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