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Black-Eyed Susans
Black-Eyed Susans: A Novel of Suspense | Julia Heaberlin
For fans of Laura Lippman and Gillian Flynn comes an electrifying novel of stunning psychological suspense.I am the star of screaming headlines and campfire ghost stories.I am one of the four Black-Eyed Susans.The lucky one. As a sixteen-year-old, Tessa Cartwright was found in a Texas field, barely alive amid a scattering of bones, with only fragments of memory as to how she got there. Ever since, the press has pursued her as the lone surviving Black-Eyed Susan, the nickname given to the murder victims because of the yellow carpet of wildflowers that flourished above their shared grave. Tessas testimony about those tragic hours put a man on death row. Now, almost two decades later, Tessa is an artist and single mother. In the desolate cold of February, she is shocked to discover a freshly planted patch of black-eyed susansa summertime bloomjust outside her bedroom window. Terrified at the implicationsthat she sent the wrong man to prison and the real killer remains at largeTessa turns to the lawyers working to exonerate the man awaiting execution. But the flowers alone are not proof enough, and the forensic investigation of the still-unidentified bones is progressing too slowly. An innocent life hangs in the balance. The legal team appeals to Tessa to undergo hypnosis to retrieve lost memoriesand to share the drawings she produced as part of an experimental therapy shortly after her rescue. What they dont know is that Tessa and the scared, fragile girl she was have built a fortress of secrets. As the clock ticks toward the execution, Tessa fears for her sanity, but even more for the safety of her teenaged daughter. Is a serial killer still roaming free, taunting Tessa with a trail of clues? She has no choice but to confront old ghosts and lingering nightmares to finally discover what really happened that night. Shocking, 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 flowersas a killer makes a chilling return to his garden.Praise for Black-Eyed SusansA masterful thriller that shouldnt be missed . . . brilliantly conceived, beautifully executed . . . [Julia] Heaberlins work calls to mind that of Gillian Flynn. Both writers published impressive early novels that were largely overlooked, and then one that couldnt be: Flynns Gone Girl and now Heaberlins Black-Eyed Susans. Dont miss it.The Washington Post[A] gem of a novel . . . richly textured, beautifully written . . . Tension builds, and the plot twists feel earned as well as genuinely surprising.The Boston GlobeA tense, slow-burning, beautifully written novel of survival and hope. Highly recommended.William Landay, New York Times bestselling author of Defending Jacob Deliciously twisty and eerie, Heaberlins third psychological suspense novel is intricately layered and instantly compelling.Library Journal (starred review)Brilliant . . . a breakout book.Fort Worth Star-TelegramHeaberlin does a neat job, in Black-Eyed Susans, of making us care. . . . [Shes] a pro who strengthens her theme of judicial prejudice by referring to the O.J. Simpson trial and by drawing our attention to the morbid regularity of executions in Texas prisons.The New York Times Book ReviewFrom the Hardcover edition.
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review
Butterflyamore
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️

US state challenge: Texas (6)

Well, this story was okay.

It moved very slowly and lacked the suspense I enjoy and hope for in a psychological thriller. But most of the book wasn‘t terrible. It just felt more like I was reading a drama. It certainly had interesting aspects and I was especially fascinated by all of the forensic science details.

I didn‘t really love the flow of the book and I thought the ending was a bit cheesy.

84 likes1 stack add
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SageIvy
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Starting this one while traveling home from our vacation/road Trip!

Riveted_Reader_Melissa That‘s a beautiful cover. 12mo
16 likes1 comment
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TorieStorieS
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Pickpick

This is a fast-paced listen that I really enjoyed! It falls apart a bit at the end, but for the most part is a solid story with a polished audio performance! Great for getting in some #AudioColoring! And a good listen as I start getting ready to compile all my spooky reads (and listens!) for next month!

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Librarybelle
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A visit to the #dollartree resulted in this #bookhaul .

