A LibraryReads SelectionShocking, intense, and utterly original, Black-Eyed Susans is a dazzling psychological thriller, seamlessly weaving past and present in a searing tale of a young woman whose harrowing memories remain in a field of flowers -- as a killer makes a chilling return to his garden.
"When Tessa was 17, she and three other girls were dumped in a field in Texas, presumed dead, by a serial killer on a spree. Tessa was the only one to survive and lived to testify against the man police picked up. The victims, including Tessa, were dubbed the Black-Eyed Susans. Now, it's 17 years later, and one month until the convicted killer faces execution. Tessa is still haunted by what happened that day and in that field, but also by the fact that black-eyed Susans have just been planted outside her home. Is the killer still out there? Has Tessa helped convict the wrong man? Tessa decides to work with the defense and testify again. The novel moves between the present and 1995, the year of the murders. Tessa's first-person narration is wonderful at showing her doubt and trauma in both times. One flaw is the novel's length: the suspense, very high at first, gets a bit drawn out over 350-plus pages. Still, this is an absorbing character study and a good choice for readers who want to want to really sink into a psychological thriller.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"This gripping psychological thriller from Heaberlin (Lie Still) alternates between the present and 1995, when 16-year-old Tessie Cartwright went missing and was subsequently found in a Texas wheat field covered by black-eyed Susans, barely alive, on top of three female corpses, two long dead and one only about a day old. Though the traumatized Tessie can recall only flashes of the incident, she testifies in the trial against accused serial killer Terrell Darcy Goodwin; Terrell is sentenced to death but is still alive on death row years later when someone plants black-eyed Susans in Tessie's yard, a possible taunt from the real perpetrator. Still lacking recall, Tessie nevertheless agrees to help a group that fights to get death row convictions stayed or overturned. Aided by Terrell's defense attorney and a DNA expert, she races to find evidence sufficient to prevent Terrell's execution and to discover what really happened. The suspense builds as Tessie uncovers devastating secrets from the past en route to the shocking ending. Agent: Pam Ahearn, Ahearn Agency. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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