Saturday, 15 April 2017

Book Review: Black Eyed Susans

Black Eyed Susans – Julia Heaberlin
Another one of my holiday reads. This wasn’t on my reading wish-list and I’ll admit that I tend not to read thrillers or crime stories, but the blurb on the back of this book really caught my attention.

I’ll start by saying that I really loved this book and will be reading it again (I’ve currently lent it out to my mum and dad to read), but when I first started reading it I felt like the sentences were the wrong way around or that the wording was wrong. I’ve since realised that it’s the mark of a good writer and that I’m not used to reading books like this and that was what was causing the problem.
The story is told from two perspectives; Tessie – the young girl who is found near-dead in a ditch and Tessa – the grown-up version of Tessie, who years later is forging a patch to ensure that the real killer is behind bars.
Her younger self is written in such a way that it’s like retrieving your own memory. A stubborn, scared teenager speaking to a psychiatrist. Whilst the older Tessa has a mature voice, particularly as she has a teenage daughter of her own. The writer really gave a lot of thought into the character development throughout the book (as she did, actually, with all of the characters in the book).
What really gripped me was the element of paranoia throughout the chapters – is Tessa just imagining these things happening, are they coincidences, is she slowly driving herself mad? Or is it the inner voice of the 17 year old Tessie that’s causing her to be so jumpy? Either way, this book will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
And the ending, well, the ending is marked with a surprise, and it had some very dark tones to it – it makes me wonder if the real Black Eyed Susan killer is still out there…
Have you read any good thrillers? Recommend them to be in the comments below.

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