Cross Her Heart

Audiobook edition released 17/05/2018

by Sarah Pinborough

Thriller and Suspense Audiobooks of the Month Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Crime and Mystery eBooks of the Month

LoveReading Expert Review of Cross Her Heart

 Lisa has a sixteen-year old daughter Ava.  They are close.  She has one good friend, a work colleague, Marilyn.  These three are our narrators with a few media and legal commentaries interwoven between them.  It is a tale that shifts back and forth in time.  Lisa has a dreadful secret that emerges when Ava saves a toddler’s life and the press move in.  Ava then turns against her mother and we, the reader, get some of Lisa’s horrific childhood along with a whole lot of red herrings.  The novel is full of nasty things happening to defenceless people.  With false leads and trails with many twists and turns to keep you guessing, it has a pretty dramatic plot – very disturbing.


Hardback Review

Sarah Broadhurst

Cross Her Heart Synopsis

SOMEONE IS LIVING A LIE... BUT WHO? Is it Lisa? Haunted by a tragic past, all Lisa wants is a quiet life with her daughter, Ava. And when she meets a new man, things seem to be falling into place. But Lisa is hiding a secret so momentous it could shatter her entire world... Is it Ava? When sixteen-year-old Ava saves a young boy's life, she becomes a local hero. But never in a million years could she have anticipated the fallout of her actions... Is it Marilyn? Marilyn has the perfect life. Her husband, her job, her house-she seems to have it all. But she could never admit to her best friend Lisa the lies she tells herself to get through the day... One moment will change these three women's lives forever. And the secrets they've been keeping could destroy them all.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780008132057
Publication date: 17th May 2018
Author: Sarah Pinborough
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Format: Audiobook
Primary Genre Thriller and Suspense
Other Genres:
Win a Brilliant Orenda Book Bundle!

Win a Brilliant Orenda Book Bundle!

Closing date: 30/09/2021

We're teaming up once again with Orenda to offer another brilliant book giveaway! This book bundle will include some of their latest releases from July to September. A fantastic opportunity to stock your bookshelves. The titles up for grabs are: The Beresford by Will Carver - Published 22nd July Girls Who Lie by Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir - Published 22nd July No Honour by Awais Khan - Published 19th August The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone - Published 19th August Black Reed Bay by Rod Reynolds - Published 2nd September This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 30th September 2021. Please ensure that the details you use to enter the competition will be correct at the time the competition ends. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

Enter Now

Like For Like Featured Books

Mortal Remains
Say Goodbye
Six Seconds

Cross Her Heart 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.

I was engrossed all the way through this book, and I am so glad I got the chance to read it. I have not read a book like this before, I honestly can't explain how much I enjoyed this! I loved this book and would recommend it!

Cross Her Heart has 3 main characters, Lisa, Ava and Marilyn who tell their own story. This book swaps from character to character, but manages to do this so well. To begin with, we get to know the characters, then slowly the secrets start to come out as we learn more. - cross her heart and hope to die is the main story line. 


As we learn more about these secrets these three characters keep, the book then dives into the pasts of one of these characters. This flashback makes you understand the story and what the character has been through to make them what they are today. At first I didn't really take to Marilyn but by the end she was definitely my favourite character in this book, and I thought she was amazing and so strong. These secrets are horrifying and I honestly had no idea what to think.


This book is very well-written. Everytime I thought I had guessed what was going on, there was another twist. This book is full of twists and turns and definitely had me on my toes near the end. The tension was so high and I could not put this book down, because I needed to know what was happening. I tried to guess the ending so many times: who was lying and who was telling the truth? But I honestly had no idea of what the outcome could be. The ending, had me gobsmacked but at the same time I was so relieved.


 When I had finished, I was quite gutted as I just enjoyed it too much that I wanted it to carry on. Sometimes I find that the ending of can be disappointing. However, with this one I can totally say was the opposite. I will definitely be on the lookout for more books from this author.

Britteny Sutcliffe

A gripping thriller with excellent female characters, I found this book extremely hard to put down and enjoyed every page.

