Black-Eyed Susans
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Black-Eyed Susans

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**THE TOP 5 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER**'My book of the year so far. Breathtakingly, heart-stoppingly brilliant... A beautifully written, gripping, intelligent, unpredictable crime novel that obsessed me from start to finish' Awarded Crime Novel of the Year by Sophie Hannah, internationally bestselling author of The Narrow BedA chilling new thriller that gets into the heart and mind of the killer, and the victim . . .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?Praise for Black-Eyed Susans'It's a terrific plot, matched by the quality of the writing and superbly paced tension' The Times Book of the Month'Black Eyed Susans is a compelling read, especially for Serial fans' Cosmopolitan'Creepy and compelling, Black-Eyed Susans is a shadowy and crooked journey to a very dark place indeed, a twisty fairytale that deceives you just when you think you've cracked it and a thriller to make you remember why you love thrillers. Don't miss it' Observer, Thriller of the Month'One of the classiest thrillers you'll read this year' Charlotte Heathcote of Daily Express and Sunday Express'Mesmerising . . . In a crowded field, Heaberlin is something special, and clearly an author to whom close attention must be paid' Barry Forshaw, Crime Time'About as good an example of Grip Lit as you could read' Sunday Independent'Sophisticated, disturbing and with plenty of red herrings' Woman and Home'We can't remember the last time a thriller burrowed under our skin like this. Sparkling characters, authentic emotion, and an unpredictable plot makes this a terrific read from start to end' iBooks, Books of the Month'The assured telling of this chiller combines to create a very modern Gothic horror that will keep you up way past your bedtime' Sunday Mirror'A sophisticated take on the serial killer novel' Good Housekeeping'Black Eyed Susans is haunting, intense and original - it'll keep you guessing till the last page' Closer 'A masterful thriller that shouldn't be missed. Heaberlin's work calls to mind that of Gillian Flynn. Both writers published impressive early novels that were largely overlooked, and then one that couldn't be: Flynn's Gone Girl and now Heaberlin's Black-Eyed Susans. Don't miss it' Washington Post'A fascinating, twisted book' Koethi Zan, author of Richard and Judy-selected THE NEVER LIST'This is a deftly organised, impeccably paced psychological suspense thriller that nods to Daphne du Maurier and, like all Heaberlin's fiction, boasts purr-inducing prose ' Sunday Times, Culture Magazine'Tense, pacy and compelling, Black-Eyed Susans is a taut psychological thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Julia Haeberlin masterfully ramps up the suspense gradually, building to an explosive denouement that you won't see coming. Quite simply, the best thriller you'll read this year - perhaps decade. Miss it at your peril. Keep Calm and Read a Book Reviewsshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 25mm | 287g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1405921277
  • 9781405921275
  • 26,646

About Julia Heaberlin

Julia Heaberlin is an award-winning journalist. She has also edited numerous real-life thriller stories, including a series on the perplexing and tragic murders of girls buried in the Mexican desert and another on domestic violence. She lives with her husband and son in Texas.Black-Eyed Susans was a top 5 Sunday Times bestsellershow more

