Books from the Backlog #304

Posted February 8, 2024 by Carole in Books from the Backlog / 13 Comments

Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.

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This week’s neglected book

Books from the Backlog #304Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
Narrator: Whitney Dykhouse, Eric G. Dove, Karen Peakes
Published by Brilliance Audio on August 11, 2015
Genres: Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense
Length: 10 hours 9 minutes
Pages: 367
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo |

TOP 5 SUNDAY TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLER • For fans of Laura Lippman and Gillian Flynn comes an electrifying novel of stunning psychological suspense.

“My book of the year so far . . . breathtakingly, heart-stoppingly brilliant.”—Sophie Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Monogram Murders

I am the star of screaming headlines and campfire ghost stories. I am one of the four Black-Eyed Susans. The lucky one.

As a sixteen-year-old, Tessa Cartwright was found in a Texas field, barely alive amid a scattering of bones, with only fragments of memory as to how she got there. Ever since, the press has pursued her as the lone surviving “Black-Eyed Susan,” the nickname given to the murder victims because of the yellow carpet of wildflowers that flourished above their shared grave. Tessa’s testimony about those tragic hours put a man on death row.

Now, almost two decades later, Tessa is an artist and single mother. In the desolate cold of February, she is shocked to discover a freshly planted patch of black-eyed susans—a summertime bloom—just outside her bedroom window. Terrified at the implications—that she sent the wrong man to prison and the real killer remains at large—Tessa turns to the lawyers working to exonerate the man awaiting execution. But the flowers alone are not proof enough, and the forensic investigation of the still-unidentified bones is progressing too slowly. An innocent life hangs in the balance. The legal team appeals to Tessa to undergo hypnosis to retrieve lost memories—and to share the drawings she produced as part of an experimental therapy shortly after her rescue.

What they don’t know is that Tessa and the scared, fragile girl she was have built a  fortress of secrets. As the clock ticks toward the execution, Tessa fears for her sanity, but even more for the safety of her teenaged daughter. Is a serial killer still roaming free, taunting Tessa with a trail of clues? She has no choice but to confront old ghosts and lingering nightmares to finally discover what really happened that night.

Shocking, intense, and utterly original, Black-Eyed Susans is a dazzling psychological thriller, seamlessly weaving past and present in a searing tale of a young woman whose harrowing memories remain in a field of flowers—as a killer makes a chilling return to his garden.

Praise for Black-Eyed Susans

“A masterful thriller that shouldn’t be missed . . . brilliantly conceived, beautifully executed . . . [Julia] Heaberlin’s work calls to mind that of Gillian Flynn. Both writers published impressive early novels that were largely overlooked, and then one that couldn’t be: Flynn’s Gone Girl and now Heaberlin’s Black-Eyed Susans. Don’t miss it.”The Washington Post

“[A] gem of a novel . . . richly textured, beautifully written . . . Tension builds, and the plot twists feel earned as well as genuinely surprising.”The Boston Globe

“A tense, slow-burning, beautifully written novel of survival and hope. Highly recommended.”—William Landay, New York Times bestselling author of Defending Jacob

“Deliciously twisty and eerie, Heaberlin’s third psychological suspense novel is intricately layered and instantly compelling.”Library Journal (starred review)

“Brilliant . . . a breakout book.”Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Why did I add Black-Eyed Susans to my bookshelf?

Geez, I just checked my account and it looks like I bought this book back in August 2016. Which means that it has been sitting in my account unread for over 7 years. I remember reading Grace’s review of this book on her blog (Rebel Mommy Book Blog) and adding it to my wish list. We lost Grace several years ago and I think about and miss her a lot. I hope to get to this one and some of the other books she recommended sometime soon.

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book?  Would you recommend it?

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13 responses to “Books from the Backlog #304

  1. Yeah, I know I still have books from Borders closing sales still on my TBR pile. That’s really bad! Lol. I’m not familiar with this one. Trying to see if I remember the blogger too, but nothing is coming right to mind. I’m struggling to remember the blogger who recommended a series to me at the time of Borders closing sale, but I’m drawing a blank there too since she left the blogging world as well. Hope you get to read this one soon!

  2. Sarah @ All the Book Blog Names Are Taken

    So many of mine are seven ore more years old as well! Sometimes it seems hopeless, but it sure is fun trying to catch up!

  3. I come across old comments from Grace periodically and they always make me smile. I so miss her humor and insights. I have this one on my TBR as well (probably because of Grace) and still haven’t gotten to it either.

  4. I really enjoyed Black-Eyed Susans and hope you will too when you read it, Carole. I think of Grace now and then and other blogging friends that have passed. Their spirits live on through our bookish memories.

  5. Gosh, I miss Grace. 😭 I always smile when I am on GR checking out an older book and I come across one of her reviews. I hope you enjoy this one.

  6. This is one of those books I always meant to read to…only I never did. Don’t remember why. Probably just had too many other books on my TBR list. Maybe this will be the year you finally read your copy. 😀