Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

Black-Eyed Susans Book Cover Black-Eyed Susans
Julia Heaberlin
Thriller
Penguin
Hardback
Vine

Set in Texas the bodies left by a serial killer some years ago are covered by black eyed susans plants.  One of the girls is found to be alive and is known as the surviving black eyed susan.  Almost two decades later the survivor finds the flowers planted outside her window. This simple premise leads to a story that is anything but simple and makes for an edgy thriller and is hard to put down

The outline of this story, Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin, really appealed to me. Set in Texas the bodies left by a serial killer some years ago are covered by black eyed susans plants.  One of the girls is found to be alive and is known as the surviving black eyed susan. These is someone jailed for the offence and then almost two decades later the survivor finds the flowers planted outside her window.  This simple premise leads to a story that is anything but simple and makes for an edgy thriller.

The chapters, fairly short usually and mostly written as the surviving girl, alternate between then and now. Many of the chapters ends leaving you simply wanting the next part of the era concerned – I found it very hard to put down. I felt that the writing was very skilful – for example Tessie (the younger) comes over as younger than Tessa in the current time. Equally the writing feels eerily genuine and the style is very stripped down and colloquial at times.  This style really works very well in this narrative and makes for a very well paced story. It is a book with a “gradual reveal” of the true story and while I guess it is not perfect it is quite sometime since I’ve read anything that gripped me in this way and was so hard to put down. I’d certainly love to read another book by this author and would happily recommend this powerful to crime thriller lovers.

Note – I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair review