Joy Fielding is an american author who in my opinion is a 'mistress' of suspense! I have been reading her novels for a number of years now, and each and every one I have read has had me on the edge of my seat. My latest Joy Fielding read has been Heartstopper which was just as full of suspense as all the others I have read!
The story takes place in the small Florida town of Torrance where a couple of young girls have gone missing. People are beginning to suspect that there might be a serial killer about especially when one of the girls' body is found. There are apparently no clues which makes Sherrif John Weber's task all the harder if he is to find the killer before more bodies are found.
There are many characters in the novel many of whom could potentially be the killer! The main character is Sandy Crosbie who moved to the towm with her two teenaged children, at her husband's suggestion only to be left by him. The husband, Ian Crosbie, had already formed an internet relationship with the mother of one of her students - Kerri Franklin. Kerri's daughter Delilah is not without her problems and the same could be said for most of the students and staff at Torrance High School!
There are many interweaving stories but they all work together very well combining some every day stuff with some more sinister actions. This is one of the things that I think that Joy Fielding does so well and its this ability that makes the reader be always wondering what might happen next! And also with many different characters to follow, you might think that it would get a bit confusing but it really doesn't.
It is the sort of story that keeps you wondering what is going to happen next and at certain times I was reading with my heart virtually in my mouth! The clever thing is that sometimes she makes you think that something is going to happen and you get all worked up for it and then nothing happens! At other times she will surprise you out of the blue!
She also gets you wondering about all of the characters and you will definitely be thinking that the killer could easily be any one out of at least half a dozen. Normally I don't guess who the killer is but strangely enough this time I did. However, even though I had guessed quite early on, there were many times when I found myself doubting what I had originally thought. Therefore, there was nothing too obvious about this read!
All of the ingredients of suspense are contained in this novel and the momentum builds well towards the gripping finale. I like the way that, although the killer's identity is concealed until almost the very end, the reader is at times privy to the killer's thoughts and feelings. This is because every so ofetn a chapter is written as the 'killer's journal' and in these the killer is talking directly to the reader! I found this chapters really enthralling.
From start to finish Heartstopper is a really gripping read that definitely had me on the edge of my seat. One of the reviews from the Toronto Globe describes it as a 'labyrinth of tension!' I think this is a very apt and fitting description! If you like a bit of suspense I feel sure that you will find this book a very good read.
The paperback is currently available on Amazon for £5.49.