AmyG Wow! 2y
Mommamanzi SERIOUSLY?! 2y
MaGoose Wow!! 2y
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RavenLovelyReads What?!? I gotta check my local store out! 😍 2y
Wan.der.love Had no idea dollar tree sold books!! 👍🏻👍🏻 2y
Insightsintobooks Your dollar tree has better books than mine! Lol. I have found some great ones there before though, it helped that I used to be a manager and got first dibs when they came in as I stocked them. Lol. 😁 2y
akckitty Omg books! 😍 2y
Librarybelle @AmyG @Mommamanzi @MaGoose @RavenLovelyReads @Wan.der.love @Insightsintobooks @akckitty I frequent the dollar tree closest to my parents - I always find a ton of books, and the shelves are stocked two deep! There‘s one just a couple miles down the road that has hardly any books. I‘ve not visited the one closest to me yet, but isn‘t it funny how each store is different? 2y
MaGoose I'll have to check out the Dollar Tree near me. I usually frequent Dollar General near me, which doesn't have books I don't think. I'll go book hunting tomorrow. 2y
Hooked_on_books Wow! 😍 2y
Librarybelle @MaGoose Good luck! 2y
Butterflyamore I love Dollar Tree book hauls! My copy of Black Eyed Susans came from there as well! 10mo
Librarybelle @Butterflyamore ❤️❤️❤️ 10mo
101 likes14 comments
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whatrebeccasread
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Mehso-so

A powerful plot with interesting characters and themes but sadly with a disappointing ending. I also felt it was slightly too long which means I'm scoring the crime story “Black Eyed Susans” 3 stars.

As usual there's a full review of this book up on my blog 📚

whatsthEStorey I thought this one was fair, not my favorite, but I just finished Paper Ghosts by the Julia Heaberlin, and I really liked it! Have you read it? (edited) 1y
whatrebeccasread @whatsthEStorey thanks for this recommendation! I haven't read it but I'll definitely look into it, my TBR pile is shrinking so I'll need to start adding to it soon! 1y
71 likes6 stack adds3 comments
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JoScho
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As a 16-year-old, Tessa Cartwright was found in a Texas field, barely alive amid a scattering of bones, with only fragments of memory as to how she got there. Ever since, the press has pursued her as the lone surviving “Black-Eyed Susan,” the nickname given to the murder victims because of the yellow carpet of wildflowers that flourished above their graves.
I read this one about a year ago. #memory #readingresolutions

Gissy I think there is a sequel. 2y
JoScho @Gissy oh I will have to look into that. Thanks 🖤 2y
Gissy The name is paper ghosts. I only saw it book Depository in paperback 2y
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Bookishthoughts I read it also. I was kinda disappointed angry and confused why her friend acted that way. 2y
Mamashep Paper Ghosts isn‘t a sequel but it‘s equally edge of your seat tense. 2y
DivineDiana Beautiful cover. Sounds disturbing. 2y
114 likes4 stack adds6 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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#Flowers
#HopIntoSpring

I‘ve got to get to these books!! 🌹🌼🌻🥀🌷

I‘m so ready to plant my zinnias!!!! These are my first roses this season 🌹

Christine11 Such a lovely photo! 😊🌸💕 2y
BookBridget Beautiful photo! 2y
BookBridget Stacked 2y
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ephemeralwaltz Lovely!! 2y
Captivatedbybooks Black eyed susans was at my dollar tree 2y
Sophoclessweetheart Mischling is heartbreaking! X 2y
BookaholicNatty @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks the roses are beautiful!!!! I love flowers. I can‘t wait to get mine own yard so I can have a flower garden! @Captivatedbybooks I just got Olive Kitteridge at the Dollar Tree today! It cracks me up that they have books in there now! 2y
Captivatedbybooks @BookaholicNatty and some good ones ive gotten Stephen King ones, Rizzoli & Isles ones i just buy what sounds good cause they work great with swaps you know 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @BookaholicNatty I just got 3 AWESOME books yesterday at Goodwill that are going to be great for swaps!!! 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Wanderingwithwords I‘ve heard!!! I‘m holding off on the sad ones for now... 2y
vkois88 Gorgeous ❤ 2y
Reviewsbylola I couldn‘t wait to read Idaho and Mischling and then I HATED both of them. But I know I‘m in the minority. 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Reviewsbylola I remembered your mom telling me that!! Lol 2y
140 likes3 stack adds16 comments
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks
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I got off work early yesterday so I stopped by the Goodwill... I only $10! I planted some Black-eyed Susans last year and they were beautiful!!! The book on the right is for a sweet litten friend 😘 Goodnight friends!! 😴🌙🌝

Tanisha_A Lovely photographs! 2y
SandyW We have a black-eyed Susan vine... 😃 2y
Bookishthoughts Cute!📚💛 2y
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115 likes6 comments
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TrishB
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#flowercover #marchinbooks
Before reading this I had no idea these were actual flowers!

