OK….OK…..I loved this story! I picked it up and started to read it on the way home from Virginia (a six-hour drive)…..I was glued to the pages for half the drive….turning the pages forgetting where I was. The story is The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon. It is the tale of a serial killer in the year 1985 in a small New England town. A bit grisly, so I will spare those details for those with weak stomachs. Not that the story is terribly grisly, but I have learned that the definition for grisly varies for everyone.
The story follows Reggie who is 13 years old in 1985 and lives a dysfunctional family life….her mother was once a beauty queen, but has now become an alcoholic and a bit of a whore. Reggie’s only friends are the town’s misfits who smoke, cut, and a variety of not so wholesome activities. It is during the summer of 1985 when the bodies of women begin to pile up. The serial killer, Neptune, follows a set pattern….he keeps the women alive for 4 days, and then on day 5 he murders them. Reggie’s mother becomes Neptune’s last victim; however, her body does not show up on day 5 or ever. She is presumed dead. And life goes on.
25 years later, Reggie, who has not stepped a foot into her old hometown of Brighton Falls, receives word that her mother has been found. Reggie leaves her somewhat solitary life as a world-renowned architect to return to her hometown where Neptune has also returned.
I don’t want to give much detail, but I loved the pace….I loved the story. I loved Reggie and found myself rooting for her. I came close to figuring out the identity of Neptune, and I think I knew it to be true early on…..just wasn’t confident with my instinct. Anyone who loves suspense and action will appreciate this book.