The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

ARC Book Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

on December 15, 2016

behindhereyes

Behind Her Eyes. Sarah Pinborough. HarperCollins. Release date: 26th January 2017.

Don’t Trust This Book

Don’t Trust These People

Don’t Trust Yourself

And whatever you do, DON’T give away that ending…

Louise

Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets…

David

Young, successful and charming – Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife…

Adele

Beautiful, elegant and sweet – Louise’s new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each, in turn, reach out to her.

But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks… Is David really is the man she thought she knew and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears?
Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?


First of all, thank you so much to Netgalley and HarperCollins for allowing me to read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’m a huge fan of Sarah Pinborough’s books, so this was always going to be an auto-buy for me, but even if I’d never heard of Sarah’s books, I don’t think I’d have been able to resist the intriguing marketing behind this one. The hashtag #WTFthatending is being used to entice readers into picking up a copy, and having finished the book, I can confirm that it more than lived up to the hype. #WTFthatending indeed.

This book is very clever because it starts out like a story you think you know… it’s all about a marriage where both parties are keeping secrets, and an outsider who becomes obsessed with uncovering them. I’ve read so many books in the ‘marriage thriller’ genre, but this book is nothing like any thriller I’ve ever read, and I guarantee that even if you think you know how it’s all gonna go down… you have NO idea. There’s an element of the supernatural about this novel which gives it a real genre-bending edge and I think a lot of people will be talking about this book in 2017.

The story is told from two perspectives – Louise’s and Adele’s. Louise is a single mother who kisses a man at a bar, only to discover a few days later that said man, David, is her new boss… her new married boss. Adele is the wife of said married boss. She’s home alone every day, and seems scared of her husband, who checks up on her twice daily, and has complete control over her finances… it’s clear there are problems in their marriage, but something doesn’t add up… why is David so controlling and overprotective over his wife, yet perfectly ready to cheat on her again and again?

As if this twisty little set of circumstances weren’t complicated enough, Adele and Louise meet one day after running into each other in the street, and, bonding over the fact that both of them suffer from night terrors, become fast friends. Louise knows she *shouldn’t* be befriending the wife of the man she is desperately trying to pretend she doesn’t want, but she can’t help herself. The beautiful, vulnerable Adele intrigues her – she wants to get to know her, and find out more about her marriage to David. But she was also wants to sleep with David, so let’s be honest, it’s not the ideal bestie-making situation.

I didn’t always find Louise likeable, but there were definitely moments when I empathised her. Mostly I wanted to shake her because she was getting herself into such a cringe-makingly awful mess of a situation, and I literally couldn’t understand how somebody could be so freaking stupid… especially considering the worrying things she learns about David from Adele. Why would you want to hook up with someone like that? Nevertheless, I felt sorry for her in some ways; she was lonely, and it was easy to see why she found the idea of giving up either of them painful, once she was in too deep to wriggle out.

I felt that Louise’s narration was the most honest – she was flawed, but she recognised that about herself, and although she was keeping secrets from Adele and David, I trusted the things she was telling *me* as the reader. Adele was a far more tricky character to figure out – I always felt there were things she was holding back from me, that she wasn’t presenting the whole truth. Despite her slipperiness, I felt sorry for her too – she was fragile and, let’s be frank, her husband was A GINORMOUS ARSEHOLE.

The mystery of Adele and David’s weird marriage kept me turning the pages like crazy – like Louise, I was OBSESSED with finding out what the hell was wrong with these people. The way they interacted with each other was very strange indeed, and I knew there was something *more* going on than what could be seen from the surface… I could see that there was something sinister about their marriage, and I could see that David was a controlling, and potentially abusive, husband, but I couldn’t figure out his motivations… he didn’t seem to love Adele, or have any regard for her feelings, so it could hardly be jealousy that was driving his behaviour… Trust me when I say that there’s no way I could have figured out what their crazy deal was, and I highly doubt you will either.

The ending of this book honestly left me speechless. The #WTFthatending promise really played me, because I got to an extremely WTF moment with only a few pages to go, and I was thinking “OMG! Genius! Totally lived up to the hype!” and then, turning the page, I realised that I’d been fooled – it hadn’t been *the* WTF moment – and I was promptly bowled over by a veritable avalanche of WTFery because…. WTF, THAT ENDING?!!!?!!! It wasn’t predictable in the slightest, and that final twist was one of the best and most original thriller endings I’ve ever read. Five stars for this one! Please go out and buy it; I’m dying to talk to someone about it!!

Have you read any of Sarah Pinborough’s books? What are your favourite thrillers?

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10 responses to “ARC Book Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

  1. Sarah Pinborough is a goddess. That said, I loved your review and I HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK! Omg, it sounds the perfect thriller!!!! ❤

    • mudandstars says:

      Aww thank you so much 🙂 She is indeed a Goddess! I need to read more of her books soon. Yesss it was so good, and the ending was so unexpected and brilliant! I think you’d really enjoy it, especially as it has more of a supernatural edge.

  2. Ah wow this sounds so intriguing- I really wanna pick it up!! I am so interested cos this concept sounds incredible and super weird (i’m already perplexed about that marriage!) So glad it lived up to the hype! I love a good ending!! Definitely want to read this one!!

  3. Blinding review, Jess! Literally agree with everything you’ve said about this book – it really was total WTFery haha.

    Also, I this line made me laugh out loud, because that is exactly how I felt hahaha: “Despite her slipperiness, I felt sorry for her too – she was fragile and, let’s be frank, her husband was A GINORMOUS ARSEHOLE.”

    Can’t wait to read some more Pinborough in 2017! x

    • mudandstars says:

      Ahhh thanks so much Sammie! 🙂 Have you read any other books with very WTF endings? I need more in my life! Haha, he really was a ginormous arsehole. Despite everything, there was no excuse for his ginormous arseholery really! I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next – I’ve definitely added her to my auto-buy author list! xx

  4. […] review of Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough because I’m dying for you guys to pre-order this book! I DESPERATELY need to talk about that […]

  5. […] I love Sarah Pinborough, but what made me stop and look at this particular book was Jess’, from the Mud and Stars, terrific review for it! NOW I MUST KNOW THE […]

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