Behind Her Eyes is a canny move from Pinborough, the hitherto fantasy/horror/YA novelist jumping aboard the bandwagon for twisty psychological thrillers set in the domestic space. When the first of her twists is revealed, it is fantastically creepy, if not entirely unexpected. The second twist turns the creepy factor up to 11 and is a total wrong-footer. #WTFthatending indeed – the sort that makes you go back to the beginning to check if it all pans out. And it does.
By injecting a spritz of supernatural fizz into Behind Her Eyes, Sarah Pinborough shrewdly transforms a romantic suspense novel into an eerie thriller calculated to creep you out ... In brief chapters with alternating narrators, Pinborough keeps us guessing about just who’s manipulating whom — until the ending reveals that we’ve been wholly complicit in this terrifying mind game.
A work of fiction twined around a twist that is, shall we say, entangled with something supernatural, Behind Her Eyes is likely to elicit a few screams of 'Don’t cross the streams!' And understandably so, I suppose ... Like The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl before it, Behind Her Eyes is a book that you don’t so much read as ride. It’s a little slow for a rollercoaster, though. The first act, in fact, is all superficial setup ... there are two twists, in truth, and the first isn’t far off. But rest assured that it turns this text into something else. Something markedly more interesting than either the grip-lit of its underpinnings or the dark fantasies Pinborough has purveyed in the past ... Behind Her Eyes isn’t quite as clever as it thinks it is; its central perspectives are initially rather rote; its beginning is at bottom boring—and that’s quite the laundry list of issues. But they’re issues Pinborough saves face by putting in their place later, when the song and dance of the secrets at the dark heart of this narrative is done. Would that I could talk more openly about those, but to do so would deny you the undeniable delight of discovery, and that’s what Behind Her Eyes is about, at bottom: shocking your comfy cotton socks off. And it does that, dear reader. It does that as well as any novel I remember.