Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Review: Black-Eyed Susans
By Julia Heaberlin
Genre Adult mystery/suspense
Tessa, is the sole survivor of a serial killer. Left for dead with several other victims in a shallow grave surrounded by black-eyed susan flowers, the victims become know as the Black-Eyes Susans. Years later the killer is on death row, his execution just months away, when someone starts planting black-eyed susans outside Tessa's house. Is the man on death row really the killer? Is the real killer still out there? Is Tessa and her daughter safe?
For better or worse, I am walking the crooked path to my childhood.
I saw this book being talked about on Susan's blog awhile back. She hadn't read it but was mentioning she thought it looked good. Well, I concurred. It sounded very good. So, my radar for this book was on but I wasn't finding it for a price I liked. Enter my new foray into Overdrive and online library rentals. I placed this one on hold and a day or two later it was ready for me. I stopped everything I was doing and proceeded to read.
This book is more of a quiet suspense than a mystery. And by quiet I mean it was slower than I had anticipated. I read it in two days but wasn't nearly as riveted as I'd hoped. The story jumps back and forth from right after Tessa was found alive in the shallow grave to the present where she's helping a law firm try to save the man on death row for the murders. There's a lot of doubt that he's the actual killer and Tessa is quite sure it's not him.
But Tessa remembered nothing about what happened and she felt like a very unreliable narrator. I didn't know if she really didn't remember or was lying and it drove me a bit crazy. There was a lot of forensic details that, quite frankly, bored me to tears. The "romance" was unbelievable and unnecessary. The mystery, while it kept me guessing, was completely unbelievable as well. There's just no way! I can't say more. I don't want to ruin it but I was raising a skeptical eyebrow through the roof.
Still, I stayed up late into the night to finish it and I thought the writing was lovely. While I didn't outright hate the book I didn't love it either. Normally I'd chalk it up to my expectations being too high but, no, the story just didn't do it for me.
Should you read it?
I feel like I'm the last person who should decide that. If you're a fan of the TV show Bones you might find it fascinating enough but I still couldn't say if you'd like it.