Author: Julia Heaberlin
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publication Date: 26th August 2015
Book Source: Penguin Australia & NetGalley
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Tessa, dubbed a 'Black-Eyed Susan' by the media, became famous for being the only victim to survive the vicious attack of a serial killer. Her testimony helped to put a dangerous criminal behind bars - or so she thought.
Now, decades later the black-eyed susans planted outside Tessa's bedroom window seem to be a message from a killer who should be safely in prison.
Haunted by fragmented memories of the night she was attacked and terrified for her own teenage daughter's safety, can Tessa uncover the truth about the killer before it's too late?
HOLY guacamole this was BRILLIANT, a 2015 favourite read. It's intelligent, edgy and tight ... the very best kind of psychological thriller. Even the title and cover art is creepy good.
Tessa is the only surviving victim of the Black-Eyed Susans serial killer. The story moves seamlessly between past and present, teenage Tessie and adult Tessa almost 2 decades on, with a teenage daughter of her own.
Tessa's fragmented memories and growing desperation added wings to my own anxiety and as the murderer's execution loomed the sense of urgency grew. Was he wrongfully convicted?
Black-Eyed Susans had my skin crawling with dread, there's no graphic violence but the suspense almost killed me. My thoughts were jumping as erratically as my heart. So true about the sense of smell and memories. Such visceral reactions to Heaberlin's writing ... LOVE that.
I had my suspicions and I was correct (to a point) but the author's skill with misdirection. Wow, talk about amping the suspense. I was all over the place.
What more could you ask for? ... superb characterisation, gorgeous writing, the forensic science/DNA, psychological and legal aspect all fascinating, obviously well researched and executed brilliantly.
I'd laughed, something close to the way I used to, and imagined it drifting out under the bedroom door, smoothing out a tight wrinkle in my father's face.
I can't wait to read more from Julia Heaberlin!
Recommend: an unputdownable read