I requested an eARC of Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard from Netgalley. I don’t reach for crime/thrillers a ton, but this one drew me in. I’m really glad I gave it a chance, I found it really thought-provoking and compelling. Read on to find out what I liked about this twisty-turny book.
Click here for the synopsis!
Sean Suh is done with killing. After serving three years in a psychiatric prison, he’s determined to stay away from temptation. But he can’t resist Annabelle–beautiful, confident, incandescent Annabelle–who alone can see past the monster to the man inside. The man he’s desperately trying to be.
Then Annabelle disappears.
Sean is sure she’s been kidnapped—he witnessed her being taken first hand—but the police are convinced that Sean himself is at the center of this crime. And he must admit, his illness has caused him to “lose time” before. What if there’s more to what happened than he’s able to remember?
Though haunted by the fear that it might be better for Annabelle if he never finds her, Sean can’t bring himself to let go of her without a fight. To save her, he’ll have to do more than confront his own demons… He’ll have to let them loose.
What initially pulled me toward this book is Sean, and he did not disappoint. He lives & struggles with some form of mental illness, namely Schizophrenia. The story takes place in the mid-’80s and we have learned a lot about what Schizophrenia is and is not since then. You’ll have to read this one yourself to find out if Sean was misdiagnosed or not. Sean’s perspective as a narrator is highly unreliable and very emotional. He constantly questions his choices and motivations in a way that artfully depicts his anxieties about his own behavior. The character of Sean, I think, is enough to give this book a try if you’re a fan of serial killer stories.
“Is this what all serial killers feel like? Are they hrrified to be themselves?”
Hunting Annabelle is a mystery novel, at its heart. Sean is trying to find Annabelle after seeing her taken off the street right in front of his eyes. His mental illness makes him question everything he sees, to the point where even he suspects himself as Annabelle’s kidnapper. It makes for a compelling story to be sure. I never felt like I lacked the information to solve the case, but I was still surprised by the ending!
I think a lot of readers will be particularly struck by the ending of this book. I won’t say too much, but it felt like something unique to me. Again, if you are a frequent reader of Serial Killer stories I think this is one to add to your TBR. It reminded me a bit of You by Caroline Kepnes mixed with Sadie by Courtney Summers. If you’ve read Hunting Annabelle I would love to know your thoughts! I would also love more thriller recommendations. Thanks for reading!
Note: Quotation taken from an unfinished version of the book and is subject to change.