The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon is a Seriously Great Read!
By Amy Lignor
It is the summer of 1985, and our story opens with Reggie, a teenager who is – according to her – absolutely friendless. As she tells readers, her only contacts are the school geeks, dweebs and general outcasts. (Much like the rest of us in high school).
Reggie lives in a suburb of Connecticut, which, if you ask some ex-residents, is a truly boring place to grow up. She and her ‘outcast’ friends – Charlie, son of a local policeman; and Tara, who’s trying to be Goth but also has a secret she’s keeping from the other two – are all trying their best to get along.
A big ‘happening’ occurs in this summer of ‘85; a serial killer known as Neptune has started to kidnap women in this sleepy little hamlet, and leaving clues on the steps of the police department to help law enforcement find the women. After five days, if they haven’t discovered the location, the bodies simply show up. A complete and utter game from the mind of a lunatic.
Vera, Reggie’s mother, soon disappears and the clue to finding her turns up, as always, at the police station. Reggie, Charlie and Tara are on the case trying to find her but, after a week of searching, they don’t…and the killings suddenly stop. Both Reggie’s mother and Neptune have vanished.
Years later, Reggie has left her hometown and has become a successful architect. She receives a message from a homeless shelter telling her that her mother has been found. Running to the shelter, it is Vera, but she’s very confused and unable to tell Reggie where she’s been all these years. Intent on discovering what happened to her mom, and finding Neptune before he readies himself for another killing spree, Reggie goes on the hunt.
This is an exceptionally well-written mystery! Most definitely a one-day read, but…some advice? Keep the lights on as it’s more than a bit creepy.
Until Next Time, Everybody,