Published On: Mon, Jun 11th, 2018

Cross Her Heart book review: Haunted by secrets of the past | Books | Entertainment


No one, not even her closest pal, knows about her past life but that is the way she likes it.

She lives in fear that one day she will be tracked down and the world she has carefully built will crumble.

Marilyn also has a secret – she pretends her marriage is as perfect as it appears on the outside but her husband has a nasty streak which only she sees.

But then Ava becomes a hero after saving a child from drowning at the town’s summer fair and her picture is plastered all over the local news.

The story is soon picked up by the national press and Lisa’s fears of being discovered start to come true.

Her world is turned upside down and she must fight to keep Ava safe, making Cross Her Heart a gripping thriller in the vein of such bestsellers as Gone Girl and The Girl On The Train.

Lisa’s first-person narrative is gripping and immediate and Pinborough also writes well from the point of view of teenager Ava. Both characters are believable and nuanced.

However, Marilyn only seems to be a foil for Lisa and lacks personality when she could have added extra depth to the story.

And while a theme of female friendship runs throughout, this is undermined by the spareness of Marilyn’s character.

However, by revealing a little of what each character knows, Pinborough ramps up the tension as the story careers from one turn of events to the next.

And what seems at first like a predictable storyline is saved by a dramatic twist at the halfway mark.

A slow-burning sense of panic starts to build and will keep readers hooked until the last page, culminating in an explosive final scene which is beautifully paced, atmospheric and incredibly tense.

Despite its drawbacks, Cross Her Heart is an intense and enjoyable thriller.

It would be impossible to stop reading before the end.



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