“One of the brightest new stars of literary suspense.”
—Los Angeles Times
New York Times bestselling author Jennifer McMahon is back with a gut-wrenching mystery about an architect whose troubled mother has been found 25 years after being kidnapped—by a killer who is still on the loose
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.
With her signature style, Jennifer McMahon portrays the dark side of adolescent friendship and introduces characters who haunt the imagination, along with a disturbing web of secrets, betrayals, and murder.
At the start of this haunting work of literary suspense from bestseller McMahon (Don't Breathe a Word), Vermont architect Reggie Dufrane receives a startling phone call her idolized mother, Vera, who was snatched by the notorious serial killer known as Neptune when Reggie was 13, has been found alive. Flashback 25 years to 1985 Brighton Falls, Conn. Even before her mother's severed right hand, like those of Neptune's other female victims, shows up on the police station steps, followed by lurid revelations about Vera's life, the fatherless teen has been struggling as a vulnerable outsider, far too enmeshed with fellow outcasts Charlie, the detective's son on whom she has an unrequited crush, and Tara, the daring goth. Now, for the first time in decades, mother and daughter return to Brighton Falls, where they discover, to their peril, that Neptune may be back. Grippingly plotted, this intricate, character-driven story seamlessly shifts time as McMahon explores such favorite themes as dark familial secrets, flawed relationships, and the potentially destructive power of sex, all anchored in a vividly evoked suburban Connecticut landscape. You won't soon forget Reggie, fierce yet fragile, but likely to stick with you even longer is the central conundrum of the extent to which our pasts enslave us and how much we can set ourselves free.
Easy read, takes a bit to get hooked, but once you're hooked, you won't put it down - overall good story, I recommend it
Another amazing book
It all started a few years ago when I read Promise Not To Tell and ever since then was hooked. The One Left Behind is gripping and suspenseful as all her other books. Just when you start guessing who is behind it all more secrets unravel. I recommend this book and all her other books to anyone who likes a great mystery or enjoys reading.
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