Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Review published on December 7, 2017.

This story is told through the alternating voices of Adele, a beautiful, emotionally fragile young woman who is married to David, a psychiatrist, and Louise, a single mother whose world revolves around her six-year-old son, Adam, and her part-time job in a clinic. However, a drunken kiss with a stranger in a bar changes Louise’s life when she discovers that the man is David, soon to be her new boss. When an accidental meeting with Adele develops into a friendship between the two women, without David’s knowledge, her life becomes even more complicated as, reluctant to sacrifice either relationship, she attempts to juggle both. With flashbacks to the past, this psychological thriller reveals the complicated, interdependent relationship between Adele and David and explores the increasingly complex interactions between the dysfunctional ménage a trois!

It soon became apparent that neither of the narrators was reliable and, as the story developed, I found my sympathies, and my irritations, switching between the characters. It very soon became clear that, in order to continue reading the increasingly creepy plot, I would need to suspend my disbelief and be prepared to enter into the twisted logic of the characters, rather than wanting to shout at them that straightforward honesty and transparency would resolve all their problems! Once I managed to do so I found this a reasonably entertaining, undemanding and easy to read psychological thriller (and don’t we all appreciate the occasional “comfort” read!) and thought that the author managed to keep the tension building as the lives of the three main characters slowly unravelled. There are some interesting ploys used in the storytelling, which could make this an interesting choice for reading groups.

With a challenge on the cover of the book that this would be “the most shocking ending you’ll read all year” I approached this story with a certain degree of scepticism, determined to prove the PR wrong! However, although I had guessed part of the resolution, the final twist was a surprise – but it did rely on a total suspension of disbelief of the “vehicle” which allowed for the ending!

Linda Hepworth 3/4

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
HarperCollins 9780008131999 pbk Sep 2017

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