January 12, 2013

The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon

The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon is a mystery thriller that focuses on the life of Reggie, a girl whose mom was taken (and never found) by a serial killer nicknamed Neptune. The story goes back and forth over a period of 25 years uncovering a disturbing web of secrets, and murder.

Book Description
The summer of 1985 changes Reggie’s life. An awkward thirteen-year-old, she finds herself mixed up with the school outcasts. 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, the most, Vera’s hand is found on the steps. But after five days, there’s no body and Neptune disappears.

Now, twenty-five years later, Reggie is a successful architect who has left her hometown and the horrific memories of that summer behind. But when she gets a call revealing that her mother has been found alive, Reggie must confront the ghosts of her past and find Neptune before he kills again.” – The One I Left Behind

My Thoughts
The One I Left Behind is a mystery thriller that involves a thirteen year old who finds herself mixed up in some trouble. The most troubling of all is the serial killer who has been kidnapping women, and leaving their body parts and corpses around her town. The serial killer, nicknamed “Neptune” then takes her mother and leaves her hand to be found, but her body is never found. Twenty-five years go by, and she gets a call that her mother is alive, and her past memories and experiences suddenly start coming back to haunt her.

The chapters alternate between 1985 and 2010. When authors do this to their books, it sometimes works out nicely (such as with this one), and oftentimes it bombs. I’m glad to say that Jennifer McMahon makes it work!

The main character, Reggie is likeable and seeing her point of view from the age of thirteen to thirty-eight is so interesting. It really shows how much a person changes over a period of twenty-five years!

There are many twists and surprising moments in the book. I don’t want to give anything away and spoil it for anyone who wants to read it for themselves, so I’ll just say that this is an excellent book and will hold your attention up to the very end! I highly recommend it.

* Thank you to the publisher of The One I Left Behind, William Morrow, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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