Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Book Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

(Click on 'Buy' to buy your own Kindle copy. Click on 'Preview' to read the first chapter)

Book: Behind Her Eyes

Author: Sarah Pinborough 

Pages: 384 

Read: On my Kindle 

Read in: 3.5 hours 

Publisher: HarperCollins 

Plot Summary: Don’t Trust This Book. Don’t Trust These People. Don’t Trust Yourself. 
And whatever you do, DON’T give away that ending…

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…
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…
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?

Things I Liked:
1. This book is very, very hyped all over Goodreads, BookTube and generally everywhere. It is supposed to have, what is being marketed as, #WTFThatEnding and everyone seemed to be gushing about. So, of course, I had to buy the book! And, to be fair, the premise is also quite interesting. A couple with secrets and an outsider, who finds herself pulled into their messy life. Plus, the promise of a shocking ending.. what is not to like?! 

2. The book has chapters from  Louise and Adele's perspectives. It also has chapters going back to Adele's past- to her life in her parents' estate and her time at a clinic post the death of her parents, where we get to see glimpses into her friendship with Rob. So, you get to see both their perspectives and pretty much see Louise walking into Adele's trap. Though, you don't fully know what her trap is! 

3. The ending is unexpected and surprising! I have mixed feelings about it.. on the one hand, I am impressed that the ending is un-guessable but, on the other hand, the ending is so, so, so, way out there that the mind boggles at how odd it is! 

Things I Didn't Like: 
1. This is a very pointlessly verbose book. There are pages and pages of Louise wondering about this-and-that and Adele musing to herself about the trap that she is setting for Louise without giving anything away. A lot of vague posting, if you will. This book could've benefitted from sharper editing. I skipped through loads of such random pages because they were not taking me anywhere. 

2. Neither Adele nor Louise nor David are really likeable. Of the three, one feels slightly bad for David because he seems truly trapped living with a sociopath like Adele, but even then not too much. I like to have at least one likeable if not relatable character in my books. It is difficult to connect with the book or care about the ultimate outcome if you don't really care about any of the characters. 

3. There is a huge supernatural/ paranormal twist in this book. Now, when I pick up a psychological thriller, I don't much care for poorly explained paranormal elements in it. The author does not build a convincing case for employing this paranormal ability in this book and she fails to do a convincing job of explaining how the real killer/big bad managed to turn not one but two of his/her victims into people who could also do what he/she can do. It is a bit of a huge leap and one that I was not too happy to take. I am afraid I can't say any more here because I will be spoiling a big plot twist as well as almost spoiling the ending! 

4. Speaking of which, the ending left me reeling but not in a good way! Look, I love a good twist and an unpredictable ending as much as the next person. Also, being an avid crime/thriller reader, there are very few endings that shock or surprise me. So, the author gets points for pulling this totally unexpected ending off.. but this ending came out of nowhere! It is almost like someone decides to announce a totally peripheral character as the killer! That can be done. It is unexpected but it is a cop-out and a lazy author's way out. I was not impressed. 

Rating: 3/5 
This is a well-written book and loads of people love the twist in the end. So, read it.. maybe you'll enjoy it? If you do, let us know :) 

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