Review: Cross Her Heart

Promises only last if you trust each other, but what if one of you is hiding something?
A secret no one could ever guess.
Someone is living a lie.
Is it Lisa?
Maybe it’s her daughter, Ava.
Or could it be her best friend, Marilyn?
Cross Her Heart publishes 17th May 2018. You’ll just have to wait to find out…

I am such a fan of Sarah Pinborough. I have been ever since I read (and loved) The Death House so I was about a million percent excited when I heard she had a new book out this year and a billion percent excited when a copy of it landed on my doorstep. I read it in January and have been sat on this review ever since which has been…well it’s been a struggle let me tell you because I really just have been wanting to yell about it.

And now I can.


The fun thing about Sarah’s books is that actually you can’t review them because you can’t talk about them without ruining what it is that makes you love them.
When Behind Her Eyes was released last year there was a whole twitter thing going on with the hashtag #WTFthatending which was excellent because #WTFthatending is so accurate except you couldn’t talk about why the ending was so WTF without ruining the whole WTF aspect. It’s the same here. I could tell you the things but then you wouldn’t love the book as much as I love the book because part of the reason you love the book is because you don’t know what’s coming. Which from a reviewers point of view is amazing, obviously, as it makes it SO EASY TO TALK ABOUT *laughs maniacally*

The proof copy that I got had ‘trust Sarah Pinborough, don’t trust her books’ written on it and nothing has ever been so accurate.

This book is a good book and you should read it. The end. That could actually be the review.

Except not from me because I am far far too wordy for that.

Lemme see what I can tell you without verging too close to dangerous spoilery territory. Also if I manage to keep this review spoiler free then you should reward me with cake. And gin.

I could not put this book down. It absolutely 100% lived up to expectations and I L O V E D it.

It’s dark and kind of disturbing and it’s so in your face and so engrossing but at the same time it’s kind of tender? It’s painful and unsettling and it’s close to the bone but somehow it made me ache and it’s a really interesting study also of all the things - of right and wrong and where the line is drawn; of familial love; of relationships in all their guises; of all the things I dislike about social media and about the things I like and dislike about people. It's really really interesting and really really clever. Quietly heart-breaking and twistier than a twisty thing, this book gets in your head, seriously: I could think of little else til I’d finished it. & I thought, this time - SO NAIVELY - that I had guessed the ending. Bless me. I absolutely hadn’t.

It's pretty harrowing at times though; you have been warned. 

The story is multiple narrative and has a timeline that's split between Now, Before and After, which I really really liked and as with all of Sarah Pinborough's work the characterisation and description is absolutely spot on; it's so easy to get immersed in this book because it feels so real you can practically taste it. It's skillful writing this - to write like that, with such detail and such clear development and to also be able to craft this story that is a step above any other thriller you've ever read before. It is skillful writing. This book takes what you think you know - both about it and about the genre generally - and turns it on its head and laughs in your face as you flail around trying to work out what the actual hell is even going on. But not in a confusing brain hurting kind of a way, more in a 'this is absolute genius storytelling way' - I feel like I'm being repetitive a little bit here I AM SORRY. I blame the trying to make it clear how much I loved it without the spoilers. S'tricky. 

Anyhow. It’s excellent. I love Sarah Pinborough. I also love her books (and her twitter feed which often features her dog and makes me want to be her pal). It's out really soon. PREORDER.