DivineDiana The State Flower of Maryland, my birth State and home of most of my family! 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks These are so pretty!!! 2y
Bookishthoughts That book had a sad twist. I finished reading it, Then asked myself why.😞 2y
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TrishB @DivineDiana 👍🏻they are pretty 😁 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 2y
TrishB @LazyDays yes- sort of unexpected! 2y
TrishB @Susanita 👍🏻 you do learn so much here 😁 2y
Soubhiville This is my Mom‘s favorite flower. 🌻 2y
Cathythoughts Excellent choice 🌻 2y
Elizabeth2 @DivineDiana I was getting ready to post the same thing (I am a MD girl). Black Eyed Susan‘s are used a lot here. I used to have them around the patio of our old house. They are so low maintenance and beautiful! 2y
ReadingRover Did you like this book? It‘s been on my TBR forever. 2y
TrishB @Soubhiville 👍🏻 2y
TrishB @ReadingRover I remember enjoying it at the time - there is s huge twist at the end - don‘t read all the reviews on here if you‘re going to read as someone gives it away and it really does spoil it if you know!! 2y
AlaMich I love Black-eyed Susans! 2y
rwmg It's funny how you can go through life oblivious to these things, isn't it? I caused a minor kerfuffle amongst my FB friends a couple of weeks ago when I got excited over finding out the huckleberry is an actual berry. 2y
TrishB @rwmg and you realise everyone else already knew! 2y
erzascarletbookgasm Neither did I! 🙈 2y
135 likes2 stack adds17 comments
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SavidgeReads
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Panpan

Sadly a DNF for me. I got about 100 pages in over a week or so (slow for me) and then the next 50 pages were like wading through thick sludge. I think the construct of the novel is what got me. As our protagonist Tessa looks back on her childhood she‘s blocking events out, as you might if you were left for dead by a murderer, but sadly Heaberlin keeps us at such a distance we don‘t connect and I sadly stopped caring and just got a bit bored. Oops.

36 likes1 stack add
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RobinGustafson
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A little Sunday morning suspense reading #Sundayreading

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cristiana_de_sousa
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Foxyfictionista
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Pickpick

🌻🌻🌻🌻 I am usually disappointed when I pick up thrillers because I either figure out who did it too early or it's a complete gore fest for no discernable reason other than shock value. This, however, was a pretty solid story with an interesting ending. Overall, it was a good use of my time.

Cathythoughts Sounds good 👍 2y
Foxyfictionista @Cathythoughts If you like thrillers, I recommend it. ☺️ 2y
MyNamesParadise From what I'm remembering with this one, I really did not like the ending, but liked the pacing up until the end. 2y
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Foxyfictionista @MyNamesParadise I can see why you didn't like it. I liked it because I didn't feel cheated like I do with many stories in this genre. Don't get me wrong, I didn't think it was amazing, but I didn't feel like I wasted my time. I didn't really expect much from it in the first place. 2y
MyNamesParadise @Foxyfictionista it's been a while since I've read it, and I can't remember it, but I guess that means it didn't leave any kind of impact on me. 2y
Foxyfictionista @MyNamesParadise Haha! I'm pretty sure that I'll forget about it soon enough. It was good but won't leave any sort of lasting impression on me. 2y
63 likes1 stack add6 comments
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KnjiskiZmaj
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Pickpick

Just a couple of days ago this was my five star predicition. Well my predicition was good.I missed the days when I would devour a book in one day, and I'm so glad this was the one of those. Full of despicable characters, suspense through the entire book, twists, narration, everything was put masterfully. And the ending smacked me right in my face! Pick, pick, pick!!! 4.5/5 ⭐
#fallintobooks

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Evelien
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This book is perfect for the #livetotell! I loved how the book focus on how she copes with her trauma instead of focusing on what happend to her. #augustgrrrl.

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Alicia
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Mehso-so

Finished this one this AM. Pretty engaging and I liked the twist at the end. It dragged in places and also I didn't love the wimpy main character. But overall entertaining and good for audio.

