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The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon
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The One I Left Behind (edition 2013)

by Jennifer McMahon

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2233052,123 (3.85)8
Member:caitemaire
Title:The One I Left Behind
Authors:Jennifer McMahon
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2013), Edition: Original, Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:review copy, random, fiction

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The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon

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Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
This was my first Jennifer McMahon book, and I wonder how I've missed her other books. What a powerful writer! Her characters are well-developed, but hold some secrets. Her style, switching from 1985 to 2010, with her principal at ages 13 and 38, is an unusual structure yet lets the reader see the young and mature(?) Reggie display how her childhood fears affect her stunted adulthood. The suspense is beautiful: it is not driven by the boogie-man Neptune, but rather by the feelings of the three main characters, which is a luscious literary technique which makes this read so elegant.

I am on my way to reading more of Ms. McMahon's books. This one stands out as my best read in a long, long while.
( )
  Patbilly | Apr 29, 2014 |
This was my first Jennifer McMahon book, and I wonder how I've missed her other books. What a powerful writer! Her characters are well-developed, but hold some secrets. Her style, switching from 1985 to 2010, with her principal at ages 13 and 38, is an unusual structure yet lets the reader see the young and mature(?) Reggie display how her childhood fears affect her stunted adulthood. The suspense is beautiful: it is not driven by the boogie-man Neptune, but rather by the feelings of the three main characters, which is a luscious literary technique which makes this read so elegant.

I am on my way to reading more of Ms. McMahon's books. This one stands out as my best read in a long, long while.
( )
  Patbilly | Apr 29, 2014 |
The summer of 1985 changes 13 year old Reggie 's life forever. A serial killer nicknamed Neptune abducts women, cutS off their hands, and later poses his victims in the nude in a local area. Reggie's mom's hand was found but it's been 25 years and there is still no sign of her until Reggie gets a call from her aunt that Reggie's mom has been found and is dying of cancer. ( )
  creighley | Apr 24, 2014 |
Intertaining enough and at least for 1/3 of the way through I wasn't sure who the bad guy was which is something for me. ( )
  KarenHerndon | Oct 11, 2013 |
Check out this review and others like it at BadAssBookReviews

3.5 Stars but I am rounding up. This book had me guessing and uncomfortable (in that delicious way only books can do to you) from the very beginning. The story of a serial killer's murders during the summer of 1985 creates a backdrop for this book. The One I Left Behind is told from “Reggie’s” (Regina)’s first person point of view. During the course of the story, the reader meets two Reggies: Reggie as a 13 year old girl in 1985 (by the way this Regina was also 13 in 1985) and through Reggie’s point of view 25 years later in 2010 as a 38 year old woman. Occasionally interspersed are very short chapters from a crime fiction novel that details key facts about the serial killer’s rampage in 1985. Rather than being disjointed, this method of storytelling effectively allows the reader to learn about the characters and what happened in 1985 first hand.

This story would make a great movie. Beautiful wannabe actress who is also a single mother, contentious relationship between sisters, small town setting, lots of secrets and painful pasts, a number of spurned men, terror at which woman is next and detailed descriptions of architecture.

At its core, this novel is a who-done-it but nestled around this core is a story of a young girl, growing up with an unconventional mother and absent father. She struggles as a teen to figure out who she is and as an adult to figure out who she should be. While the characters alternate between the young teen versions of the characters and the present adult characters, this is an adult novel. And bonus points for The One Left Behind – there may be some guessing at who the murderer may be there is no detailed recitation of crime scenes and there is no methodical ongoing search. The story simply unfolds.

The One Left Behind is entertaining and I could not put it down for the last 20%. Even better – I didn’t know who the killer was. If you enjoy mysteries with heavy emotional and character storylines and no police procedure then The One Left Behind may be the book for you.
( )
  ReginaR | Aug 3, 2013 |
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Reggie, a successful architect who left her hometown and the horrific memories of a long ago summer behind, gets a call revealing that her mother has been found alive--a call that forces Reggie to confront the ghosts of her past and find the serial killer known as Neptune before he kills again.… (more)

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