The best kinds of thrillers are the ones that play with your mind, and Sarah Pinborough definitely does that with Behind Her Eyes.
Louise is a single mom working part-time at a psychologist office when she discovers that the man she hit it off with in the bar is the new doctor–and he’s married. Louise determines to put it behind her and not give it another thought, but then David’s wife, Adele, bumps into Louise and wants to be friends. Instead of running as fast as she can, Louise lets herself get drawn deeper and deeper into the middle of David and Adele’s marriage, obsessed with uncovering the truth, because it’s very clear one or both of them have some secrets. And besides, Adele is helping Louise learn about lucid dreaming, the only solution to Louise’s night terrors.
But Louise could never imagine the truth at the core of David and Adele’s relationship, no one possibly could. Louise doesn’t realize the danger until it’s too late, and now everyone she loves could suffer for it.
I have mixed feelings about this book. First, the amount of profanity in the book was unpleasant. It wasn’t even the kind of book that it felt reasonable. It made the characters just seem course and unrefined. But then, none of the characters were the kind I could relate to anyway. It’s the kind of book you read to watch the train wreck drama unfold, not because you identify with the characters (I hope, anyway).
That said, the writing was good and Pinborough moved the story on at a quick pace. I wasn’t certain about the time jumps in the beginning, I think it’s a technique that should be used sparingly, but I think it worked to a degree in this story. My main issue with the book was that it didn’t seem like the ending was thoroughly teased throughout the book. I don’t mind if I miss all the clues, but I should be able to recall the hints woven through the book. The final twist seemed really out of the blue, blindsided me, actually. Had the book left out the final two chapters, I would have been more satisfied, and it still would have had a solid twist.
But the theme of lucid dreaming throughout the book took the story to a new level, playing a little bit with the mind, in the sense that you’re not quite sure where it leads but it’s definitely going somewhere.
All in all, it was a good book, but too many pieces were not my taste. The profanity and the condoning of affairs were major turn-offs, and I wasn’t able to really get into the rest of the story and forget about them.