I have loved everything that Sarah Pinborough has written for adults and I marvel at the fact that she can turn her hand to a variety of genres with such fantastic results. This book is intelligent, well characterised and extremely hard to put down. I was intrigued by all the layers in the story and enjoyed learning about Lisa, Sharon, Charlotte and Katie. This will appeal to anyone who has enjoyed thrillers by B A Paris, Clare Mackintosh and Sabine Durrant. Highly recommended and thank you to LoveReading and the publisher for the opportunity to enjoy this book ahead of its release.

Jennifer Stoddart

This is a psychological thriller in which secrets from the past come back to destroy the present, with devastating results.

I thought this psychological thriller started better than it finished. At first, I found it really absorbing and was enjoying getting to know the main characters. The story features Lisa, her teenage daughter Ava, and her best friend and work colleague Marilyn, who are all concealing secrets, particularly Lisa, who has a secret from her past which eventually blows apart her present. 

However, as the story progressed I felt it became too far fetched to be credible and I found myself losing interest. I did like the way the book was constructed, with short chapters that enticed you to read ‘just one more’, but on the whole I felt it promised more than it delivered.

Doreen McKeown

A lot of contemporary issues with a twisting and unpredictable plot which is very readable. I think it will attract a much wider readership than the traditional crime fiction lover.

Sarah Pinborough is very good at pulling in the reader. This is a thought provoking and contemporary crime novel that deals with current social themes. In particular the author engages with a cross section of situations, places and characters so the story becomes gripping. The writer also writes for young adults and she is very good at conveying the thoughts and motivations of sixteen year old Ava, Lisa's daughter in a way that seems completely realistic and with no sense of artificiality. The writing is brutally honest as it describes the situation of single mother Lisa and daughter Ava, and also of Marilyn, Lisa's friend. All have secrets which they conceal from each other. The story is told through multiple voices including Lisa, Ava, Lisa's friend Marilyn etc, so there are continually fresh perspectives. A fast moving novel which I strongly recommend.

Maxine Broadbent

A gripping thriller that leaves you thinking about this story long after you finish it.

Firstly I must say I absolutely loved Sarah Pinborough’s  first novel, I was so excited to read her next....

A thriller told through the eyes of a mother, her daughter and the mothers best friend.  Tensions build through a series of events, and flashbacks, lies and secrets.  I don't want to ruin anything.  The story line is well thought through and quite complex in parts.  Some trademark great plot twists and a satisfying conclusion.  I did feel the main villains character wasn't that 'believable'. But...

I can't wait for her next book!

Alison Greenacre

An un-put-downable book! Who is telling the truth? Who is lying? This story will definitely pull at your heart-strings!

Wow! You won’t want to put this book down! A brilliantly told story of the lives of two women and those around them. You will empathise totally whilst following the twists and turns of the past and present. It’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to work out the ending before you get there…..but who is telling the truth? Who is telling a lie? No-one? Everyone?

Some parts will make you sad – some parts might make you angry – but there is no doubt whatsoever that you will read every page wanting to know what happens next!

E.A Rhodes

Intriguing but not sure it is going to wow those in search of a different kind of thriller from the book and e-book shelves. But it’s still worth reading.

This is a story about everyday people with everyday secrets. We all have them right? Secrets that we think just cannot be revealed? But for the main characters, their secrets they believe to be too unfathomably dangerous to reveal. If they did it would tarnish forever what those around them think of them – or so they think.

 We know Lisa, single Mum of Ava, is hiding from her past – physically and emotionally. It’s blatant in ‘her’ chapters (one of the strengths of this book is how each chapter is written through the eyes of one of the characters). 16 year old Ava too has a ‘blatant’ secret which she wants hidden as she seeks her independence from her clinging Mum. 

 And, Marilyn, best friend of Lisa has a secret which whilst not so obvious, it’s there.

 Switching between the now and before, the secrets slowly reveal themselves yet somehow I found myself not getting hooked. Yes there were twists and turns but I was not super interest in the path taken to get to the answers, or what the answers were.

