'Utterly compelling . . . the writing is mesmeric' Ali Land, Sunday Times bestselling author of Good Me Bad Me 'This book haunted me . . . The writing is beautiful and chilling, laced with a subtle dark humour, and the multiple twists build to a perfect icy shiver of an ending. I loved it!' C J Tudor, Sunday Times bestselling author of The Chalk Man **PREORDER THE CHILLING NEW THRILLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE SUNDAY TIMESBESTSELLER BLACK-EYED SUSANS** Carl Louis Feldman is an old man who was once a celebrated photographer. That was before he was tried for the murder of a young woman and acquitted. Before his admission to a care home for dementia. Now his daughter has come to see him, to take him on a trip. Only she's not his daughter and, if she has her way, he's not coming back . . . Because Carl's past has finally caught up with him. The young woman driving the car is convinced her passenger is guilty, and that he's killed other young women. Including her sister Rachel. Now they're following the trail of his photographs, his clues, his alleged crimes. To see if he remembers any of it. Confesses to any of it. To discover what really happened to Rachel. Has Carl truly forgotten what he did or is he just pretending? Perhaps he's guilty of nothing and she's the liar. Either way in driving him into the Texan wilderness she's taking a terrible risk. For if Carl really is a serial killer, she's alone in the most dangerous place of all . . . 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 '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 Bed '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 'About as good an example of Grip Lit as you could read' Sunday Independent
I didn't know where this book was going and it was so refreshing... -
This is my first Julia Heaberlin novel and as such what an introduction to such clever and evocative writing. I've enjoyed many books I've read recently but usually you always know, within a few twists, where the story is going. With this one, I didn't have a clue. And I found it all the more absorbing for that. Julia's writing just flows off the page and into your mind like lots of little Peter Pans, some amusing, some naughty, some very worrying but always memorable. Unusually, I didn't skip a single word on the page, such was my enjoyment.
Beautifully constructed, as I got further into the book, I did start to worry that the ending would be a huge, Hollywood-style disappointment, but no. I even had tears in my eyes as I read the last page. Both for fondness of the characters and the author. The story also brings to life the inconsolable pain and obsession that grief can lead otherwise happy, healthy individuals to embrace, taking their lives completely off track.
Mundane details are left out completely, others are revealed only after you've been reading for a long time and don't even realise they haven't been filled in - I loved that too. Real life rarely gives us the whole story and almost never when we're expecting it, so why should fiction.
Billed as a chilling thriller, I'd recommend it to anyone who loves good writing, as at its heart, this is a story of believable, hurting, human people and certainly not a run-of-the-mill whodunnit.
'I bang with my fist this time. "Carl, are you OK?" No answer. The knob twists easily. The room is empty. The faucet is running. So, I realize, is Carl.'