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All booksThrillerCross Her Heart
Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough
Thriller

Cross Her Heart

Repeat author
Sarah Pinborough is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include Behind Her Eyes.

by Sarah Pinborough

Quick take

Three women, one big secret, and the betrayal that threatens to destroy their lives.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Psychological

    Psychological

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Scary

    Scary

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Unreliable

    Unreliable narrator

Why I love it

Cristina Arreola
BOTM Judge

I always suggest the same book when friends, coworkers, or Tinder dates ask me for a recommendation for a thriller novel—and no, it’s not The Girl on the Train or even Sharp Objects. It’s Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough, a book that destroyed every stereotype I’d constructed in my head about what the thriller genre should look like. But now I have another book I can recommend with equal confidence: Pinborough’s newest novel, Cross Her Heart.

The thriller begins as many do—with an ordinary woman. Lisa is a shy, slightly neurotic single mother who lives for work, her daughter, and her best friend. But Lisa is far from normal. In fact, she’s hiding a horrifying secret, and when her past misdeeds are revealed to her daughter—and the world—the novel takes a whiplash-inducing swerve. Because Lisa isn’t the only one with a secret. Her daughter, Ava, has been messaging an older man on Facebook, and he’s not who he claims to be.

I have always believed that the best thrillers should do two things: Keep readers enticed until the very last page, and push readers into asking difficult questions about the nature of good, evil, right, and wrong. Cross Her Heart does both. When you set this book down, you will know exactly what happened to Lisa and Ava. But, as is the case with all the most wonderful kinds of books, you will have more questions than answers.

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Synopsis

Lisa lives for her daughter Ava, her job, and her best friend Marilyn. But when a handsome client shows an interest in her, Lisa starts daydreaming about sharing her life with him, too. Maybe she’s ready now. Maybe she can trust again. Maybe it's time to let her terrifying secret past go. But when her daughter rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are all over the news for everyone to see, Lisa's world explodes. As she finds everything she has built threatened, and not knowing who she can trust, it's up to Lisa to face her past in order to save what she holds dear. But someone has been pulling all their strings. And that someone is determined that both Lisa and Ava must suffer. Because long ago Lisa broke a promise. And some promises aren't meant to be broken.

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Preview

Get an early look from the first pages of Sarah Pinborough's Cross Her Heart.

Member thoughts

All (7515)
All (7515)
Love (3119)
Like (3769)
Dislike (627)
7744 ratings
  • 40% Love
  • 49% Like
  • 8% Dislike
  • Louisville , KY

    LOVED! I liked ‘Behind Her Eyes’ but I wasn’t a fan of the sorta supernatural ending, so I’m very glad this book had none of that! Super suspenseful with lots of twists & turns! GREAT WRITING STYLE!!

  • Louisville , OH

    This book was hard to put down. I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen next. A lot of twists I didn’t see coming, kept me on the edge of my seat. I’m ready to read more from this author.

  • Harveys Lake, PA

    I loved Behind Her Eyes, so I was hoping this book would please me equally. I was not disappointed. The ending was not as crazy as her previous book, but the suspensful climax kept me reading impulsively

  • Semmes, AL

    Lo primera palabra que me vino a la mente mientras leía este libro fue “sick” parece que estás leyendo a personajes totalmente distintos en la segunda parte , la 3ra explica todo y te da un descanso

  • Mingo Junction , OH

    This book was the best book I ever read! It was so unpredictable and full of twist! I couldn’t stop reading it! The ending was so shocking and didn’t expect it! She is a great author! Please read it!

  • Rowlett, TX

    Sarah Pinborough had me reeling at the end of every chapter! Cross Her Heart was a great suspense thriller full of angst, transformation, and crazy plot twists. I love the strong female characters ❤️

  • Dansville, NY

    I loved this book. It was a little hard to get through an emotional spot involving a 2 year old (because I have my own 2 year old and just can’t imagine) but it was a very good read. Suspenseful book!

  • GRAY, ME

    I couldn’t put this book down! It was so good and thought provoking and I just wanted to figure it out. The story of friendship and mothers and daughters but overall strong women who overcome hardship

  • Auburn, AL

    Plot twists, on plot twists, on plot twists. As many other reviews of this book will tell you, I had a different theory with each page turn. Could not put it down. I can’t rate this book high enough.

  • Kearney, NE

    So I kind of love the crazy backstory that comes out little by little more than the actual “Now” storyline. That being said: Ava/Lisa/Marilyn just golden. Love the entire triangle & how these mold

  • Rocklin, CA

    I enjoyed this book. The twists were never ending. At times it was tough to read, some of the content is heart wrenching but I still enjoyed it. You’ll think things are obvious but you’ll be wrong.

  • southport, CT

    After reading Behind Her Eyes I wasn’t sure what to expect from this author but she definitely delivered. The book had turns I wasn’t expecting and an ending that was satisfying and unpredictable.

  • Chester, VA

    This book, the plot, literally touched my heart and I give it props for doing it. I love thrillers & its so hard for me to actually have to put the book down to breathe, but this book made me do that.

  • APO, AE

    I cannot express how much I love Sarah Pinhorough enough. I love her first book and was a little nervous to read a second. She is just phenomenal, seriously just amazing with her voice and characters.

  • Plano, TX

    The main character has something to hide in her past from the very beginning. That is what kept me reading. It goes public, you are pulled into the conflicting emotions and disappearance of daughter

  • Manistee, MI

    I really enjoyed this book, every free moment I had I was reading it. Some parts were hard to read because I became emotionally attached to the characters and some of the topics left me feeling upset.

  • Columbus , OH

    I have to admit, I was surprised by more than one twist in this story. Between the short chapters and twists and turns that started in Part 2, I had a hard time putting this one down before finishing.

  • Island Park, NY

    Holy C****. I could not put this book down. Just when you thought you knew exactly what was going on, another twist or turn would happen and would leave you with your jaw to the ground. A must read.

  • Hickory Hills, IL

    I loved the strong, mysterious, well-developed, female characters. The author perfectly captured the thoughts and feelings of multiple perspectives and multiple generations in her non-linear timeline.

  • Brookfield, CT

    Wow!! I loved Behind her Eyes and wasn't sure how this would measure up. Sarah Pinborough is AMAZING!!! Her writing plays tricks on you; you think you figured it out, but guess what? You didn't! Love!

Thriller
  • The Maidens
  • Not a Happy Family
  • Razorblade Tears
  • The Last Thing He Told Me
  • The Wife Upstairs
  • Too Good to Be True
  • The Push
  • The Last Flight
  • 56 Days
  • The Damage
  • Rock Paper Scissors
  • Survive the Night
  • The Woman in the Window
  • The Hunting Party
  • The Silent Patient
  • Goodnight Beautiful
  • Winter Counts
  • The Hunting Wives
  • Pretty Little Wife
  • The Guest List
  • Invisible Girl
  • Girl A
  • Behind Her Eyes
  • The Girl in the Mirror
  • The Night Swim
  • Before She Knew Him
  • Then She Was Gone
  • You Are Not Alone
  • Sharp Objects
  • The Family Upstairs
  • The Wife Between Us
  • Into the Water
  • Gone Girl
  • Dark Places
  • The Alienist
  • Since We Fell
  • The Blinds
  • Cross Her Heart
  • The Chestnut Man
  • The Winter Sister
  • The Other Woman
  • Necessary People