by Julia Heaberlin
Released: August 11, 2015
Published by Ballantine Books
Narrator: Eric G. Dove, Karen Peakes, Whitney Dykhouse
Length: 10 hrs and 9 mins
“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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