Sep 16 2018

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

About 60% of the way through this book, I thought, “Wtf, this isn’t going to be about what I think it is, is it?” and then it fucking was. And while I was okay with the events that led to the book garnering its own #WTFThatEnding, I was legitimately pissed with how the book has been marketed as a “suspenseful psychological thriller.” That is utter bollocks. This book is a “suspenseful paranormal thriller” and to conflate parapsychology with psychology is some nonsense that the marketing team should be deeply ashamed of.

And I admit that I was pretty annoyed that I’d gone into this book thinking I was about to get some sweet Gone Girl type action, only to find out this was essentially a horror novel, complete with supernatural shenanigans. And I quite enjoy horror novels with supernatural shenanigans, but not when they’re sold to me as murderous domestic dramas at the outset. I need to know to expect a deus ex machina going into the book, else there’ll be some serious side eye going on at the sudden corruption of the fictional universe’s logic.

Anyway, as a horror novel, it’s quite good. Behind Her Eyes is told from shifting perspectives. First, there’s Louise, the unhappy single mom who drunkenly kisses a man in a pub only to discover the next day that he’s her new boss. Second, there’s her new boss David, whose obviously unhappy marriage hides a wealth of dark secrets. And third there’s his wife Adele, whose love for her husband will push her to terrible lengths.

I actually really enjoyed the ending, once I’d gotten over my disappointment that this wasn’t a novel firmly grounded in measured reality. I just really hope Adam escapes somehow (she says, suspensefully.)

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