Behind Her Eyes – Sarah Pinborough (Kendall Review)

Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed, award-winning, adult and YA author of over 20 novels. She is also a screenwriter who has written for the BBC and has several original television projects in development. Her latest adult novel, Behind Her Eyes (HarperCollins), is a Sunday Times best seller, promoted with a strong emphasis on a twist ending that promises to catch you out. #WTFthatending


You know when you first heard M. Night Shayamalan’s The Sixth Sense had a twist ending? It wasn’t really something you wanted to hear was it? Your viewing experience would be tainted, it would never be as the Director intended. Well, sadly for me, as well as finding out that the movie had a twist, I was even told, somewhat spitefully, what the twist was! I’ve never forgiven that person! I would never experience the  big reveal, as intended about Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis). I feel exactly the same about books, I wasn’t too keen on being told that Behind Her Eyes had a twist. But strong word of mouth, and the fact I have enjoyed some of the authors earlier work, I picked up the latest novel from Sarah Pinborough, knowing nothing but #WTFthatending. It was me against the author, was the story going to hold up to the hype of the ending? Would she be able to outfox me?

The story’s told from two perspectives, the first is Adele, the beautiful wife of David, a psychiatrist, who have moved to London for a fresh start. The second is Louise, a single mother who meets and kisses a man in a bar. She later discovers, to her horror, that the man will be her  boss in the new job she is about to start. Adele and Louise literally bump into each other one day and develop a friendship. They are so good for each other, this is the friend that Louise so desperately wanted since her marriage broke up. The problem is, Louise has continued her relationship with David, who it turns out is Adeles husband. In being friends with Adele she is now aware of problems in her marriage to David, problems that suggest David is not the man Louise thinks he is.

Saying much more will spoil the delights Sarah Pinborough has laid out for you. The writing is punchy, with short chapters that help towards the ‘just one more’ form of reading. I felt like I was on a hook, being  reeled in towards the books infamous twist, I was totally under Pinboroughs control, the books pacing was spot on. I’m delighted to say that knowing there was a twist didn’t detract from the story at all. In fact I was so engrossed in the story that the twist was almost forgotten due to what was developing on the page. As for the twist, I would be very surprised if anyone guessed the ending,  I thought I was very close at one point, but then Pinborough whipped the rug from under me, but I didn’t feel cheated, it was a proper ending, a fantastic conclusion to a wonderfully dark story of obsession. I was smiling like a lunatic as I closed the book, the ending did match up to the hype for me, Sarah Pinborough really should be applauded for that. Subtle clues litter  the book, but it’s only once finished, you can think back and reflect on how cunning Pinborough has been in creating this twisted story.

One of the best books I have read in a while.

Star Rating (out of 5): 5*****

I eagerly anticipate the next novel from Sarah Pinborough.





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