The One I Left Behind: A Novel (Paperback)
From the New York Times bestselling author of Burntown and Promise Not to Tell comes a gut-wrenching thriller about a missing mother and the serial killer who returns twenty-five years later
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.
About the Author
Jennifer McMahon is the author of Dismantled, the New York Times bestseller Island of Lost Girls, and the breakout debut novel Promise Not to Tell. She lives in Vermont with her partner, Drea, and their daughter, Zella.
“McMahon expertly ratchets up the suspense, but it’s her full-blooded characters that make this thriller stand out from the serial-killer pack.”
— People (3 ½ stars)
“Totally engrossing...Hard to put down...A quick read that is highly entertaining.”
— Oklahoma City Oklahoman
“A mesmerizing psychological thriller...McMahon fills THE ONE I LEFT BEHIND with unpredictable twists and turns as she explores that great mystery of the human heart.”
— South Florida Sun Sentinel
“[A] haunting work of literary suspense ...Grippingly plotted, this intricate, character-driven story seamlessly shifts time.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“McMahon scores a solid touchdown in this creepy but engrossing thriller....Readers will find themselves unable to turn the pages fast enough in this perfectly penned thriller.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Haunting and harrowing, The One I Left Behind offers enthralling suspense but also so much more: a richly poignant tale of the families we’re born into and the ones we build ourselves.”
— Megan Abbott, author of Dare Me