REVIEW: BLACK EYED SUSAN by Julia Heaberlin
BLACK-EYED SUSANS by Julia Heaberlin
Published by Penguin Book Australia
While on the other side of the globe spring starts to warm up the air, here in Australia this morning I woke up with a scent of winter in the air. In Brisbane mornings and nights are getting cooler and I have not missed the chance to open all the windows, get me a cup of tea and wear my very first jumper of the season! Now that I am confortable and happy sipping tea, I want to tell you about my last reading. I'm talking about BLACK-EYED SUSANS by Julie Heaberling published by Penguin Books Australia.
Black-eyed Susans are black-eyed yellow daisies, wildflowers that stand out for their beauty and and bright color. Who does not like them? For Tessa Cartwright thei're just an horrible memory that recalls the worst period of her life. At sixteen she was found in a field in Texas, buried in a pit with other bodies and a heap of bones. Tessa is the only survivor of a serial killer who has killed all his other victims, and then bury them and on their pit planting these beautiful daisies. Killer's signature, these daisies also become the name by which his victims are referred to: Susans. Tessa does not want to be a Susan anymore, now that the past is passed and she has testified at the trial of the monster, she wants to live her life as a single mom dedicating herself to Charlie, her teenage daughter that looks like her: long red curls and athletic. But it seems that for Tessa the nightmare is not ended yet. One morning she discovers in her garden a freshly panted bush of black-eyed susan. Who wants Tessa to remember? If the monster is still tormenting her, then who is the man she accused, and which is now on death row? Tessa bravely decides to shed light on the past, turning to Bill, defense lawyer of the alleged offender, who along with a brilliant pathologist will attempt to give a voice to all the poor Susans.
At first this book has a little discouraged me.
The constant changes of scene between a chapter and the other (Tessa today, Tessa 1995) confused me.
But as they went along, I was able to connect all the bits and pieces scattered through thescene changes that were initially puzzling me, and get myself a complete view about Tessa's life.
Tessa in this book, whose rights were bought to become a movie, is the absolute protagonist. Julia Heaberlin wrote in my opinion a fantastic thriller that I found very well structured and able to lead the reader to the end without NEVER, let traperale a single clue about the identity of the monster.
Needless to say, as a scientist and passionate like I am, the part that I liked most about the story was the forensic investigation served for DNA identification of the bones found in the pit. The scientific techniques used and explained were perfect, witnessing the great and meticulous research that Julia has done and that strongly contributes to give strength and credibility to this part of the investigation.
The only sore point is the absence of a bit of suspense. I would have liked it better if slighlty more fast peaced.
Anyway, I give this thriller a 4/5 for the well-structured plot and the remarkables skills of Hearberlin in telling the characters and the story, inducing a reasonable doubt in the mind of the reader and making even the most normal people look like monsters.
I'm sure some of you have read this book. What do you think about it?
As I mentioned, the rights of the novel were bought by director Rod Lurie who, together with his wife, are working on the adaptation to make it into a movie. Between this and the adaptation of "The girl on the train" there next movie season sound quite promising!
If you want to read the book before to watch the movie, I have provided you with all the links to both physical copy and e-book on Amazon.com and Bookdepository.
Don't forget to leave a comment to let me know if liked the book or to discuss about it!