Behind Her Eyes

by Sarah Pinborough

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LoveReading Expert Review of Behind Her Eyes

One of Our Books of the Year 2017 |   Oh my word, this book is devious, twisted, and an absolute knockout! The story, revolving around love, passion, suspicion, and deceit, kept me teetering on a razor sharp wire of uncertainty. Sarah Pinborough’s writing is sublime, it’s shrewd, artful, cunning, and as the story sucked me in, I felt the manipulation of the words warping and writhing as they entered my consciousness. I found myself sitting in stunned silence when I reached the very end, then wanted to jump and down and recommend ‘Behind Her Eyes’ to the world. Start reading just as soon as you can so you too, can experience the deep, dark, dangerous depths of this truly bone-chilling and wonderful novel. Make sure you enter with a clear mind, and try not to get too confident as the story will quite happily trip you up and stamp all over you. Sarah Pinborough, I salute you! ~ Liz Robinson


The considerable buzz building around Pinborough's new novel (following the already mightily impressive The Death House and 13 Minutes) is led not only from her respective publishers' camp but also, more importantly, from advance readers, and is fully deserved. This could well become a massive commercial success along the lines of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train and it held me in thrall from beginning to end. The tale of a dark, puzzling and twisted affair that goes horribly wrong for, seemingly, all parties, it's unpredictable, tricky, immediate, gut-gripping and difficult to summarise without giving out any of the shattering spoilers and seduces like no other, with viewpoints changing in front of your eyes as you turn the page, putting all you've read before into question in a most clever way, sowing constant seeds of doubt the moment you begin to identify with one of the characters and sympathise with them. Imaginatively wicked, ingenious, and 'that' ending will leave you open-mouthed. ~ Maxim Jakubowski

Maxim Jakubowski

Behind Her Eyes Synopsis

Don't trust this book. Don't trust this story. Don't trust yourself. 'Sarah Pinborough is about to become your new obsession' Harlan Coben. David and Adele seem like the ideal pair. He's a successful psychiatrist, she is his picture-perfect wife who adores him. But why is he so controlling? And why is she keeping things hidden? As Louise, David's new secretary, is drawn into their world, she uncovers more puzzling questions than answers. The only thing that is crystal clear is that something in this marriage is very, very wrong. But Louise can't guess how wrong - and how far someone might go to protect their marriage's secrets. 'The most unsettling thriller of the year...Read it now before someone spoils the end for you' John Connolly

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780008131999
Publication date: 1st September 2017
Author: Sarah Pinborough
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 384 pages
Primary Genre Thriller and Suspense
Other Genres:
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Behind Her Eyes Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

A very credible thriller with THE most incredible finale. Remarkable story telling.

Louise has ‘history’ with her new (and married) boss, David. They had met at a bar and drank but separated at the end of the night...just. Neither knew that just days later he would enter into her life again, this time as her direct manager. And then a second meeting occurs which truly throws her life upside down and roundabout. Adele is David’s wife. Louise knew this prior to literally bumping into Adele in the street having dropped her 6 year old son off at school. What seemed to have been an innocent meeting (Adele not admitting initially that she knows her husband is Louise’s boss) turns out to be the start of a second secret she needs to keep. The first is the subsequent affair she has with David and the second is the keeping hidden from him her blossoming friendship with Adele.

What unites Louise and Adele is their mutual difficulty in sleeping as they are both haunted by distressing and recurring nightmares which lead to nights of insomnia. However, Adele’s experiences were in her past and she is able to help

Louise overcome the nightmares and sleep the sleep of a child. It is when Louise begins to learn something of the very less than apparent idyllic marriage of David and Adele that she finds she cannot simply abandon either of them and determines to find out the truth. And only in the very final few pages does that incredible truth present itself.

Phylippa Smithson

Wow!! I don't think I have ever read a book that has took me on so many twists and turns. The ending will knock your socks off. This is one of the best books I have read for a long time.

The ending will knock your socks off, as I know you will not be expecting it. The characters are really well written and draw you in to believe them. The story has so many twists and turns but you will work with it and you will think the same as me I'm sure that Adele is the down trodden wife that needs saving.

Maz Tucker

‘Behind Her Eyes’ is a deep, intense and disturbing psychological thriller that will grip you from the beginning to the completely unexpected and shocking ending.

‘Behind Her Eyes’ brings you on an emotional rollercoaster as you are drawn into the lives of the book's central characters and the love triangle that is central to the plot.