 If you are looking for a comfortable and easy read with a touch of intrigue, then look out for this one on those book and e-book shelves. If not, look for something different.

Phylippa Smithson

I really enjoyed this story despite a slightly subdued beginning. By the end I was riveted and could not put the book down.

By the end I was riveted and could not put the book down as I wanted to know what happened. I would love to read some more from this author.    


This is a story that will keep you on your toes throughout. Nothing is what it seems at first and it ended up being quite a different story to what I thought it would be at the beginning. At the start it appears to be well written but predictable but as the book goes on there are plenty of twists that you do not see coming.     


The main character, Lisa, is likeable even though we know she has a murky past. Her daughter, Ava, sounds just like mine who is the same age so whilst she seems naïve she’s plausible. Marilyn sometimes felt like she was too much in control to be true but she gradually shows up as being more realistic. Definitely recommended.

Nicola Lowes

Makes you wonder who you can trust, excellent psychological thriller with plenty of twists. A great Holiday Read! Highly recommended.

I am a fan of Sarah Pinborough and loved her first book and this didn’t disappoint.  Cross Her Heart is a well executed psychological thriller. It's one of those books that slowly draws you in. The tension builds until you have to know how it's all going to end and with plenty of twists. A story of secrets and lies which always make for a good read. It makes you wonder who you can really trust. 


Lisa, a single mother, is living with 16-year-old daughter Ava who like many teenagers feels over protected by her mother and wants  her independence.  Mother Lisa has a secret past and  has good reason to keep a watchful eye over her daughter.    The past remains buried until  strange coincidences start to occur, and  Lisa is terrified her past is catching up. Lisa is a damaged soul who has successfully rebuilt her life. She has everything going for her but  her past is always there; a constant reminder of her guilt.  


I loved the “then and now style of the book”  switching between narrators and keeping me continuously guessing until the end.    Overall, it was a very good read and has made me want to seek out more books by this author.  Highly recommended for a good holiday read & can't wait for the next one.   

Nicola Cooper

You will not be able to put this one down.

I was really surprised with this book, but in a good way. Once you really got into the first few chapters it completely stole my attention and I had to find out how this was going to end. 

This writer is brilliant at keeping the reader guessing and I would definitely recommend this to someone.

Laura Rowland

Even more twisty, turny and gasp inducing than 'Behind her eyes'...never thought it would be possible to top it but 'Cross her Heart' totally did!

Sarah Pinborough follows her huge success,'Behind her eyes' with 'Cross her heart',a triple female narrative wherein the main character is Lisa, her best friend is Marilyn and her teen daughter is Ava. 

The cover is intriguing and immediately has you reading with a 'Wait for it...wait for it...' sense of anticipation but even as the short chapters keep the pace flying you still have no idea what to expect.

Who is stalking Lisa? What secrets are buried in the seemingly perfect marriage of Marilyn? Who is the text happy boyfriend of Ava, why does she feel so connected to him that she is prepared to meet him, alone, and keep him a secret to all who love her?

Where will all these stories intersect and implode? Hold on for a very bumpy, exhilarating ride!


Rachel Bridgeman

WOW!!! I Have never read any books by Sarah Pinborough before but this is the first time and I absolutely loved it.

Loved all the characters, they all have a secret but whose will be the biggest secret to come out. 

Once you pick this book up you won’t want to put it down, I read this book very late into the night when I could find the time, as other commitments had to take priority, but if I had time to read this book without stopping I think I would have easily finished in a couple of days. Definitely worth reading and am recommending to anyone who asks me what thriller books are worth reading. I will also definitely be reading more books by this author very soon hopefully.


More twists and turns than the San Bernardino pass! A thriller that won't disappoint.

I don't actually want to say too much about the plot as it is difficult to do so without giving the story away. There are 3 strong female leads, each with secrets and lies that threaten to destroy them. Nothing is quite as it seems and the surprises keep on coming in this real page-turner of a thriller. I absolutely loved it and romped through reading it. Absolutely brilliant from page 1!

Nicola Kingswell

Who is living a lie? I wanted to know so badly, I couldn’t put this book down!

