Book Review: Behind Her Eyes

Why is everyone talking about the ending of Behind Her Eyes?

That's the hook on the book jacket that tempted me into picking it up at the library. I had no idea everyone was talking about the ending of this book, but marketing is a powerful thing and so the book came home with me. Still, the hook was bold, as were the author reviews that peppered the book jacket, and I was prepared for the book to be underwhelming. Just because marketing works doesn't mean it's honest.

Well, this book fulfilled its promise. The ending was amazing.

The story revolves around a complex love triangle: Louise -divorced, depressed, heavy drinker- meets a man in a bar, said man turns out to be her new boss, they get it on, Louise falls in love, etc. Problem is, her new boss is married, and to a woman Louise happens to bump into in the street and subsequently befriend. Louise feels trapped between her intense romantic feelings toward her boss, which seem to be mutual, and her loyalty to her boss's wife/new best friend. Things take a turn for the supernatural when Louise's new friend helps her overcome recurring nightmares by teaching her first how to control her dreams, and then how to astral project. As in leave her body. This is the plot element the twist depends on.

Is it weird, throwing in this supernatural element to what seems to be a normal psychological thriller? Maybe. I went along with it easily enough. And the payoff makes the suspension of disbelief worth it.

Up until the last chapter of the book, I had everything figured out. Granted, a lot of it is made obvious through the alternating POV chapters. We know Louise's new friend isn't all she seems to be. We know there's something sordid in the (once) happy couple's past. I even knew why the boss's wife had befriended Louise in the first place, and I am often obtuse when it comes to figuring out plot twists in books. But the ending. That I did not see coming. At all. Not even a little bit. And I loved it.

The evidence to support the ending is there, if you look for it. It's justified in that sense. But man oh man, it changes everything you thought you knew, and that's the kind of thing I love in a thriller. Ninety-nine percent of the book you think you know what's what, and then the ending slaps you right in the face. It was awesome. I wish I'd written it.