Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Hearberlin
“I am the star of screaming headlines and campfire ghost stories.
I am one of the four Black-Eyed Susans.
The lucky one.”
Sixteen-year-old Tessa Cartwright was found in a shallow grave amidst other bones and fragments of human remains in the middle of a Texas field. She has very little memory of her abduction, her assailant or how she was dumped in the grave. The media quickly dubs her the lone surviving “Black-Eyed Susan”…the name given to the victims due to the bed of flowers planted above their graves. With the help of her family, friends, therapists and the very little bits of memories she has of that night…Tessa’s courtroom testimony helps put a man on death row.
Years later, as a single mother to her own teenage daughter…Tessa starts to think she may have helped to put the wrong man behind bars. Fearing for the safety of her own daughter, Tessa is convinced that the real killer is still free after she begins to notice Black-Eyed Susans planted outside her bedroom window, suspicious packages mailed to her home, and cryptic messages left for her to find. With the help of the legal team already working to free the man awaiting execution, Tessa has no choice but to confront old ghosts and try to dig up long buried memories of her ordeal.
Black-Eyed Susans tells Tessa’s story while alternating chapters between present day, adult Tessa and sixteen-year-old Tessie. This was an entertaining story…I had fun reading it, I wasn’t able to figure it out…but I wasn’t quite in awe or blown away by it like I was some other more recently published psychological thrillers.
I enjoyed the writing style of alternating between the past & present…it added a bit more suspense to the reading. And, like I mentioned above, the story kept me guessing & wondering throughout. I personally didn’t love the ending though…it wasn’t terrible, but certain parts of the ending felt kind of rushed and thrown together. I guess some of the details of the conclusion left me wanting a bit more.
Overall, I’d still recommend this to readers who enjoy a good mystery or psychological thriller.
My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars