Suspense books are particular draw for me and when I find that I am having trouble focusing on more substantial reading, I really enjoy a good suspense novel. The One I Left Behind fit the bill perfectly this past January for me. My intention for 2013 was to focus on nonfiction, but the first couple of books that I picked up were suspense – something that can keep me occupied and not require too much thought. Sometimes it is just to hard to focus!
The One I left Behind switches back and forth between two times periods in Reggie’s (short for Regina) life. In her adult life, Reggie has become a successful, award-winning architect. Her life is not perfect, but given her early years she has done exceptionally well. The summer of 1985 is the focus of the second time period. Reggie is thirteen, without a father, and a serial killer dubbed “Neptune” begins leaving the severed hands of his victims on the police department steps. Reggie and her friends, Charlie, the local detective’s son, and Tara, an odd goth kid, find themselves drawn into the mystery and when Reggie’s mother becomes a victim, Reggie’s life is changed forever.
My own worst fear when I begin a suspense novel is not that it will frighten me, keep me up at night, or give me nightmares, it is that I will figure the end out before I get there. Not many things can be more frustrating than figuring out the end before you get there after investing time in reading a novel. I’m happy to report that I did not figure this out and enjoyed it very much. If you like a good suspense novel or think you might but haven’t tried them, this is a good book to read.
One last note — read about the author, Jennifer McMahon, on the book jacket. She’s an interesting character herself, having done a myriad of jobs through her life to this point. I think her own interesting experiences helped to form her very interesting characters!
Book Details: Published by William Morrow Paperbacks (January 2, 2013), 432 pages, ISBN: 0062122551.