Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin


***I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review***


SYNOPSIS: When Tessa was a young girl, she was kidnapped and almost killed by a serial killer and believed him to be behind bars, but now evidence has surfaced to make her believe the opposite.

This is a very slow book, but it did hold my attention. The way the story moves is slow and meticulous covering every detail from the time Tessa is found to when she finally puts all the pieces of her broken memory back together. I think that Lydia (her best friend) was a little too played up in her weirdness that everything she does doesn’t have the shock factor that I felt like this book needed. I was already  suspicious of her just from the way her fascination with serial killers and horror stories were described and I thought that if the whole thing with Lydia would have had a proper impact, then maybe she shouldn’t have been so openly obsessed with those kinds of stories. It felt very predictable to me, but I don’t think that is a bad thing. It was very well written and I thought that the story was told very efficiently. I just didn’t find it to be that suspenseful for my taste. I wish that there had been a moment where I had to stop reading because I was in shock, so it didn’t have that factor that I think should be in a thriller or suspense novel. Instead I have to look at it like a regular mystery novel and through that lens it’s wonderful. I thought that it did a good job at showing how much the experience changed Tessa as a person and how that changed the way she parents her own daughter and reacts to the average teenage things that can happen in her life. It was also interesting to see how something that at one point was so safe be warped in a person’s mind after a traumatic event. Another interesting showcase of how her trauma stayed with her is the manifestation of Tessa thinking like the other victims who weren’t so lucky to survive. The only thing that was strange was her momentary blindness that didn’t seem to have to do with anything. Nothing really came out from it and I didn’t understand how or why it happened. Overall I don’t think this is an edge of your seat suspense novel, but if you enjoy a good mystery then this book is just right for that.

Thanks Ballantine Books for letting me read this book! Buy it here!


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