Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
Publisher: Ballantine | August 2015 | 354 pages
Rating: 4½ stars
Shocking, intense, and utterly original, Black-Eyed Susans is a dazzling psychological thriller, seamlessly weaving past and present in a searing tale of a young woman whose harrowing memories remain in a field of flowers—as a killer makes a chilling return to his garden.
In 1995, young Tessa is dumped in a field and left for dead by a serial killer. Twenty years later she has healed but worries that her memories may have been false and sent the wrong man to death row for the crime.
Tessa’s story is told in a unique style. The first part of the book unfolds in alternating points of view between young Tessie shortly after her rescue in 1995, and Tessa today, now a young single mom. The second part alternates between Tessie’s testimony at the trial in 1995, and Tessa in the present using a countdown of days to the execution. The third parts brings the unexpected conclusion.
The story was well-researched and detailed with lots of cutting edge forensics reminiscent of an episode of CSI. The author also brought up some important points about the death penalty and demonstrated that our justice system can be fallible despite good intentions.
I enjoyed this psychological thriller with its unreliable but compelling narrator; a page turner that kept me wondering on the outcome until the very end.
Source: Review copy provided by LibraryThing and the publisher.
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