Review: Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough




Lisa lives for her daughter Ava, her job, and her best friend Marilyn, but when a handsome client shows an interest in her, Lisa starts daydreaming about sharing her life with him too. Maybe she’s ready now. Maybe she can trust again. Maybe it’s time to let her terrifying secret past go. Then her daughter rescues a boy from drowning and their pictures are all over the news for everyone to see. Lisa’s world explodes, and she finds everything she has built threatened. Not knowing whom she can trust, it’s up to her to face her past to save what she holds dear.


Wow, when Janel @ Keeper of Pages offered to send me this book she did warn me that she didn’t enjoy it, but I wasn’t quite prepared for just how bad this one ended up being!

Instead of making this review super negative, I’ll start off with something nice to say. To begin with, this book really did grab my attention. The pacing is fast so it’s one of those books you find difficult to put down. I wasn’t finding the story majorly exciting but it had gripped me enough to continue reading pretty quickly.

The writing in this book was also pretty decent (most of the time)! I though that most of the characters conversations were reasonably believable, which is not always an easy feat! However, after a few chapters in, when the story really begins to pick up, the writing quality suddenly becomes really, annoyingly simplistic and silly.

As for the story, to begin with I was quite interested in where the story was going, and one of the early twists actually came as a surprise for me (which gave me high hopes!) but just like with the writing, the entertainment factor falls off a cliff a few chapters in. I can’t actually believe how ridiculous and cringey this story gets. There are moments in this book that you could just imagine on a super low budget TV show with hideously bad actors – maybe YouTubers like Lele Pons?

The only exciting part of this book which I thought was quite different from other thriller mysteries gets ruined at the end with the most cliché twist of all time. I actually rolled my eyes!

There are 3 main characters in this book and we get the story through each persons POV. From the get-go I didn’t like Lisa or Ava’s characters, or their relationship as mother and daughter. Don’t you just hate the trope in thriller mysteries of no-one talking to each other about ANYTHING? I get that if the characters did share their secrets this book couldn’t exist, but Pinborough could have at least let people share some of their thoughts. It was like an alternate universe where people don’t know each other at all because they never talked to each other properly other than to talk about cute boys or the weather. It just wasn’t realistic and makes for really clunky and irritating reading.

The only character I got along with is “best friend” Marilyn, but even she became a cliché, cringey nightmare by the end of the book.

This entire book felt really childish and silly. I definitely don’t recommend it to any well read thriller lovers. I will be giving her debut novel Behind Her Eyes are read still as I’ve been told it’s a far better book, plus I already have it on my shelves.

Thank you to Janel @ Keeper of Pages for sending this book to me!

I’m not going to leave purchase links, don’t waste your money…

8 Replies to “Review: Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough”

  1. Interesting how readers can have such different opinions 🙂
    I thought this one was ace (and I’m quite picky when it comes to contemporary fiction) – it really made me want to read on. It was an easy read with a lot of twists. While the writing wasn’t exactly sophisticated, I didn’t notice it deteriorating. Thanks for sharing your views on it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this one and I wish I had. To begin with I thought it was a winner but nevermind. I’m a very fussy reader when it comes to mysteries and the fact I wasn’t getting on with any of the characters probably didn’t help! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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