Review quote

It's a terrific plot, matched by the quality of the writing and superbly paced tension * The Times BOOK OF THE MONTH * Black Eyed Susans is a compelling read, especially for Serial fans * Cosmopolitan * One of the classiest thrillers you'll read this year * Charlotte Heathcote * About as good an example of Grip Lit as you could read * Sunday Independent * Sophisticated, disturbing and with plenty of red herrings * Woman and Home * We can't remember the last time a thriller burrowed under out skin like this. Sparkling characters, authentic emotion, and an unpredictable plot makes this a terrific read from start to end * iBook, Books of the Month * An absorbing character study and a good choice for readers who want to really sink into a psychological thriller * Booklist * A truly compelling tale of the fragility of memory and elusive redemption * Kirkus Reviews * Black-Eyed Susans is a masterful thriller that shouldn't be missed . . . and in terms of suspense, characterizations and storytelling... is outstanding. Heaberlin's work calls to mind that of Gillian Flynn. Both writers published impressive early novels that were largely overlooked, and then one that couldn't be: Flynn's Gone Girl and now Heaberlin's Black-Eyed Susans. Don't miss it. * Washington Post * Gripping... The suspense builds as Tessie uncovers devastating secrets from the past en route to the shocking ending * Publishers Weekly * Terrific. Impeccable plotting * Barry Forshaw * A spellbinding tale, at once both completely believable and utterly suspenseful - and once you reach the novel's perfect ending, you will want to read it again * David Dow, Death Row investigator and author of Things I've learnt from Dying * This twisted tale is disturbing in the best way, rife with suspense and rich in eerie detail. A deeply creepy page-turner that you won't want to put down * Laura McHugh, author of The Weight of Blood * With vivid, original prose that never misses its mark, Julia Heaberlin lures you into this psychologically astute and utterly riveting story of a victim left for dead by a serial killer, whose forgotten memories may hold the key to finding 'her monster.' As this dark journey into her past unfolds, you will race through the pages to discover the shocking secrets she thinks she wants to remember--only to find the truth lingering in your own mind long after you're done. A fascinating, twisted book * Koethi Zan, author of Richard and Judy-selected THE NEVER LIST * In Julia Heaberlin's mesmerising novel, the haunted Tessa is the only survivor of a serial killer's reign of terror. But after several decades, she finds flowers planted outside her bedroom window. Is the murderous monster she escaped from still in prison - or closing in on her? In a crowded field, Heaberlin is something special, and clearly an author to whom close attention must be paid * Barry Forshaw * The best thriller I have read in a very long time. Intelligent and very intriguing - this author's writing pulled me in immediately. I think it outshines both 'Gone Girl' or 'The Girl on the Train'. * Brandie is a Book Junkie! * If readers looking for the next Gone Girl do pick it up, I guarantee they won't put it down. A classic page-turner. * D Magazine * A sophisticated take on the serial killer novel * Good Housekeeping * Excellent * Crime Watch * an intriguing tale told by a compelling but unreliable narrator who struggles to remember details of her abduction as a teenager, but is convinced the wrong man faces execution for the crime * Sunday Times Crime Club * An intriguing and twisty read... This is a very well written thriller with a cleverly structured plot * My Reading Corner * In a grave under a patch of Black-eyed Susans, in a Texas field, a serial killer buries four girls. Three die. One survives. Sixteen-year-old Tessa, after several days with the three corpses, is traumatised. Her evidence in court results in a man being sentenced to death for murder. Tessa achieves a measure of normality and becomes a single mother and an artist. Now, nearly 20 years later, Black-eyed Susans are freshly planted outside her window and she's approached by lawyers trying to stop the imminent execution of the convicted man who is still on death row, claiming his innocence. The story is narrated in alternate chapters by the Tessa of 1995, soon to be a witness at the man's trial, and today's Tessa, tormented by the thought that if the wrong man has been convicted, the real killer is free and a danger to her and her daughter. But, we learn gradually, that Tessa has been keeping secrets too. It's a terrific plot, matched by the quality of the writing and superbly paced tension. * The Times BOOK OF THE MONTH * It's a clever plot with perfectly paced tension and many shivers along the way * The Times * The book is a delicious mix of well-researched facts, creative plot twists and a likable main character . . . a masterful storyteller * Star Telegram * As well as a brilliant premise, the writing style keeps you hooked and at times is quite unsettling . . . it