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Black-Eyed Susans
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March 2016: Mystery Thriller > Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin - 4 Stars

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 Olivermagnus (lynda214) | 1913 comments Almost twenty years ago, Tessa Cartwright was discovered, virtually dead, in a field of black-eyed Susans. She was the only surviving victim of a serial killer. Now an adult with a teenage daughter, Tessa is still unsure about the identity of the man who took her, even though her testimony helped convict Terrell Goodwin. His attorney needs her help to get a stay of execution. Meanwhile, someone has been planting beds of black-eyed Susans under her window and she's frightened for herself and her daughter. Did I mention she talks to the ghosts of the dead girls she was found with?

One of the most important relationships in the book is between Tessa and her best friend, Lydia. The story is narrated by both the young Tessie, and present day Tessa. We get enough bits and pieces of the story to want to continue. The author gradually frames the story of Lydia and Tessa, who had a falling out and haven’t spoken since they were 17. Why the friendship fell apart and Lydia’s role in Tessa’s life is another layer of plot that adds to the suspense.

This book had a very creative plot and compelling, likable main characters engaging in believable dialogue. There are also some interesting plot twists involving forensic DNA. I've never read any other books by this author but I'll definitely search more out. Despite its dark subject matter, I wouldn't describe this book as gritty or hard to read, and the ending is both surprising and believable.


message 2: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 2715 comments This sounds like a good one.


message 3: by Nicole (new) - added it

Nicole | 428 comments Just from the review, this reminds me of Laura Lippman and her writing style. Adding it to my TBR!


message 4: by punxsygal (new) - added it

punxsygal | 270 comments Oh the list grows.


message 5: by annapi (new)

annapi | 4866 comments This month will be hard on my TBR


message 6: by JoLene (new) - added it

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1532 comments This one seems interesting. I will be adding a lot of books to the TBR, but mystery/thriller is one genre that both my husband and I like so we listen to them on car trips.


message 7: by Lynn (new)

Lynn L | 87 comments This book sounds interesting. Thanks for the review.


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