 Louise is a bored, divorced secretary with a young son. She meets a man in a bar who turns out to be her new boss. David is unhappily married to Adele who is portrayed in the book as completely dysfunctional. The story skips back and forth in time, filling the reader in on their past lives. Adele befriends Louise who she bumps into when she was out walking. All however is not what it seems. Rose wants to tell David about their friendship but she stays quiet and starts to have doubts about him based on what Adele is telling her. It all leads to an inevitably disastrous conclusion with an ending that few if any readers could guess. Overall an engaging read but I would have preferred a different ending.

Adrienne Kinsella

An amazing novel. Brilliant and original storytelling. The Novel of the year for me!!!

I am so pleased that I was asked to review this novel. I fell into the story with relish right from the very start. The story is a little like ‘Gone Girl’ in that you are hearing two sides and not knowing which side to take, with the added bonus of a third person in the middle of the two protagonists. For a while you wonder who is manipulating who and your sympathies bounce between the characters! The addition of a supernatural twist only serves to enhance the story and the ending is totally unexpected and an absolute delight. I loved this novel and cannot recommend it highly enough. Absolutely brilliant, original storytelling. 

Michelle Hodson

A psychological thriller - two women, one man, and a big secret. Or so you think. You are not sure who is good and who is bad. Keeps you guessing right until the end.

A psychological thriller - two women, one man, and a big secret. Or so you think. You are not sure who is good and who is bad, or even who is who, really. You think you have it worked out it then you will be ""wrong-footed"" - again. I'm not quite sure about the ending though. I felt a bit longer could have been spent on the denouement, it seemed a bit rushed after drawing you in so cleverly - but despite that it was an enjoyable page-turner, and well worth a read. 

Maureen Gourlay

What can I say about a book that just blows you away? I was stunned by the ending, and it gave me chills. This is one of those books you’ll want to shout about from the rooftops!!

Louise a single mum, is in need of a job, and by what she thinks is luck, finds a job as a secretary for a psychiatrist. Her joy however is short lived, as when she arrives there and is introduced to David she realises he is the guy from the other night, the one she kissed, and that is married to Adele, a woman of outstanding beauty (well in Louise's eyes). David soon puts Louise's fears away, tells her to forget it, nothing happened, so no point in worrying. Soon however Louise is drawn into David and Adele's world, and what a world it is! Something is wrong, very wrong with their marriage. Why does he have to ring Adele at the same time, every day? Why doesn't she have friends and what is the hold she has over David? The blurb says, not to trust the book, the story, or yourself and believe me, that blurb is correct.

Angela Rhodes

Fast paced read with a killer twist.

 I will start off by saying that overall I didn't like this at all. That's not to say it isn't a good book, it just isn't too my taste. The characters are well developed through the story and the twist at the end was quite clever.

 It was fast paced enough to keep my interest I just feel this genre of books had been a little over done recently. 

I didn't appreciate the amount of swearing in the book, you can convey a message without bad language but again that is just my opinion. 

Rebecca Whymark

was well written and the final chapters left me quite unsettled.

I was really looking forward to reading this book and expected it to be a real page turner. The first chapters introduce the characters along with a hint of the malice to come. However I began to get bored with the book and my expectation of being unable to put it down was more to do with wanting to finish quickly so I could get on with a book I would enjoy. I found the characters lacked depth, the action took part in too short a timescale to be believable and I kept getting lost in the convoluted plot. When the ending came I found it hard to suspend my disbelief as I thought I was reading a psychological thriller and was surprised to find it was clearly meant to be fantasy. Nevertheless, the book was well written and the final chapters left me quite unsettled so I was glad I was reading it in the daytime as opposed to before going to sleep. It may well be that this just not my kind of book and I am sure that Sarah Pinborough's fans will love it. 

Pauline Braisher

Well I didn't see the ending of this novel coming. Great Storytelling!

Well I certainly won’t be giving away the ending in my review. I didn’t see it coming. Such good storytelling from Sarah Pinborough had me totally up the wrong path. It is such a compelling read, dark and often disturbing in places, it is driven along by the strong characters Louise, David and Adele. They are well written, well rounded, and come alive on the page. Although I wouldn’t really want any of them as my close friends I felt I really got to know them as the story progressed, they became friends of a sort, and drew you into their story. They are all individuals, have their own story to tell and they story they build together. Secrets and twists, grim atmosphere, a real page turner. You are sucked in really quickly and once there you will stay with it until the end. A great absorbing read! 

Barbara Goldie

Wow, fabulous read! Extremely well written and a story which will stay with you long after you've finished reading.

Excellent fast paced story by Sarah Pinborough! Louise is mixed up in the lives of married couple Adele and David and as the story progresses, it becomes more disturbing and almost haunting at parts. What will happen to Louise? This is a fantastic story and one which I devoured in a few days. It's difficult to put down as you get drawn into the tangle of lies and deceit. Thoroughly enjoyable read which I would recommend. 

