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The One I Left Behind

The One I Left Behind - Jennifer McMahon I am not finished with this book yet, but I am giving it two stars anyway, because it wasn't horrible. But.

Here is the plot: in 1985, Reggie's mom apparently became the 4th victim of a serial killer known as Neptune, who first cut off the victim's hand and left it at the police station, and then days later, left the body somewhere else. 25 years later, Reggie's mother turns up alive (though sick and delusional), and at the same time, it looks like Neptune is back as well. No surprise that Reggie must find the killer before she becomes his next victim!

The story was all right, though at about 80% through, I'm ready for it to be done. Many of my problems are with character development (there's very little, Reggie has one prosthetic ear but so far that seems to be just a way to give her some "character"), and plausibility. So Reggie's mom disappears in 1985, and then her hand is delivered to the police department. Reggie does not freak out. In fact, she does very little, aside from a halfhearted and entirely unbelievable attempt to find her mother. Hello dear, your mother is GOING TO DIE. And even if she doesn't, someone still CUT OFF HER RIGHT HAND! Most of the 13-year-old girls that I know can get emotional over, oh, like anything. It seems to me this would qualify, but, no. So okay.

Then there is Reggie's reunion with her mother, 25 years later. Again, not much made of it. She gets a call, goes to get her at the shelter or hospital or whatever, and does not ask many questions. Later she thinks, hmmm, maybe I should call those people to find out what my mother has been up to for 25 years. And when Neptune comes back, she WISHES she could get information from her mother, about the killer, about where he kept her, about whatever, but STILL she does not call the people who had her. I think at some point she does call and ask about a Sister Dolores that her mom mentioned, but then has to wait for a call back. Do not get it.

And then, her boyfriend, who half the time I forget exists. He is a stoner, another quality that seems to have been added just to supply some personality. Reggie tells him nothing, withholding information about her situation for no apparent reason.

Maybe I'll have a different opinion when I'm actually finished, but I think my two stars will hold up. More to come.

Update - I've finished, and still agree with everything I said. Plus, the twist, oh I'm so tired of hearing about 'twists', but this one was not so twisty, and to me, the identity of the killer was a disappointment.

I've read good things about Jennifer McMahon's books, but this was the first one I've read. Maybe it just wasn't a good one to start with.