takes a lot of skill to be able to unnerve a reader like that, so hats off to Julia Heaberlin for writing such a gripping and atmospheric story that had me jumping every time I heard an unexpected noise. This book will draw you in and have you second guessing yourself page after page. Black Eyed Susans is probably one of the most cunningly clever and gripping thrillers I've read in a long while and I would recommend this as one of my top reads of the year so far * Bookshelf Butterfly * A tense, beautifully written novel of survival and hope. Highly recommended * William Landay, bestselling author of Richard and Judy-selected Defending Jacob * This is a deftly organised, impeccably paced psychological suspense thriller that nods to Daphne du Maurier and, like all Heaberlin's fiction, boasts purr-inducing prose * Sunday Times, Culture Magainze * My book of the year so far. Breathtakingly, heart-stoppingly brilliant -- Sophie Hannah, internationally bestselling author of * The Narrow Bed * I love this cover and I love this book, the super-creepy story of a woman who was rescued from a shallow grave as a teenager * The Bookseller * The assured telling of this chiller combines to create a very modern Gothic horror that will keep you up way past your bedtime * Sunday Mirror * There's a hint of Kathy Reichs, Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and of Paula Hawkins's The Girl on the Train. Despite its dark subject matter, this is a hopeful book . . . the ending managed to be both surprising and satisfying. * We Love This Book * The denouement is unexpected, plausible and perfectly satisfying . . . Black Eyed Susans is a thumping good mystery * The Bookbag * If you like dark and disturbing psychological thrillers then Black Eyed Susans should definitely go on your list * CrimeFictionLover.com * A fascinating, educated, highly absorbing read that I struggled to put down for any length of time. Any free moment was spent with my head in this book.Intense, creepy and atmospheric, Black-Eyed Susans is a intelligent character driven masterpiece excellently paced with some great plot twists which had me guessing right to the very end ... brilliant! * SJ2B House of Books * Heaberlin drip-feeds an intriguing story at a tantalising pace . . . Heaberlin has written an intelligent, absorbing and well-researched page-turner that will delight fans of Megan Abbot and Tana French * Daily Express * Fascinating details about identifying remains through bone and DNA analysis are woven through equally compelling present-day narration and flashbacks to Tessa's therapy sessions and trial testimony. The pieces can't come fast enough as the story builds to a shocking and satisfying conclusion. Deliciously twisty and eerie, Heaberlin's psychological suspense novel is intricately layered and instantly compelling * An August LibraryReads Pick * A truly compelling tale of the fragility of memory and elusive redemption * Kirkus Reviews - 9 Novels You Shouldn't Miss Before Summer's Over * This book is a rarity in that the research underpinning it is evident but not obtrusive. Black Eyed Susans is a fine achievement. It drips with authenticity, empathy and dread, meditating on the Death Penalty as well as offering an empathetic study of the life of a survivor. Take note - Julia Heaberlin belongs on every suspense fan's bookshelf * Nudge Books * Creepy and compelling, Black-Eyed Susans is a shadowy and crooked journey to a very dark place indeed, a twisty fairytale that deceives you just when you think you've cracked it and a thriller to make you remember why you love thrillers. Don't miss it. * Observer, Thriller of the Month * This is the debut novel of Julia Heaberlin, and again it's excellent . . . Beautifully written . . . It's a great book * BBC Arts Show * A powerful thriller . . . With a fairy-tale-like atmosphere, the creepy thriller works insidiously on the senses . . . Clever, ingeniously manipulative and elegant. * Maxim Jakubowski, Lovereading * This dark, complex thriller is not just a gripping page-turner, but also brilliantly explores the psychology of the victim * Mail On Sunday, You Magazine Book of the Month * Black Eyed Susans is haunting, intense and original - it'll keep you guessing till the last page -- Closer Taut, addictive, intelligent and impressive * Express * Tense, pacy and compelling, Black-Eyed Susans is a taut psychological thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Julia Haeberlin masterfully ramps up the suspense gradually, building to an explosive denouement that you won't see coming. Quite simply, the best thriller you'll read this year - perhaps decade. Miss it at your peril. -- Sarah V. Taylor * Keep Calm and Read a Book Reviews *show more

Review Text

It's a terrific plot , matched by the quality of the writing and superbly paced tension The Times BOOK OF THE MONTHshow more

Rating details

16,929 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 22% (3,786)
4 44% (7,463)
3 26% (4,318)
2 6% (1,008)
1 2% (354)
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