The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon
- Method of Obtaining: I received my copy from the publisher.
- Published by: William Morrow
- Release Date: 1/2/2013
The summer of 1985 changed Reggie’s life. Thirteen, awkward, and without a father, she finds herself mixed up with her school’s outcasts-Charlie, the local detective’s son, and Tara, a goth kid who has a mental hold over Reggie and harbors a dark secret. That same summer a serial killer called Neptune begins kidnapping women. He leaves their severed hands on the police department steps and, five days later, displays their bodies around town. Just when Reggie needs her mother Vera-an ex-model with many “boyfriends” and a thirst for gin-the most, Vera’s hand is found on the steps. But after five days, there’s no body and Neptune disappears.
Now a successful architect who left her hometown behind after that horrific summer, Reggie doesn’t trust anyone and lives with few attachments. But when she gets a call from a homeless shelter saying that her mother has been found alive, Reggie must confront the ghosts of her past and find Neptune before he kills again.
- I’ve read Jennifer McMahon before and was interested in seeing what she has coming out.
The One I Left Behind is the second of Jennifer McMahon’s books that I’ve read and I have to say that, although I’m not a big fan of the suspense/mystery genre, McMahon does have a way of capturing my attention and propelling me quickly through her stories.
The One I Left Behind has two central themes: the first being that of the suspense/mystery – someone named “Neptune” is out there cutting the right hand off of women and then murdering them shortly after. The second theme is that of the relationship between a daughter and her mother (and aunt). There’s some issues there that, through the course of the book, need to be addressed and resolved.
McMahon continues to do what she does best in this book. She offers a no-frills, romping ride through clues and scary circumstances while offering glimpses into the life of her main character, Reggie, and letting her readers see how that character develops over time. Past and present are both touched and are pulled together in the end to provide a fun, interesting twist of events that (although somewhat predictable) was fun and fulfilling.
While this might prove a bit boring to someone who is thoroughly immersed in the genre, to someone like me who has spent very little time there in the past few years, it was new, fun, and something different to read. Also, I didn’t feel at any point like I was being treated like an idiot – which is why I had veered away from the genre to begin with.
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