Cross Her Heart tells the story of three women: Lisa, her daughter Ava and Lisa’s best friend, Marilyn. It explores the relationships between them and unearths the secrets they are hiding from one another.

The novel is written in three parts, switching between the present day and 1989, when we learn about events in Lisa’s past she has tried to bury. However, one person will go to any lengths to make her remember, to which Pinborough cleverly plants seeds throughout the novel.

I particularly liked the snappy chapters which switched frequently between the characters, offering differing viewpoints and points in time which added to the layers of the story. I was also fond of Pinborough’s choice to focus on three ultimately, strong female lead characters, refreshing for a thriller of this type.

Sarah Pinborough has a talent at drawing you into the mystery of each character, and keeps you guessing throughout in this fast paced thriller. This is my first time reading Pinborough, and definitely won’t be the last.

This is a gripping story of guilt, betrayal, loss, loyalty and friendship - a must read!

Bethany Dimmock

Great book which will have you gripped right until the last page.

Lisa is a single mum and her daughter Ava is just turning 16 and Lisa is a bit overprotective with her but they do get along quite well. Lisa has a good job and a very good friend in Marilyn so things are going well but she doesn't realise how much her life is going to change very quickly. Ava is a little secretive and as most teenagers do she thinks her mum is embarrassing but she has no idea that Lisa is keeping her own secret so when the secret comes out after an innocent incident happens Ava doesn't know where to turn.
I was intrigued from the beginning and the short chapters were great, there was many 'false clues' but it had me gripped until the very end. I went through so many emotions while reading it and changed my opinion on a couple of occasions. I hate the word 'twists' as I feel it makes you wait for them but this book has so many twists and turns it will have you gripped until the very last page.
Thank you to for my copy of the book.

Carol Peace

Sarah Pinborough is the queen of #WTFthatending - there’s no second-guessing her! Her intelligent, emotive thriller kept me awake into the small hours.

Sarah Pinborough does it again - another #WTFthatending twister of a novel! Even when I think I’ve sussed it out, her tight plotting and character-driven storylines manage to pull the rug out from under me. This novel spoke to so many current issues, and I feel I know each of its strong women personally after reading it. Highly recommended!

Catherine Jenkins

Sarah Pinborough Press Reviews

'Cross Her Heart is dark, unflinching and disturbing and there was parts of it I wanted to read from between my fingers... Heart-breaking in places, twisty as hell. I'd like to claim that I guessed the ending but Sarah stayed one step ahead of me all the way through. Pacy, unnerving, addictive read with a dark, dark heart' -C. L. Taylor, bestselling author of The Accident

'Sarah Pinborough does it again with this disturbing descent into a heart of darkness. Highly recommended' - Cass Hunter, author of The After Wife

'Bloody Brilliant' - Stephen King

'Piledriver domestic thriller with pull-the-rug-out ending' - Ian Rankin (on Twitter)

'Original and compelling, the very definition of a page-turner' - Sun

'This year's biggest new thriller' - Metro

'You'll never guess the ending ... everyone will be talking about this book' - Stylist

'This could be your thriller of the year' - Daily Mail

'This year's must-read thriller' - Evening Standard

'Fantastically creepy, entirely unexpected. A total wrong-footer' - Guardian

'Your next obsession' - Harlan Coben

'The most unsettling thriller of the year' - John Connolly

'Lean and mean, dark and disturbing' - Joe Hill

'Masterful writing that crackles with tension' - Angela Clarke

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

'One of the best endings to a book' - Prima

'The ending's a shocker that makes you want to read the novel all over again' - Woman and Home

'When you close the book, with paper cuts from turning pages so fast, you'll want everyone you know to read it too so you can talk about it' - Simon Toyne

'Twisty and twisted' - Adam Nevill

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780008132019
Publication date: 17/05/2018
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9780008132057
Publication date: 17/05/2018
Format: Audiobook

View All Editions

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 ...

More About Sarah Pinborough

More Books By Sarah Pinborough

Cross Her Heart
Cross Her Heart
Cross Her Heart
View All Books By Sarah Pinborough

Share this book