Black-Eyed Susans, by Julia Heaberlin

25 Oct
FIVE of FIVE stars

FIVE of FIVE stars

This was a little slow going for me in the beginning. It switches back and forth from 1995 to present day, and although that wasn’t confusing, the pieces of the story are sparsely given out, so it takes a long time before you understand what’s going on. But it’s not so bad that you should read all about it first, I went into it blind and you should too.

Other than that this was an impeccably well researched book, and definitely had an unexpected ending. It was so unexpected for me that I almost took off a star for being too unrealistic and out of left field… but then I kept thinking back on it and realized that it was definitely possible. I think the main problem was that I was so sure I had figured it out early on, and kept trying to make my suspect fit into the story all the way to the end, even when it was clearly not that person.

A lot of great imagery using books and art, little hidden nuggets of information foreshadowing that I really loved.

There is a pretty good size group of characters too, most of whom were really fleshed out, and not everything in their lives was wrapped up in a bow for us because we’re only hearing Tessa’s side of the story so we only know what she knows and/or what she chooses to share with us.

I love the framework of the OJ Simpson trial, the seperate storyline of an innocent man on death row, that the ex boyfriend and daughter’s father is not a stereotypical jerk, showing how prosecutors and defense attorneys can both be good and they can both be bad, and I really liked that not every detail of everything was explained to us. There are still a lot of things we don’t know at the end of the story, but they have nothing to do with the actual mystery, so it’s fine. I *almost* wish there could be a sequel, but I’m not sure that could be pulled off without crossing the line of believability.

Very much worth a read.

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