Mulholland Books | ebook: 14 November 2019; Pb: 9 January 2020 | Review copy | Buy the book
At last everything is going well for Ava. She and her husband Robert are financially secure and they live an enviable life in a large house in California with their 12-year-old daughter June and Gene, Ava’s stepson, while their eldest daughter Hannah is doing well at university in NYC. But most importantly of all, June is now free from cancer. It’s been a terrible time and now they’re emerging on the other side. Then one night thieves break into the house, they hurt Robert and Ava and, devastatingly, leave June fighting for her life in a coma. Ava is determined to find out why these men attacked her family, believing it has to be about more than money. The police are inclined to believe her, especially as the clues begin to mount. It seems that everyone has secrets and it doesn’t help matters that the detective in charge of the case, Matt, is an old school flame of Ava’s. It’s all about to get very complicated indeed.
These days, having read an awful lot of them, I’ve very fussy about the psychological thrillers that I read and there was something about In Her Eyes that really appealed to me and I read it as soon as I could. It didn’t disappoint at all and in fact was one of those rare beasts – a psychological thriller that I really did not want to put down.
A thriller such as this depends on the reader knowing as little as possible about it before they start turning those pages and so I’m not going to say any more about the plot. Suffice to say there are some very interesting characters, pleasingly unreliable but also likeable. I really liked Ava and it’s hard not to feel for her as she sits by June’s bedside at hospital. Ava is vulnerable but she’s also tough, whereas June to Ava seems to be the most delicate and precious being in the world. There are lots of extremely intriguing characters in this novel – I was especially interested in the depiction of the stepson – but the heart of the novel belongs to Ava and June and Ava’s determined pursuit of the truth, wherever it takes her.
In Her Eyes is the first novel by Sarah Alderson that I’ve read but I’ll be looking out for more in the future. It’s so well-written and it moves along at such a fast pace. It’s full of surprises. I might have guessed one or two but this didn’t lessen the impact of what is an excellent psychological thriller. It’s compelling and it is also enormously enjoyable. I couldn’t have asked for more.