Notafraidofwords I bailed on this one. Who ended up being the killer? 3y
Alicia @Notafraidofwords it ended up being her psychiatrist but Lydia was like aware of it and ended up killing him shortly after the trial! 3y
69 likes2 comments
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BookBabe
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#BookNBrunch! Fried egg sandwich with melted cheddar & mozzarella cheese, with extra-crispy sausage hash & tots, and lemon seltzer. Yum! 😋 This has been another presentation of: #MrBookBookBabeKitchen. Happy reads & happy eats 🍳

kyraleseberg That was a good book! 3y
90 likes1 comment
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kellock
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My kindle has given up the ghost and since I can't take one on the plane anyway I have decided to go old school for my holiday reading - I raided the charity shop for this lot and have realised that they don't look particularly holidayesque, might need to find something more cheery to take along. Any suggestions more than welcome. I will be sitting by a pool for a week trying not to let my Scottish skin burn 😳

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Joanne1
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Returning these to the library... unread. Why do I always, always borrow more than I could possibly get through?

kendrastephaniekaryn I can relate! 3y
merelybookish I have 6 unread books I need to return tomorrow. Don't we all do this? 😉 3y
TheBookStacker I enjoyed Susans. 3y
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Lwiesman I do the same thing! 3y
Joanne1 @TheBookStacker oh no, now I'll have to borrow it again at some point. 3y
MyNamesParadise Susan's was a good enough read but not the best. 3y
60 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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SomedayAlmost
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Pickpick

Happy Mother's Day! Bad moms often make good fiction, especially in the suspense & mystery books that I that I enjoy, but the single mom & crime survivor in this book is an exception. The original crime is brutal, but it's also a story of mistrust & teenage judgement set against pitch-perfect descriptions of Texas. #strongsinglemom #survivor #pageturner #Texan

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Jewelms
Mehso-so

So somystery

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KnjiskiZmaj
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This one is screaming from my bookshelf "READ ME!!" Hush hush baby, soon you'll have my full attention ? #TBR

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Evelien
Pickpick

Great book! I really like that i was not about the crime bit about the psychological consequences. And i really did not see that ending coming!

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Evelien

I am so extremly busy that it is taking me ages to go through this book. I am half way and so far i like it. Even though they don't discuss much about what happened to tessie it is still a very heavy book. Not something you want to read if you want an easy, quick to read book.

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thefictionalreader
Pickpick

Thus actually surprised me. I ended up really loving this mystery novel, even though I read it while I was in a massive reading slump. 🙈

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Evelien
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When you really need to study but all you want to do is read another chapter

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thefictionalreader
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I'm currently in a reading slump I think, but I am hoping this one will get me out of it! 😁

Chachic Reading slumps suck! I hope you're able to get out of it soon. 3y
thefictionalreader @Chachic Thank you! I hope so too, I hate reading slumps 🙁 3y
MarticaMustRead I hope it's as good as its great cover!! 3y
7 likes3 comments
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Evelien
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My february TBR pile

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dogwoodflower66
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Pickpick

Oh, this was a good one! This book kept me wondering until the last page. Tessa went through the most horrible nightmare, but by the end I was wondering if it had really happened, if she was crazy, or if somebody she knew or loved could have done this to her. I'll be looking for more from Julia Heaberlin!

BloominChick This is on my kindle! Grabbed it on sale. But haven't gotten to it yet. Seeing this makes me want to bump it up on the list! 3y
dogwoodflower66 The #southernlit chat made me want to read it. I had it on my list for a long time, but it kept calling to me. Glad I listened! 3y
rather_be_reading stacked! 1y
5 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Jenshootsweddings
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Some good deals on Book Outlet right now! This was one of my favourite thrillers last year.

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little.miss.books
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Today Croatia,my country, became the first ever Free reading zone country in the world. During the whole month of December, we can read for free anytime and anywhere. Good for us!😄👏 #freereadingzone #croatia 😄

4 likes1 stack add
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little.miss.books
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Some 'light' reading!😄

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rubyslippersreads
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I read this for book club and thought it might be too scary, but it was #betterthanexpected and now I'm reading more thrillers. #novemberland

Bette I was pleasantly surprised by this one, and really enjoyed it. 😊👍❤️️ 3y
Gissy Added to my long tbr! 😊 3y
69 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Luv2readbookz
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Mehso-so

This was just okay. A little slow and the ending wasn't really satisfying. Another one that compares itself to Gone Girl.

