Review: Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

Posted August 19, 2016 by Francesca in Reviews / 5 Comments

Review: Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
Black-Eyed Susans
by Julia Heaberlin

3.5 Stars

BOOK INFO


Released: August 11, 2015
Published by Ballantine Books
Narrator: Eric G. Dove, Karen Peakes, Whitney Dykhouse
Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
Pages: 354
Format: Audiobook
 

“I think the author could’ve taken this story in many directions, and the story might’ve suffered a bit from the simplicity of it all.”
~ Under the Covers

When I saw the premise of this book I thought it was so interesting I couldn’t wait to read more.  The heroine, Tessa, is the lone survivor of a serial killer who kidnapped her and left her for dead at sixteen.  The mark of that killer was leaving the bodies on a fresh bed of blackeyed susans, which is why the victims took on that name.  A suspect was found and convicted then with not much else but Tessa’s testimony.  A testimony that she may not have had enough recollection of what happened to give.  Now an adult, a single mother to a teenage daughter, she’s looking for answers as the man behind bars is scheduled to be executed for the murders.  The reason?  A fresh bed of blackeyed susans has been planted by her house mysteriously a few times over the years.  So is the killer still  on the loose and they are going to execute the wrong man?

That premise…. catnip for me I tell you!  In practicality though, this novel lacked suspense and it read more like a crime scene investigation.  Clues and quite a bit of running around, while this story is told from dual perspectives, Teenage Tessa and Present Day Tessa, as she tries to remember things that might help her find out the truth.  I enjoyed the style of narration because it allowed us to find out things as Tessa was as well, but there was no other suspense element to the story other than that.

I think the author could’ve taken this story in many directions, and the story might’ve suffered a bit from the simplicity of it all.  I for one had a lot of scenarios that seemed they could’ve made the story a bit darker, but that’s not what happens here.  It’s a good resolution, I just think there could’ve been better ones.

Aside from plot, I think the pacing of this novel was slow.  Nevertheless, the writing was great so it definitely still kept me engaged enough and reading but with less of a hook than I was expecting.

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About Julia Heaberlin

Julia Heaberlin is an award-winning journalist who has worked for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Detroit News and The Dallas Morning News. Before launching her career as an author, she was an assistant managing editor over features sections at large metropolitan newspapers. Many of those sections won national and state journalism awards. The Star-Telegram Life & Arts section was named as one of the Top 10 sections in the country during her tenure. She has edited real-life thriller stories that inform her writing, including a series on the perplexing and tragic murders of random girls and women buried in the desert in Mexico and another on the frightened women of domestic violence. She lives with her husband and son in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where she is a free-lance writer and is at work on her fourth book.

Photo credit Jill Johnson.

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Francesca

Blogger/Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I’m a 30 something sun lover living in the Big Apple (read New York).I’m a book and coffee addict and lover of all things elephants.

I get easily distracted by pictures of sexy guys and have tons of book boyfriends.I keep all my alpha males chained to my basement and guard them fiercely.*Back off bitches*I like to see Jason Momoa as a lot of those boyfriends, because ….. mmmmmmm JASON.MOMOA!

I’m a part time graphic designer (yes, everything you see on UTC has been done by me), run my husband's business from home and on a good day I’m a self appointed superwoman (she who can do it all).I love blogging with my girls and I couldn’t do it any other way!My first love is everything paranormal, but in the past few years I’ve re-learned to love contemporary romance.Every once in a while I like to mix things up with a historical romance, a steampunk or an LGBT book.Because I need variety to avoid book slumps.I don’t always need an HEA although I prefer one, and I love authors that can rip my heart out and make me ugly cry.
Francesca
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Amy R
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Amy R

Thanks for the review, not much for Thrillers.

Kathleen Bylsma
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Kathleen Bylsma

Hmmmm. Won’t be a number one but I’ll give it a go if I find it. Thanks!

Elizabeth
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Elizabeth

The premise really is intriguing… I may try it … thanks

Timitra
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Timitra

Thanks for the review Francesca

Bube
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Bube

This book is on my TBR 😀
Thanks for the great review Francesca 🙂