The summer of 1985 changes Reggie’s life. An awkward 13-year-old, she finds herself mixed up with the school outcasts. 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, the most, Vera’s hand is found on the steps. But after five days, there’s no body and Neptune disappears. Now, 25 years later, Reggie is a successful architect who has left her hometown and the horrific memories of that summer behind. But when she gets a call revealing that her mother has been found alive, Reggie must confront the ghosts of her past and find Neptune before he kills again.
©2013 Jennifer McMahon (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
This was a nicely woven story with all the makings of a dark mystery. For me though, the author didn't delve into the real heart of darkness I feel the story required, especially given the rich material in the relationships between girls and their mothers. So much rich potential there yet emotionally, motivationally it all fell flat. Too often if felt Nancy Drew meets Judy Blume and even then it felt very surface. Seemed McMahon was reaching for something deeper with the different subject matter but didn't get there. I liked Whelan's narration in other audible books but here her 'voices' went sideways sounding more like cartoonish mimicry when not reading the part of the main character and there are a lot of different characters in this. I only finished it because I bought it, but from about a third of the way in, the ending was no surprise. I wish I could be kinder with this review.
The best part of my day is relaxing and listening to my audiobooks.
There were a lot of twists in the book. It was suspenseful and interesting from start to finish.
Julia Whelan's performance was excellent. She portrayed all the characters very well. I purchased this book because Julia Whelan was the narrator.
Counselor with eclectic taste, I enjoy all types of fiction, dark, strange and twisted things, humor and explicitly.
Can't say only listened to the audio.
I was kept intrigued and interested.
Yes, although the male interpretations were kinda odd.
Yes and No
A good story, had me guessing but it also left a lot of things hanging at the end.
My parents told me that my very first word was...BOOK! That was no surprise to me. I have always been surrounded by books.
I would not call this book a waste of time because it was an easy listen for my long commutes. The story line tended to drag at times, but there was just enough suspense to keep me listening.
I recently listened to another book by this author, Promise Not To Tell. I liked Promise more than this book.
Julia Whelan has enough "whine" to her voice to bring life to the teenage characters; however, her attempts at male voices are amusing.
Not at all.
Gramma Ann in CO
Good "who done it" book. I didn't suspect the ending. This book will not be a re-listen but I enjoyed it once.
Very surprised by the twists, more than one.
This is my first book by this author. I might listen to another one.
This is a good stand alone book.
The narration is good and clear.
I've read several of her books. Some are better than others, and this is one of the better ones. I'm looking forward to more from this writer.
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
What I liked best about The One I Left Behind was truth of who a serial killer is. A normal guy, living a normal life.
What I liked best about this story was that its characters were well developed. There were three friends, Reggie, Charlie and Tara who were the outcasts during their school years. Then there was Reggie's mother, Vera, who was never at home but going to a theater to act in plays that never existed. Tara's mom was always gone and she spent a lot of time at Reggie's home. There was Reggie's aunt Lorraine who kept things quite stable and homey at Reggie's house. Stu was Charlie's dad, who was a policeman and was the only normal,(I often ask, what is normal?), parent in the bunch but he too didn't spend much time at home. There were more character's and all of those became well known to me as the story developed. The listener listened intently as it wound its way toward its conclusion. Jennifer McMahon, the author, constructed her story to run smoothly but I never quite knew who the serial killer was. That is what a good mystery is supposed to do, keep you guessing until the end.
My favorite scenes took place in the tree house, that was never quite finished, where Reggie, Charlie and Tara spent a lot of time together. The tree house was in a secluded spot in Reggie's yard. They would talk together and share all the kinds of things that kids share when they are young. They were a good trio of friends who I learned to understand and know during the time they spent in that not quite finished tree house.
No, I wanted to take my time so that I could learn to know and understand how the character's played their parts in the mystery. What secrets would be discovered about each of them made for a longer listen.
The novel started good and made me want to continue to listen to more. The book was not what I expected at all. However, once started, it kept me contented, sitting and listening. It was time well spent.
While not great literature or anything, this is a good story with interesting characters and quite the mystery! It isn't a typical potboiler, nor is it a formula type mystery, it's just a well paced story that draws you in. I liked it.
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