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catieohjoy
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Mehso-so

This is somewhere between so-so and a pick for me. I found it super creepy (sometimes in a fun way, other times not so much), and the writing is engaging. But the ending was fairly predictable—this isn't always a deal-breaker for me, but since it wrapped up so swiftly I didn't feel like it really paid off, and there were no secondary twists that made things more interesting. Great characters, though!

Notafraidofwords Want to tell me who did behind the spoiler tag. I bailed on this one. 3y
Coleen I loved this one. The writing mostly. The story was decent, but it was the writing that grabbed me. 3y
catieohjoy @Notafraidofwords The doctor! And Lydia (the best friend) was sleeping with him, got pregnant, found out that he was the killer, and then murdered him on a boat. 🙄 It was just a liiiitle too much, haha. Also, the doctor didn't really have a daughter. 3y
Notafraidofwords @catieohjoy omg this is too much. 3y
30 likes4 comments
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catieohjoy
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Next up in my audio queue!

34 likes1 comment
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novelsandnonfiction
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Pickpick
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laurrose
Bailedbailed

I waited about 250 pages for something, anything, to happen in this book. For a novel that calls itself a "novel of suspense," It never caused me to grip it's pages in anticipation. The mystery itself isn't tied up well in the end (nor introduced well in the beginning). The conclusion felt expected and cliche. I appreciate the author's attempts at graceful language and characterization, but, ultimately, this fell short for me.

3 likes1 stack add
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collectorofwords
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Part one of what I'm currently reading!

2 likes1 stack add
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MotherOfGriffins
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Pickpick

Heaberlin takes you on a complex journey where a woman is trying to unlock her own memories from one night of horror to save the life of an innocent man. I‘m not going to spoil anything. I will say that I loved the plot twist. I thought it was just… devilish. @Litsy This is a great #AllHallowsRead!

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Yourfriendlylibrarian
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Pickpick

Very interesting twist and mystery. Author uses a lot symbolism and suspense to keep the reader attached. The characters are interesting with just the right amount of creepiness. Makes for a great spooky Halloween type read!

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ChristaS
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Mehso-so

This is one of the better thrillers I've read lately. It kept me guessing for most of the novel - which is a huge plus. I hate when I can see the ending coming from a mile away. But even though the mystery was good, the characters felt a little flat so it was hard to be too invested in the outcome.

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Tonifica
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Yesterday I thought I would start reading #niccifrenchbook 1st of the series 'Days'. Then I remember that someone talked about this one and if I can recall it right it was #IvaRajić #bibliovca and she recommended everyone to read this book. So I gave it a go :).What she said was true the first book pages are slippery and draws u immediately in.. It gave me chills, fun... I was lost for one last standing Black-eyed Susanne.Give it a try.Love😘😘📖

6 likes2 stack adds
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ChristaS
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Fall = mystery novels
#fallreads #mystery

6 likes2 stack adds
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Storm27
Mehso-so

Entertaining but ending didn't really come together very well.

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erzascarletbookgasm
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When I joined @Litsy I have just finished reading this. So, this was my #FirsteverLitsypost 😀. I've got tons of book recommendations and reviews here, and the community is awesome! My TBR list and wish list have multiplied tenfold! No regrets! However, I am not a fast reader and I do take my time to savour my reads. Wish I can read as fast and as much as most of you! 💙 #booktober @RealLifeReading

kspenmoll I am not a fast reader either- 😃❤️ 3y
I-read-and-eat No shame in slow reading. You'll enjoy the book longer! 💛 3y
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MrBook You're one of my favorites on here, love all of your posts 😁👍🏻!!! 3y
erzascarletbookgasm @I-read-and-eat Lol, thanks. True but my TBR stacks are piling up at a faster speed! 😁 3y
erzascarletbookgasm @MrBook aww, thanks, what a lovely comment to wake up to! Right back at ya! 😊 3y
31 likes1 stack add6 comments
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youngreadrshelf
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My friends have told me that I need to pay more attention to them. Hard to pet two dogs and hold the book at the same time.

Bookzombie 💕🐶🐶 3y
23 likes1 stack add1 comment
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youngreadrshelf
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"The kind of desktop where passion is screwing organization and nobody's making the bed."

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youngreadrshelf
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Leaving behind space travel to a novel of suspense. Still processing the one on the right. Will let you know soon, Litsians, how I felt about it. 😉