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Joan Mackenzie reviews Black Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin

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Published on Aug 27, 2015

Woman in jeopardy seems to be the genre of the moment – with books like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train centre stage. But if you like the genre, look no further. This one is the best yet!
When she was 16, Tessa Cartwright was found buried alive in a grave with other young women – and survived. The ground above their burial place was covered with Black Eyed Susans, which became the name by which this group of girls was known. Her testimony helped to convict the killer who then went to death row.
Fast forward, and Tessa has made a life for herself as an artist and a single mother – but of course the scars don’t easily fade. Imagine her surprise when she looks out her window one day to see a flowering of Black Eyed Susans planted outside her bedroom – but by whom, and what does it mean? Is the wrong man in prison – and is the original attacker still out there, coming again for Tessa, and her daughter?
This is a brilliant psychological thriller which cleverly sows the seeds of doubt, as a new investigation gets underway, and forensic science advances make new discovery possible - but racing against time as the death row clock counts down. It has pace, tension, secrets all over the place, red herrings, strange parcels arriving in the mail, and a great ending. Highly recommended!!

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