Primary Genre(s): Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Published: 31 Jan 2017 by Flatiron Books
Page count: 307 (print)
My Format: ebook via Overdrive/Libby
Ending: OMG! What???!!
Do I Recommend: Yes
Commission Link (U.S.): Buy Behind Her Eyes
My rating: ★★★★☆
Louise is a single mom, a secretary, stuck in a modern-day rut. On a rare night out, she meets a man in a bar and sparks fly. Though he leaves after they kiss, she’s thrilled she finally connected with someone.
When Louise arrives at work on Monday, she meets her new boss, David. The man from the bar. The very married man from the bar…who says the kiss was a terrible mistake but who still can’t keep his eyes off Louise.
And then Louise bumps into Adele, who’s new to town and in need of a friend, but she also just happens to be married to David. David and Adele look like the picture-perfect husband and wife, but then why is David so controlling, and why is Adele so scared of him?
As Louise is drawn into David and Adele’s orbit, 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 a person might go to protect their marriage’s secrets.
I have had this book on my list to read since it was first released in 2017. I even got it from my library at one point but never got a chance to read it before I had to return it (I hate when that happens!!). Then other books came along and over time this one fell off my radar. However, when I saw it was going to be a Netflix series, I knew I had to read it before I watched the show. So, I did. Here are my pros and cons for Behind Her Eyes:
- Yes, I am starting with the end, but holy guacamole! What was that? The story was strange, and everything that was going on felt so odd, and you really have no clue who the “bad guy” is because the facts keep changing and are never quite clear in the first place, and then WHAM! That ending!! OMG!
- Honestly, you will either hate the ending or love it. You will either find it incredibly absurd or you will find it to be a creative ending that NO ONE saw coming. I’m about 70/30 (loved it/ludicrous). I felt like the ending was a bit ridiculous, but it was also so far beyond the realm of what I thought was coming that I must respect the surprise element.
- This is generally a dual POV story, told between Louise (a divorcee with a son) and Adele (wife of Louise’s new boss) although there are David and Rob perspectives thrown in. There is also a then and now narrative from Adele. It can get a bit confusing, and I had to pay close attention to headings to be sure I knew who was narrating a particular chapter, but overall, I think the technique worked well to tell this unique story.
- Adele was an exceptional character. I can’t say I liked her, but then none of the other characters are particularly likeable either. But something about Adele got under my skin in an uncomfortable way. She was well-written.
- I was bugged a bit by the David and Louise affair. It didn’t feel genuine and why it ever continued was beyond me. Of course, if the relationship hadn’t continued, we wouldn’t have had a story at all.
- The choice Louise makes at the end of the book (that precipitates the OMG ending) was absolutely dumb! Particularly considering she already had an idea about what was really going on. But again, without Louise doing what she did, we wouldn’t have had the ending.
It is quite difficult to review a book like this without giving something away! Suffice it to say, I enjoyed the book. And I enjoyed the crazy ending if for no other reason than I couldn’t have predicted it in a million years.
I did watch the Netflix series after I finished the book. I will say that I think the series was one of the best adaptations of a novel I have watched to date. I will also say that the series is full of spoilers about what is really going on, but if you haven’t read the boo, you will likely never pick up on them. You might not even pick up on the spoilers even if you have read the book. Let’s just say the creative cinematography and editing was really good and if you are paying close attention, you might get an inkling of what is going on way ahead of time.
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