There’s something that gets me about an unreliable narrator. Whether their willfully lying, lying to themselves, or just ignorant, they have a power to take a thriller up a notch – to lead readers in the wrong direction (or multiple directions, sometimes).
I think, if we were to tell our stories, we would all be unreliable narrators. And, if I’m telling a story about someone I love, I would be an unreliable narrator. The only person who is reliable to tell a story is that person so far removed from the actual story as to be able to tell the actual truth. But that takes a lot of the fun out of a story – especially a thriller.
Sarah Pinborough’s Behind Her Eyes is one of those thrillers. Told through the eyes of Louise and Adele, you’re never quite sure of the whole truth. And that’s the fun part!
Louise is a struggling single working mom when she meets a wonderful man on a rare night out. The sparks fly, they talk, and kiss at the end of their night. Louise is sure she’s found a good one.
On Monday, she’s leaves for work excited to meet the new psychiatrist at the office where she works. But when she meets David, she realizes it’s the man she met, and he’s married.
They decide to keep it professional, put that night behind them, but she feels him watching her, all the time.
And then, out on the street, Adele. She’s new to town and really seems to need a friend. They start talking and form a sort of friendship — and then she realizes Adele is David’s wife.
Unwilling to tell David she’s befriended his wife, unable to tell Adele she has a thing for her husband, she finds herself caught between the two. Adele is the friend Louise needs, David is the man of her dreams. Through Adele, though, she starts to learn more about him, his seeming need to control their marriage and to dominate poor Adele.
But there’s so much more to it than that, as Louise learns while being drawn deeper and deeper into their marriage. Something is wrong here, and she can’t quite put her finger on it.
“It’s strange how different we all appear to who we really are.”
Until it’s too late. (And the ending is NOT what you think!)
The story is told through Louise’s open but (unknowingly) naive eyes, and also through Adele’s past and present. And everything in Behind Her Eyes is unexpected.
As the end of this book draws near, readers kind of guess what’s going to happen. And then, after that, BOOM! There are twists and then there are TWISTS!. This one is unexpected and crazy.
Behind Her Eyes is unpredictable and very engrossing. Louise’s weakness kind of drove me nuts with her weakness and gullibility, but really that drove the story.
If you’re in need of one of those books that are easy to fall into at any moment (say for the beach, a vacation, or even a rainy day), this fits the bill. But it hard to put down, so be warned!!
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Flatiron Books (January 31, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 125011117X
- ISBN-13: 978-1250111173