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Friday, February 1, 2013

Review - THE ONE I LEFT BEHIND by Jennifer McMahon

Title: The One I Left Behind
Author: Jennifer McMahon
Pub. Date: January 2, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 432

Source: Publisher

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.

I have read and absolutely adored every one of McMahon's novels.  THE ONE I LEFT BEHIND did not disappoint in any way or fashion. The plot was flawless, characters that are seemingly true to life and a terrible story in a small town goes awry too fast. 

It's true; Jennifer McMahon has a signature style when it comes to writing. For me, it's like a breath of fresh air. There's no other story alike and I could try to figure out what is happening...what will be at the end but that would do me no good. McMahon writes a story so intriguing and so absolutely tight at the seams that you will never sum up the end until you intact reach the end. 
While reading this story about young Reggie you will learn how young friendships influence and have the greatest impact on said friends. Reggie is an only child growing up with a mother that has secrets, not only secrets but an entirely shady life. Everyone involved or close to Vera allows her live this delusional life, the life the way that she sees it. Young Reggie clings to some type of normalcy and seeks out friends Tara and Charlie to try and fill that emptiness.  

During that crazy summer when Reggie was only thirteen, the small town she lives in inherits a serial killer. This is the biggest thing that has ever happened and everyone is intrigued, then as lady after lady disappears and the reappears dead, the town begins to panic. Reggie and her friends become consumed with the murders and trying to find out who this mysterious serial killer may be until one day the missing woman turns out to be none other than Vera, Reggie's mother. Now all they can do is to wait for Vera's body to turn up just like all the others have. Only this time is different. Vera doesn't show up like the others. She doesn't show up until 25 years later and she is alive....

Now 25 years later and it's Reggie who must go back and try to solve the mysterious identity of the serial killer.. before it's too late.

                                                                     I'm the author of Promise Not to Tell, Island of Lost Girls, Dismantled, and Don't Breathe a Word. My latest novel, The One I Left Behind was released January 2013. 

I live in central Vermont with my partner and daughter, in an old Victorian that some neighbors call The Addams Family house.


  1. This sounds like such an awesome book. Great review. I love a good mystery.

  2. Oh, nice review. I love mysteries, and this one sounds good.

  3. This book sounds wonderful!! Great review. I am a new follower to your adorable blog :)