Her Eyes (2017) is an unsettling psychological thriller from Sarah Pinborough with a multi-layered twist at the end. There’s a cross-genre element, too, and I’ll try to avoid spoiling it too badly, but there’s a reason I’m reviewing the book here. It’s quite effectively creepy, and introduced in a believably gradual way.

If you enjoy this type of thriller, and are OK with some genre-bending, Behind Her Eyes is well worth a read. It certainly kept me hooked!

Published January 31, 2017. Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone. When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake, but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise. And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend. But she also just happens to be married to David. And if you think you know where this story is going, think again, because Behind Her Eyes is like no other book you’ve read before. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife. But then why is David so controlling? And why is Adele so scared of him? As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise can’t guess how wrong—and how far a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets. In Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough has written a novel that takes the modern day love triangle and not only turns it on its head, but completely reinvents it in a way that will leave readers reeling.

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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6 comments

  1. Your review, and that cover, creeped me right out, in the I-have-to-buy-it-right-now kind of way.

  2. So many domestic thrillers have a supernatural or psychic element. It’s not a mashup or a crossover, exactly, it’s just interesting to see those elements creep into those stories.

    • Yup! I did want to make sure to mention it, since I saw some other reviews where people were annoyed that the supernatural popped up. And we’ve reviewed her more overtly supernatural stuff before, so we’d have a decent excuse to review this even if it didn’t have that there, so I wanted to be clear.

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