WARNING: this book will cause shortness of breath and heart palpitations. Today I am sharing with you my thoughts on Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough.
Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough
Publication Date: 17th May 2018
Genre: Thriller, Adult Fiction
Format: ARC, Netgalley
Synopsis: SOMEONE IS LIVING A LIE… BUT WHO?
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.
As I had loved Sarah Pinborough’s previous books, 13 Minutes and Behind Her Eyes, it was only a matter of time before I got my hands on a copy of her newest release Cross Her Heart. I was a BIG champion of Behind Her Eyes and I recommended it at every opportunity; I even got my two besties, Hannah and Chelsea, to pick up a copy and text me their reactions #WTFthatending. I was ecstatic to see I was approved for a copy of Cross Her Heart on Netgalley a few weeks before official publication, and over the recent bank holiday weekend, I thought I would finally dive in. Oh. my. god. What a book.
He grips the edge of the paper so tightly the neat lines of carefully written words twist into odd zigzags that crunch some sentences but highlight others, taunting him.
Secrets and lies are at the centre of Cross Her Heart. Lisa, a single mum to teenager Ava, shuns social media and doesn’t let many people get too close. All she needs is Ava, and her best friend Marilyn. When Ava rescues a young boy from drowning at a local event, she unwittingly invites attention into their lives, causing secrets from Lisa’s past to surface in the present.
I read a few thrillers at the beginning of this year but so far I have been disappointed by their lacklustre twists and predictable endings. I almost gave up on my hope of reading a thriller that would turn my mind inside out until I began reading Cross Her Heart…
*slams fist on table* Sarah Pinborough HAS DONE IT AGAIN.
As mentioned above, I had high expectations for Cross Her Heart after loving Sarah’s previous books, and this did not disappoint. If you pick up this book, be prepared to cancel all of your plans. Once you start reading this book, you will not want to stop. If you weren’t a fan of the ‘twist’ in Behind Her Eyes, do not fear as Cross Her Heart is more of a traditional psychological thriller, so to speak.
In Cross Her Heart, we have three perspectives – Lisa, Ava and Marilyn – and the story is told through alternating chapters from each of their perspectives. The initial third of the book can feel slow in pace whilst it sets the scene, but after the first twist is revealed you better strap in your seatbelts lads, because its a nail-biting, heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat ride for the rest of the way. You think one thing, and then BAM – Sarah metaphorically pulls the rug out from underneath you, and then beats you with it. Again and again. I honestly didn’t guess any of the twists, and I would love to re-read this book and experience the shock and thrill of them all over again.
If you like your thrillers dark, Cross Her Heart would be the perfect read for you as I can’t imagine many books darker than this one. I fear I will spoil it if I discuss the plot in too much detail, but I do need to say that there is physical and sexual violence present and prevalent in this story, so it is probably not suitable for all. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this book to those with young children. There are some scenes that are particularly harrowing and difficult to read which some readers may find upsetting.
Sarah Pinborough is quickly becoming one of my “go-to” authors for psychological thrillers; I already can’t wait for her next book. Thanks to Cross Her Heart, I now know what people mean when they say they have a “book hangover”. *nurses head* With 13 Minutes currently in development with Netflix and Behind Her Eyes being considered for TV, I genuinely think Sarah could make it a hat-trick with Cross Her Heart. I’ll be watching from behind the cushions.