Thursday, September 03, 2015
Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
After going for a moonlight run one night, sixteen year old Tessa is abducted and left for dead among a field of black-eyed susans, along with another of the serial killer's victims. Miraculously, she survives the attack, though she has no memory of the ordeal that leaves her temporarily blinded. Fast forward to present day, eighteen years later, where an adult Tessa is being haunted by the past. A fresh patch of black-eyed susans have once again appeared outside her bedroom window with a cryptic message for her to discover. It's a cat and mouse game that started long ago when Tessa was still a teen. As the execution date of the man convicted of the brutal murders looms closer, Tessa begins to have doubts about the testimony she gave years ago that helped sentence a man to death row. While initially hesitant to cooperate with the investigators in the anti-death penalty advocate group, Tessa soon realizes that the clues do not add up. How exactly does a man behind bars plant an entire bed of black-eyed susans without arousing suspicion? Now in a race against time, Tessa begins to re-examine the hazy memories surrounding her abduction in a desperate attempt to find some answers.
Black-Eyed Susans is a suspenseful psychological thriller told in alternating chapters that slowly unveil details from both the past and present, culminating in a gripping conclusion. Heaberlin cleverly works in fascinating details about forensic science and the ethics of execution, resulting in a multi-layered story.
If you enjoy this book, be sure to check out Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill and The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon.