Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough @sarahpinborough @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam #CrossHerHeart

Source: Netgalley

Publication: May 17 2018 from Harper Collins

PP 384

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.

Writing a follow up to Behind Her Eyes was never going to be easy, but Sarah Pinborough has grasped that challenge and delivered a novel full of pace, characterisation and more twists than a bag full of pretzels.

Told in the voices of three characters, and switching between past and present, this is the story of three women, each of whom has a secret she will keep to herself as long as she possibly can.

Lisa and Marilyn met at the employment agency where both work and have become close friends. Theirs are adult secrets; secrets that they are very much afraid of anyone finding out; secrets that control their lives. Lisa’s 16 year old daughter Ava is a bit of a wild and sulky child, but then what teenage girl isn’t at that age? She too has a secret, but this secret is one that warms her heart and keeps her upbeat, though she will only hint obliquely to her friends about it.

Each of these women has depth to their character and that helps to make them both engaging and believable, although we are never quite sure if Lisa is a reliable narrator, or whether we need to question Marilyn’s friendship with her.

Pinborough takes this domestic setting and into it she drip feeds tension, secrets and unsettling occurrences to create an atmosphere of dark foreboding and your heart begins to pound that little bit faster as the book gathers pace.

Time is taken to explore relationships and develop characters so that by the time you get to the crux of the story you feel each has depth to them and you are quite emotionally engaged with their stories. The relationship between Ava and her mother rings true; often volatile and sometimes overly restrictive on Lisa’s part.

But just as you think you have got to know and understand each character, and that you have discerned what secrets they are holding, Pinborough turns your expectations inside out and completely surprises the reader.

This book works because  the characters are so well drawn, but also because Sarah Pinborough is an excellent storyteller. She writes extremely well and her book is propulsive and compelling. Her plotting is sound and she weaves the strands together with skill and finesse, twisting the thread every few chapters until you are so caught up you cannot get free.

If you like secrets, lies, betrayal and a strong, tense narrative from your domestic noir, look no further, Cross Her Heart has it all.

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About Sarah Pinborough


Sarah Pinborough is the number one Sunday Times Bestselling and New York Times Bestselling author of the psychological thriller Behind Her Eyes (Jan, 2017). During her career she has published more than 20 novels and several novellas, and has written for the BBC. Her recent novels include the dystopian love story, The Death House, and a teenage thriller, 13 Minutes which has been bought by Netflix with Josh Schwartz adapting.
Behind Her Eyes has sold to nearly twenty territories so far and was sold at auction to the US in a significant deal to Flatiron, Macmillan. There are discussions on going with several movies studios about the film adaptation.

Follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahpinborough


Published by marypicken

Passionate book reader. Love all kind of books from 19th century novels to crime thrillers. My blog is predominantly crime, psychological thrillers and police procedurals with a good helping of literary fiction thrown in.

2 thoughts on “Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough @sarahpinborough @HarperCollinsUK @fictionpubteam #CrossHerHeart

  1. It’s just so wonderful to hear that she pulled it off writing a sequel that is as satisfying as the mind-blowing Behind Her Eyes. It takes a hell of a writer and I’m now already convinced she is. I ordered the paperback yesterday because I’m convinced it’s a novel that is worth having in your library. Great review! Now I feel I made the right decision !

    Liked by 1 person

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