Gemma Niven

Wow what a story and what an ending!! A brilliantly written thriller mystery story.

I wasn't sure how I felt about the story as I was reading it, as there was lots of secrets between the characters and I wasn't sure where the author was going with it. There was also a supernatural element to the story which I'm not used to but once I finished the book I realised that I had enjoyed it, especially the ending. I will definitely be recommending to others.

Kathryn Whitfield

I could not function till that book was finished. Highly addictive to say the least.

‘Behind her Eyes’ had me on edge the whole entire time. I could not function till that book was finished. Highly addictive to say the least. 

On the front cover it says: Don't trust this book. Don't trust this story. Don’t trust yourself. I don't know what else to say. That should sell it to you straight away. 



A well written novel and the ending will leave you slightly incredulous. You would never see this coming. 4 stars.

Louise meets a man in a bar and ends up in his hotel room but then he walks out before the actual event the next day she discovers he is her new boss! David and Adele seem to have the perfect marriage. but he appears to very controlling and Louise meets up with her and they have coffee together. but Adele tells her not to tell David both of them seem to have secrets and troubled pasts and Louise is torn between one and the other. Who is telling the truth and can she do anything to help or save them? Also are events happening pure co-incidence? 

Told in alternating chapters from Louise and Adele plus the odd chapter into the past to be honest I would have preferred a bit more conversation and less narrative as that way you really get into the characters. Also the odd chapter written by David would help. 

Bev Farningham

A deliciously intriguing but unusual psychological thriller that will keep you wondering throughout just who is telling the truth and what on earth is going on. Who will you believe?

When Louise meets a man in a bar she has no idea that he will be her new boss. She also has no conception as to the extent that she will be involved in his life and marriage. When I first started reading ‘Behind Her Eyes’, I imagined it would be the standard psychological thriller with unlikeable characters and a toxic marriage. However this book is far from being ‘ordinary’. The excellent characterisation, the cleverly structured plot moving between past and present whilst drip-feeding information, the deceit and manipulations; all is done so well that I guarantee you will be truly confused as to who, if anyone, is the victim. Adele and David give every impression of having the perfect marriage – they are well off financially, she is beautiful, he has a successful career and life appears to be good. 

However, we are given hints and teases that something bad has happened in the past that continues to spread its malicious tentacles over the present time. Meanwhile Louise has a lonely and uneventful life, divorced from her cheating ex, the one constant in her life is her young son but he is growing older and one day she will be left on her own. Told from the dual perspectives of Adele and Louise, this is one heck of a twisted and intriguing read. For much of the time I honestly didn’t know who to believe and what to think. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but this book will really tie you in knots. And as for that ending – well there is a reason why it has been given the hashtag #WTFthatending! You wait and see. 

Karen Cocking

A well-written psychological thriller, with well-written characters. To be recommended, but be warned you need to concentrate to keep up with the story.

I thought this was a gripping and intriguing book. I liked the way the characters had their own chapters and continued the story through these and it kept the intrigue until the end as to who was behind it all. This added to the build-up.

 The story centres on three individuals. Adele, who is married to David and Louise who works for David. But, David doesn’t know his wife and employee are friends. This is when the complications really start. They all have flaws and have a past and it is hard to work out who is most flawed.

 The ending is definitely a surprise but an acceptable twist. I have to admit to reading the ending again to get my head around it, but did on the second attempt. It wasn’t what I was expecting! 

Helen Lowry

Stunning and compelling, this book will get under your skin and leave you reeling. Get your hands on a copy of this ASAP. You won’t be disappointed.

Oh, this is good. This is really good. ‘Behind Her Eye’s will drag you in at the outset and spit you out 373 pages later. Your head will reel with questions for the entire time as you try to figure out what’s really going on between the three main characters, what Adele is up to and just how she knows what she does. Why would she want to break the husband she loves so much? Why is she driving him away? What is truly going on in their marriage and who is the real victim there? Is Adele really as weak as she seems or is she in fact manipulating everyone around her? And where does Louise come into it all. Why befriend her? Why groom her to be a better version of herself, in fact, why help her at all? And then there’s the dreams. Surreal and intriguing they add a whole new dimension to the story but exactly where will they lead? With each snippet of information the balance of power shifts subtly as the story develops and that unsettling feeling of menace grows. Events and flashbacks drip feed us with just enough information to keep us guessing and the characters are perfectly woven into each other. This is going to be on your mind for the entire time you are reading it and for a long time after too. Savour the process and try not to devour it in one sitting as you’ll miss out on the pleasure of mulling it over in the gaps. You can’t give too much away here and you really wouldn’t want to, it would destroy the experience of this whole roller coaster ride. Suffice to say you need to get your hands on a copy of this ASAP. You won’t be disappointed. 

