Review: Behind Her Eyes by Sara Pinborough

Professional Reader

I received a free e-copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, Netgalley!

I know it makes no sense to begin a review with a discussion about the ending but seriously, Wft?!?

Ok, now I’ve got that off my chest…

Behind her eyes is being touted as “the next Gone Girl” (isn’t everything being touted as the next Gone Girl?) which it absolutely isn’t, but it is a very good story about a psycho wife, an edge-of-breakdown husband and a nice-but-slightly-dim friend/colleague who gets embroiled in their dysfunctional marriage. As we explore the web of lies that the couple have created, the nice-but-slightly-dim friend/colleague uncovers more and more of the truth until things eventually come to a head. At this point, I was slightly starting to lose interest – I assumed there would be some kind of showdown but ultimately things would be ok. Then the ending hit. WOAH!!!

I DID NOT EXPECT THAT!!!

Seriously, this is quite a long book and although it can be a bit dull in the middle (the wife is mad, we get it) it is so worth it to get to the ending. Trust me.

Although on paper it does sound like Gone Girl, there is nowhere near the level of climax building (is that a thing? You know what I mean) where each scene in the book is relevant, the next scene builds upon it and everything is tied up in a neat bow at the end. This is more like you have a fair idea that the wife is mad, you’re not sure about the husband, you uncover bits of the past and have an idea of what’s going on and then out of nowhere comes the ending.

I have to say that the writing in this book rambles on about inconsequential topics that I thought detracted from the pace of the novel. Things pointlessly discussed in detail included:

° the weight of the nice-but-slightly-dim friend/colleague
° the amount she drinks
° how/what/where/when/why she smokes

I also found the nice-but-slightly-dim friend/colleague a slightly annoying character at times. She could be a bit “oooh I’m fat and broke and lonely and depressed/let’s crack open another bottle of wine and have a takeaway”  Plus *spoiler alert* who makes friends with the wife of the man they’re  having an affair with? Who continues the affair even when they suspect domestic violence?

Another thing that I struggled to get to grips with initially was the idea of lucid dreaming. I won’t say too much but when it was introduced as a concept I did think that the author had taken things a step too far (although after reading the whole book I think it actually worked really well). I just felt at first that for a novel which was based firmly in the real world the use of such a bizzare idea was thrown in in a slightly clumsy way.  

However, these are minor negatives in what was otherwise a fabulous read. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more from the author.

Overall rating: 8.5/10

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