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Sunday, September 6, 2015

(66)Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin



I have to apologize for going silent the last few weeks.  We moved and the chaos involved with moving has ruled my world for the last month or so.  Things are settling down and we are getting back to normal, so I expect to get back to my regular reading.

In a few short weeks Terrell Darcy Goodwin will be executed because of Tessa Cartwright's testimony in a trial that happened twenty years ago.  Tessa was one of the victims known as the "Black-Eyed Susans."  She was the only survivor dumped with the dead bodies of other women murdered and left in a ditch.  The murderer believed that Tessa was dead, too.   Now there is a race by some activist to prove that Terrell Darcy Goodwin is innocent and they have enlisted the help of Tessa.  And after all these years even Tessa believes that she made a mistake by testifying against Terrell Darcy Goodwin.  Who else but the murderer could be leaving Tessa Black-Eyed Susans over the years?  Will Tessa and this small group of people be able to prove Goodwin's innocence before it is too late?

Black-Eyed Susans was a fast paced suspense novel.  The chapters alternate between the Tessa of today and the sixteen year old Tessie in the days after she was found in a pile of dead women. Obviously there is a difference between the two, but the events of those days has definitely shaped the woman that Tessa is today.  She is a cautious woman who has taught her own teen-aged daughter to be alert and aware, fueled by her past, she is determined to not repeat it.  I found myself drawn to Tessa's determination to never be a victim again.  She took the steps necessary to become her own protector.  From her ability to handle a weapon to thought out plans of what to do if there is every an intruder. It just proved to me that Tessa was never going to be a victim again.   In the end  the truth is revealed in the most shocking of ways.

Bottom line - Black-Eyed Susans is one of those books that will suck you in and keep you hooked until the very last page.  Such a good read!

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