Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough | Book Review #CrossHerHeart #psychological thriller


Published by HarperCollins

Ebook (14 May 2018) |  Hardback (17 May 2018)  |  Paperback (21 February 2019)

384 pages


|   About the Book   |


‘Cross my heart and hope to die…’

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?


|   My Thoughts   |


My thanks to Jaime at Harper Collins for the paperback copy to review.

Having read and enjoyed Behind Her Eyes (reviewed here) I was very much looking forward to reading Cross Her Heart and was absolutely delighted to receive a proof copy from Harper Collins.

The chilling prologue sets the scene and I had expectations of what was to come. With a timeline moving between Now, Before, and After and comprising of a multiple narrative, the story has those short chapters which I love and it didn’t take long to be completely immersed in the story. It was a book that I devoured in a couple of days (such a shame I had to go to work!)

We all know the dangers of social media and that not everybody is who they seem and the dangers of communicating in this way together with secrets from the past are the focus of the story – the twists and turns of the plot really did keep me wondering.  The first part of the story has a slower pace whilst we are introduced to the characters but that was fine. I was getting into it and expecting it to go in a certain direction when suddenly *wham* I was jolted out of my complacency; the story turned completely on its head and made me reassess everything.  My brain was spinning by each new revelation and although I had worked out part of the reveal before the end, I was still in for a surprise.

Lisa did a very good job as a single mother but she had an anxious personality and her over-protectiveness towards her 16 year old daughter Ava would have been overwhelming and restrictive for any teenager. Ava felt resentful of her mother’s interference when she just wanted to hang out with friends and have fun; she started asserting her independence and became secretive. Lisa’s friend and work colleague Marilyn is hiding something  – it didn’t take long to realise what this was although I couldn’t help wondering if that was the only secret she had.

Sarah Pinborough’s previous book, Behind Her Eyes, divided opinion with its #WTFthatending. I loved it because it was so different but for those who prefer a more traditional thriller, they may find that Cross Her Heart ticks more boxes.

The author has written another unsettling story filled with shocks and surprises. Suspenseful, twisted and gripping. Pick any word! I really enjoyed this and would definitely recommend it.


I was lucky enough to be selected back in March at Harper Collins HQ for a Readers First discussion for both Cross Her Heart and Behind Her Eyes. We had all been asked to read both books so that we could discuss. There were about 8 of us there plus HC and it was extremely interesting hearing how books are marketed and how much thought is put into covers and in particular finding out other’s opinions on these two books of Sarah’s and how they differed.


|   Author Bio   |


Sunday Times No.1 bestseller Sarah Pinborough is a critically acclaimed, award-winning, adult and YA author. She is also a screenwriter who has written for the BBC and has several original television projects in development.


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