Judith D Collins
By: Jennifer Jaynes
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 11/7/2017
My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC) A captivating psychological thriller from #1 USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Jaynes. On Halloween night five years ago, Chelsea Dutton’s college roommates were viciously stabbed to death, and Chelsea was critically injured. She was found hiding in her apartment’s bathtub, barely clinging to life.
With only fragments of shattered memory, she’s been trying her best to move past the nightmares ever since. Now in Boston, she lives a somewhat reclusive life, working from home as a medical transcriptionist and bingeing on mindless television shows.
She can’t shake the fear that her attacker is out there, waiting to finish what he started, and Elizabeth, a nurse she met after the murders, is the only person she can trust.
When someone from her past reemerges, Chelsea starts receiving disturbing messages and worries that her every move is being watched. As the messages mount and her memories begin to return, she’s led to a very terrifying and lonely place. But she needn’t be afraid. She won’t be alone there for long.
Talented Jennifer Jaynes returns following The Stranger Inside with her latest twisty psychological thriller DISTURBED — a gritty fast-paced standalone page-turner, both chilling and emotional with a mind-blowing conclusion.
“You Made Me.”
Those were the words on Nov 1, 2010, the morning after Halloween. Three women who attended Springfield College. 911 was called. The young officer Brandon was the first responder.
One girl was left alive in the tub. Multiple stab wounds. One of them deep in the side of her abdomen. Blood everywhere.
Now, Oct 4, 2015 —Four years and eleven months later.
Twenty-three-year-old Chelsea Dutton is safe and sane. She is still paranoid and fearful. No one is out to get her. Not anymore. These words had been her mantra for almost five years.
The Halloween night that her college roommates (Christine and Amy) had been murdered and she had been carved up and left for dead.
Since then, she had merely existed. She had been diagnosed with psychogenic amnesia, which made life even more confusing and frightening.
There were no guarantees whether she would recover any of her lost memories. A few had come back over the years but nothing of real significance. A flash here, and there. Some scents and settings brought back some memories of the horrible night.
Her biological parents had been dead since she was six years old. There were a long string of foster families whom she had lived with until she turned eighteen and started college.
The night of the murders clung to her.
There had been a boy, Ethan whom Chelsea had invited and his roommate Boyd. Ethan was from a wealthy family. He was gorgeous. What caused him to start the brutal killings?
She had left Springfield and moved ninety miles east of Boston after the murders. She would be safer there. However, she had wondered why he had spared her. Would he return to finish the job?
She did not want to play the victim anymore.
Chelsea has a close friend Elizabeth. She had been her salvation. They had met nearly five years ago in the Springfield psychiatric hospital where Chelsea had been held for three months after following the attacks.
Elizabeth had been one of the nurses assigned to her pod. She was older, but they had stayed connected and when she had transferred to a Boston hospital, Chelsea tagged along. With her scars, she had a fresh start. Elizabeth was her rock.
When she runs into Boyd she thinks it may be nice to be around someone who was there that night. Even though Elizabeth was great, she was intimated by her. With Boyd, she was on more of an even playing field.
However, shortly afterward, there is a message left at a murder scene with the same message. Lang (detective) takes up temporary residence at a motel in Southie.
He remembered Boyd. The kid had been a drug user. He is determined to solve the case. Was it Ethan? Why come back to torment Chelsea now after all these years?
Who was the message meant for? One of the victims? Were the killings retribution for something? Motive?
Another message: “You’re going to make me do it again, aren’t you”?
Detectives Lang and Garcia are on the case and Chelsea is worried her attacker is back. Who can she trust?
Halloween, the fifth anniversary of the murders, takes on a new twist. Who is really the killer (then and now)? Or is there something more dark and sinister at play?
As always, Jaynes keeps her readers in suspense with twists and turns. A thrilling ride to very dark places of the human psyche. Disturbing, intense, and suspenseful to the final mind-blowing shocking conclusion.
From beginning to end, Jennifer creates a sense of foreboding, paranoia, fear, distrust, and lurking darkness. You know there is something beneath the surface.
Chelsea is a complex character. She continues to live with the consequences of her violent and painful past, which continue to plague her. However, is she an unreliable narrator?
As a reader, you will question everyone.
The author does an exceptional job in keeping you glued to the pages. She knows how to emotionally hook the reader. Without any spoilers . . . nothing is as it appears. Jaynes’ fans will enjoy another twisty, edgy psychological thriller to add to their collection.
Highly recommend all of the author's books. She never disappoints. For fans of James Hankins, Jennifer Hillier, and Lisa Unger.
Read my reviews here: The Stranger Inside Don’t Say a Word Ugly Young Thing Never Smile at Strangers
A special thank you to the author, NetGalley, and Thomas & Mercer for an advanced reading copy.
About the Author
#1 USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Jaynes graduated from Old Dominion University with a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and a certificate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She made her living as a content manager, webmaster, news publisher, medical assistant, editor, publishing consultant, and copywriter before finally living her dream as a full-time novelist. Jennifer is the author of Never Smile at Strangers, Don’t Say a Word, Ugly Young Thing, and The Stranger Inside.
When she’s not writing or spending time with her husband and twin boys, Jennifer loves reading, cooking, and studying nutrition.
Visit Jennifer at www.jenniferjaynes.net. Read More