Sarah Harper

Truly Exciting I could not have possibly anticipated the craziness of this book. I was blown away, the twists were still coming up until the final page. You truly can't trust this book.

A domestic thriller- one that will keep you on your toes. I will keep my review short because I wouldn't dream of giving even the smallest spoiler... 

You truly can't trust this book. It will test the judgement of even the 'least likely to be surprised - the most prepared readers.' A slight spoiler (I couldn't resist!)...

 I'm usually not too keen on completely outrageous endings but because I've recently been watching the Canadian TV show, Travelers (I'm a huge fan!), I didn't mind it so much.

Sarah Nina

This is one of the best psychological thrillers I have read this year. A corkscrew of a thriller is the best way I can describe this book. You will not want to put it down.

An attractive single mother, Louise is on the lookout for that 'special' someone when she meets a man in a bar who she really fancies and who seems to fancy her, after all he kissed her didn't he? Unable to get him out of her mind, she goes to work the next day and discovers the man from the bar is her new boss, and he's married.

 David and Adele seem to be the ideal couple, they have money, good looks and everything going for them, but why is Adele frightened of her husband? And why is David drinking every night instead of going home to his beautiful wife? Louise knows she should stay out of their marriage, but she is attracted to David and drawn to the fragile Adele. What is going on in their marriage, and why can't she keep away from both of them? 

I was blown away by this book. This is one of the best psychological thrillers I have read this year. Just when you think you have the whole thing sussed, your hit sideways on by another twist, and each twist is more twisted than the first. Let’s just say I didn't see the ending coming, and I’m still thinking about it.

Teresa O'Halloran

I quickly learned that the cover of this book pretty much tells you what to expect from this story, untrustworthy narrators with plenty of mystery too! Ahhhhh I loved it!

The story is based mostly around three people, Adele, David and Louise. Adele and David are married and Louise works for David who is a doctor. That is a tiny fraction of the amount of connections these people have to each other, some connections are even unknown to them. This book plays with your mind character is particularly manipulative and that really messes with how much is true in the plot, but you keep reading because you are not sure if you are right and it's so frickin good! 

This story has one jaw dropping twist at the end that left me stunned and going OMG!  

Edel Waugh

The intrigue, tension, suspense and the mind-blowing ending left this the best novel I have read in a long time. I cannot praise this novel highly enough and would like to congratulate the author on a well written fantastic story-line.

My first impression of this title was weird, my second impression was its wonderfully weird and from there I was hooked. It’s a rare novel which keeps you guessing and then second guessing every time you turn a page and this is exactly what was happening for me. The intrigue, tension, suspense and the mind-blowing ending left this the best novel I have read in a long time. I particularly loved the skilful yet subtle manipulation of the reader to feel pity and hurt and how creatively written the role of Louise which she portrayed as both good and bad, the mistress and yet the friend. ‘Behind Her Eyes’ is a fantastically dark, yet romantic thriller which kept me guessing right to the very end and then blew me away, such a twist. 

Melanie Kane

Sarah Pinborough Press Reviews

'Lean and mean, dark and disturbing, this is the kind of novel that takes over your life. Sarah Pinborough slays'
Joe Hill

'A dark, electrifying page-turner with a corker of an ending'
Harlan Coben

'Just when you think you've nailed it, Pinborough pulls the rug out from underneath you'
Sam Baker

'If BEHIND HER EYES isn't the thriller of the year, there is no justice. Hugely entertaining, utterly compelling and the ending will leave you reeling'
Sarah Lotz

'Masterful writing that crackles with tension, before detonating that ending'
Angela Clarke

'Twisty and twisted. Jealousy, lies, betrayal, guilt, toxic spouses, madness. They're all in here.'
Adam Nevill

'Sarah Pinborough is a literary chameleon of astonishing power and grace'
Neil Gaiman

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780008131999
Publication date: 01/09/2017
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780008131968
Publication date: 26/01/2017
Format: Hardback

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About Sarah Pinborough

Sarah Pinborough is a successful, critically acclaimed novelist and screenw riter. She has written a YA trilogy, The Now here Chronicles, under the pen name Sarah Silverwood; she has written for the BBC series NEW TRICKS; her The Dog-Faced Gods trilogy has been optioned for a television series and she has a horror film, CRACKED, currently in development. She has also turned her pen to short stories and novellas, winning the BRITISH FANTASY AW ARD for Best Short Story in 2009 and the BRITISH FANTASY AWARD for Best Novella in 2010 (for The Language of the Dying). She lives in London, and ...

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