My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I have thoroughly enjoyed Jennifer McMahon’s other stories so much that I was thrilled to discover her latest novel. But, my excitement went flat toward the end.
I love how this author usually tells the stories in her books with a chapter of current time and then a flashback chapter as the characters are children. I’ve also always loved that her books always so normal like a memoir of some sorts. Then you’re hit with some kind of supernatural element that makes you doubt the reality of the book and terrified at the same time of where the story is really going. Most of the time when I read her books, I’m on the fence of whether what is happening in the book is REALLY happening in the book. Don’t Breathe a Word scared the heck out of me. I had to put it down and look over my shoulder a few times, lol.
The One I Left Behind is about a teenage girl whose mother is the last victim of a gruesome serial killer. This killer removes the hand of each victim. Then puts the hand in a box on the police station steps, and then a few days later leaves the body in a prominent spot somewhere in the town. Her mother’s hand shows up, however, her mother’s body never is found. Fast forward to adulthood, and the girl gets a call 20 years later and they’ve found her mother…alive.
The story takes numerous twists and turns, and I do love that the author is very good at making you doubt yourself. I hate when I can guess the killer 20 pages in. But this time, the doubt wasn’t very strong like her usual books. After the killer is introduced in the story, I pretty much had it pegged, which was a disappointment.
This was more of a straightforward whodunit for me. There wasn’t any of her usual supernatural elements, which I missed. It’s not a bad story, it flows beautifully, and you cannot put it down, but I’ve just loved her other stories so much I was hoping this was more of the same. All in all, I’d still recommend it.