Unsettling, enthralling, brilliant… Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

419idx4wssl-sx316You may well find what follows a little disjointed and I make no apology for that though I should point out that Behind Her Eyes flowed as well as any book I have read. This is  more of an experiential review. There is no précis for fear of unwittingly giving something away. Neither have I tried to pigeonhole this novel because I believe any lover of a good book in whatever genre will enjoy it. Here we go, then…

It was  such an engrossing read, one of those when you repeatedly think to yourself: ‘Oh all right then, just one more chapter’ until you’ve finished it. It is unsettling, it is enthralling and it is brilliant.

For me, the genius of Behind Her Eyes lies in the use of first person present for each of the principal protagonists. You’re in their minds. Nothing is artificially hidden… it’s all there. All you have to do is see it. Good luck with that.

There was a moment in this book — all right, there were several moments — when I knew I’d worked it all out. When all my double-thinking and oh-so-clever linking of the clues I thought I had found came together and presented me with the only possible outcome. I could have been more wrong, but not much.

Inside the narrative are wonderfully real, properly flawed characters, each one defined by their inconsistencies and undermined, if not by others, then by their own weaknesses. I watched the plot unfold like a helpless bystander wanting to warn of danger or to shake a character’s shoulders and demand why?

I cared about them, even as the sense of foreboding grew and a little clarity was granted. I wanted them to turn from their paths, to not be as I feared they were. Sometimes, I even got my wish.

Yet inevitably, inexorably, I was drawn deeper, seeking the truth inside their minds, the reasons for it all. And when, finally, all was revealed, I could only slump back knowing the clues were there all along, I just didn’t see them.

And when you read this book, and read it you must, you’ll know why you can never reveal THAT ending to another soul. Doing so would rightly condemn you to a special purgatory.

Read Behind Her Eyes, please. It’s not just money well spent, it’s time well spent in the company of a writer conducting a masterclass in her field.

November 2016

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• November 8th, 2016 • Posted in Blog, Books • Comments: 0