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The Beauty of the End
Debbie Howells

from FictionZeal.com re: Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

Black-Eyed Susans: A Novel of Suspense - Julia Heaberlin

Sixteen year old Tessie survived, just barely, at the hands of a madman.  She survived but in many ways she still lives through it and is still tormented by someone who continues to plant black-eyed susans on her property every year —  no matter where she moves and no matter how many times she moves.  Black-eyed susans remind her of that day.  She was in the same field as the other “Black-Eyed Susans”, a nickname given to the murdered girls.  They were all in a shallow grave covered over by these wildflowers.  Tessie did what many traumatized people would do – she blocked much of it from her mind.  Terrell Darcy Goodman had been arrested and in present day, his time on death row is nearing the end.  But is he the right man?

In present day, Tessa’s legal advisers want her to go under hypnosis.  They need her to remember.  She agrees she needs to remember, if for no other reason than to protect her daughter, fourteen year old Charlie.

If you want to know what apsychological thriller’ looks like, it is this book.  The pacing did not take off initially for me, even though I was still intrigued.  The story weaves back and forth between Tessie, as she was known then in 1995, and Tessa in present day.  It takes courage to relive such a horrific experience, and the author portrays the character of Tessa as a very strong but traumatized individual.  Rating: 3.5 out of 5.