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Behind her eyes
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  New York Times Review

JOHN REBUS is a downbeat version of his younger, scrappier self in RATHER BE THE DEVIL (Little, Brown, $27), the latest entry in Ian Rankin's endlessly evolving series of Edinburgh police procedurals. Now retired from the force and hacking up his lungs with bronchitis or worse, the former homicide detective has gone a whole week without cigarettes. But every retired man needs a hobby, and for Rebus it's brooding over unsolved cases like the 1978 murder of Maria Turquand, who was strangled at the venerable Caledonian Hotel while a party of rock musicians and their groupies was raging in the next room. And when the detective on that cold case is fished out of the harbor, the investigations intersect. Rankin is an expert at manipulating multiple plots. Here they involve touchy gang chieftains itching for war, equally quarrelsome police officials squabbling over jurisdiction and one especially "ruthless, rapacious, hands-on, determined" banker trafficking in fishy offshore shell companies. Rebus's dealings with some of these players go way back, like his ambiguous relationship with Big Ger Cafferty, a criminal kingpin with whom he shares the uneasy bond of surrogate father and rebellious son. Because he's cruel as well as cunning, Cafferty's weapons of choice are a claw hammer and a bag of nails. Rebus himself is brash and blunt: "With me, it's always been about the outcome rather than the process." The rumors of these two sipping strong brews together at Starbucks might even be true. Along with his plotting prowess, Rankin has cultivated a fluid style that accommodates mordant cop talk, coarse gangster lingo and the occasional honest expression of compassion. So there's a certain rough charm to the banter between Rebus and his welldrawn colleagues. In one scene, a man charged with breaking the news of a fellow officer's death to his longtime girlfriend asks what he knows is a foolish question ("You going to be O.K.?") and accepts her response ("Not for a long time") with due respect for its sad, cold truth. BY INJECTING A SPRITZ of supernatural fizz into BEHIND HER EYES (Flatiron, $25.99), Sarah Pinborough shrewdly transforms a romantic suspense novel into an eerie thriller calculated to creep you out. The premise of the triangular romance at the heart of the story is wryly stated by Louise Barnsley: "Woman walks into a bar and is sweet-talked by the man of her dreams, who turns out to be her new boss." It's awkward enough the next morning, when Louise comes face to face with David Martin, the psychiatrist who hired her (sight unseen) as his secretary. But matters get even stickier when she finds herself drawn to David's gorgeous but browbeaten wife, Adele. The women become fast friends, bonding over gym classes and coffee dates while keeping their relationship secret from David. Lovesick Louise wants him to continue his secret visits to her bed, while Adele is so addled by the drugs her husband feeds her that she hasn't the will to break out of her bondage. In brief chapters with alternating narrators, Pinborough keeps us guessing about just who's manipulating whom - until the ending reveals that we've been wholly complicit in this terrifying mind game. I HEREBY CROWN Reed Farrel Coleman the king of Long Island noir for his wonderfully raw novels featuring Gus Murphy, an ex-cop who works security for the Paragon Hotel but mostly chauffeurs guests to and from MacArthur Airport. "Night work at the Paragon was for people with secrets and stories not to tell," Gus informs us in WHAT YOU BREAK (Putnam, $27), which finds the morose house dick putting his life on the line for his friend Slava, the burly bellman "who worked nights because the dark helped hide his past." When Slava realizes his sins have outpaced him ("I am shamed in my soul"), he goes into hiding, even from Gus, who's determined to stand by him. Coleman takes us on a native Long Islander's tour of Suffolk County, from a strip-mall deli with "drying salamis hanging like red wind chimes" to a Friday night at the Full Flaps Lounge. He's especially astute about the social divisions between the North and South Shores and the barriers that protect people who live in places like Shelter Island from people who gravitate to depressing places like the Paragon. SOME WRITERS FEEL compelled to drag the personal lives of their sleuths into every story. In Mark Kline's translation of THE LOST WOMAN (Grand Central, $26), the Danish author Sara Blaedel piles the misery on Louise Rick, the highly competent but longsuffering Copenhagen police officer who acts as her series sleuth. Rick panics when Eik Nordstrom, her professional colleague and live-in lover, turns up in an English jail after crashing an investigation into the murder of Sofie Bygmann, a woman he once loved and lost. This rather awkward buildup eventually leads to the point of the story: "the dilemma surrounding a person's right to decide when he or she would die." After running away from Eik all those years ago, Sofie volunteered at a hospice in Zurich that performs assisted suicides (except they call it a "free death"). Although 70 percent of Danes support euthanasia, it's illegal in their country, which drives the narrative into that gray territory where compassion can become a crime and kindness can lead to coldblooded murder.

  Library Journal Review

Pinborough's debut novel will almost inevitably be compared to recent popular mysteries, but this intriguingly opaque work with a satisfyingly shocking ending easily stands on its own. Louise, a single mom and part-time secretary, meets and kisses a man at a London bar, only to discover the next day that he's David, her new boss and a married man. Adele, his beautiful wife, is so friendly toward Louise when they bump into each other on the street that their friendship is almost inevitable. Louise initially tries to keep her distance from both of them but finds the persistence of such attractive and posh people flattering. She is disturbed and perplexed by Adele and David's marriage, but the nature of her relationships with the spouses limits what she can do or say to gain clarity. As the novel progresses, it becomes clear that David's and Adele's history, divulged through flashbacks, is the key to understanding everything that is happening in their present. The journey toward these revelations is an engrossing one, and narrators Anna Bentinck, Josie Dunn, Bea Holland, and Huw Parmenter do an excellent job of bringing the characters to life. VERDICT Recommended for all general fiction collections.-Nicole Williams, Englewood, NJ © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Pinborough, an accomplished author of horror, mysteries, dark fantasy, and psychological suspense, has drawn on all her gifts to tell her latest story, a masterpiece of suspense centered on a bad marriage. Readers are introduced to alternating narrators, Londoners Adele and Louise. Adele is a troubled young heiress married to successful psychologist David. Louise is David's secretary and mistress. She's also Adele's new best friend. Using the alternating points of view, short chapters, some red herrings, and a few key flashbacks, the story creates a sense of disorientation and dread that is highly satisfying. But it is with the plot, so tight and yet also intricate, that Pinborough shines. No detail or character is extraneous. Every word comes back into play and matters as the story moves to the disturbing conclusion that everyone is talking about (it even has a hashtag campaign, #WTFThatEnding). Readers will likely never see it coming. They'll think they've got it, but they don't, and that is a rare joy for readers. Give this intense book to patrons freely, but especially target those who are fatigued with the current spate of female-driven psychological suspense. It will be enough to shake things up for them.--Spratford, Becky Copyright 2016 Booklist
<p> AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER <br> "A dark, electrifying page-turner with a corker of an ending." --Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author <br> <br> "An eerie thriller…Pinborough keeps us guessing about just who's manipulating whom -- until the ending reveals that we've been wholly complicit in this terrifying mind game." -- The New York Times Book Review <br> <br> "Deserves its own warning label…Avoid any contact with the growing buzz concerning the novel's ingenious, to-die-for twist." -- BookPage </p> <p> Why is everyone talking about the ending of Sarah Pinborough's Behind Her Eyes ? </p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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. And if you think you know where this story is going, think again, because Behind Her Eyes is like no other book you've read before.</p> <p>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?</p> <p>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.</p> <p>In Behind Her Eyes , Sarah Pinborough has written a novel that takes the modern day love triangle and not only turns it on its head, but completely reinvents it in a way that will leave readers reeling.</p>
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