Start reading The One I Left Behind on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card
 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 

The One I Left Behind [Kindle Edition]

Jennifer McMahon
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (362 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $6.64
You Save: $8.35 (56%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Whispersync for Voice

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration. Add narration for a reduced price of $12.99 after you buy the Kindle book.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $6.64  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $10.36  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $28.95 or Free with Audible 30-day free trial
Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on selected titles, including the current pick, "Spectrum" by Alan Jacobson (available in paperback and Kindle book).

Book Description

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.



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Author One-on-One: Jennifer McMahon and Megan Abbott

Jennifer McMahon

Megan Abbott is the Edgar award-winning author of six novels, including Dare Me.

Megan Abbott: As with your other books, The One I Left Behind is a character‐driven story, but it’s also extremely scary, chronicling a teen girl’s harrowing experience when a serial killer targets her town and eventually, her mother. How do you create suspense in your books?

Jennifer McMahon: When I sit down to write, I typically don’t know what’s going to happen next. I start with an idea and ask questions. Then I start writing to find out the answers. I think the fact that I don’t know, that I’m just kind of letting the story tell itself and show me where it wants to go helps me keep it suspenseful. If I’m on the edge of my seat, then I’m thinking that maybe the readers will be, too. When I wrote the first draft of this book, I didn’t know who the killer was, and the idea that it could be any of the characters kept me on edge.

MA: Reggie, the main character in the book, returns to her hometown after her mother—missing twenty‐five years has been found alive. The book shifts between Reggie’s life as a teenager in the 1980s and the present. What made you choose this structure?

JM: I think at their heart, my books are studies of the choices people make often really bad choices-and the way those choices, along with the secrets we keep, can shape our lives, even change the people we turn out to be. I wanted to show how Reggie became the person she is today; how the events that took place one summer shaped her forever, and how now, she’s got to go back to that summer and face it, whether she wants to or not.

MA: You depict Reggie’s adolescent experience so vividly-all the insecurities, romantic confusion and longing, the feverish intensity of friendships among young girls. Are you particularly drawn to writing about this age group?

JM: For whatever reason, writing these types of characters these quirky, imaginative, misfit girls somewhere between 6 and 15comes naturally to me. I think my own childhood and early adolescence was a particularly bizarre, difficult and yet magical time, so that period is still very vivid in my head, and thankfully, flows easily onto the page.

MA: Even though The One I Left Behind is a mystery, at its heart are a pair of relationships: Reggie and her best friend Tara, and Reggie and her mother, Vera, a former model with a complicated personal life. How do you balance relationships and plot?

JM: I think the two are interconnected: the relationships shape the plot and the plot shapes the way the characters behave toward one another. For me, they develop together. I often learn about my characters and their relationships to the people in their lives by making terrible things happen nothing like loved ones in jeopardy to put all your relationships to the test!

MA: It strikes me that suspense is a very “intimate” genre. The relationship between the author and the reader is so intense because the author tries to generate such powerful responses in the reader. Do you feel that way?

JM: I think you’re absolutely right! We’re taking people to some pretty dark places and showing them some scary stuff. I love hearing from people who tell me they had to sleep with the lights on after finishing one of my books – I feel connected to that person in some way, like I shared a piece of one of my nightmares with them and now it’s theirs as well. That is a pretty intimate thing.

From Booklist

Reggie Dufrane was a gawky teenager when a serial killer dubbed Neptune began kidnapping women in her sleepy hometown of Brighton Falls, Connecticut. (The killer would leave one severed hand from each victim on the police department steps, then display their bodies around town.) Reggie and her misfit friends—gutsy goth Tara and crushworthy Charlie, the cute son of the local detective—are pulled into Neptune’s web when Reggie’s mother, Vera, becomes the latest victim. A former model, Vera wasn’t around much for her daughter, and Reggie wonders if her mother’s insatiable appetite for liquor and men made her a target. Like the others, Vera’s amputated hand is soon left by the killer. But her body is never found, and little hope remains of it being discovered. Some 25 years later, Reggie, now a successful architect in Vermont, receives word from a hospital that her mother is alive. She returns home, unearthing old demons and harrowing family truths. In this latest offering, McMahon’s alternating chapters—jumping between present and past—slow the momentum of an otherwise well-spun tale. --Allison Block

Product Details

  • File Size: 815 KB
  • Print Length: 422 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (January 2, 2013)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089LONC8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,765 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Neptune, who are you? November 12, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Jennifer writes in such a way, that leaves the reader glued to the book, cancelling all daily activities, and curling up on the couch with a blanket and an ice tea. That is what I did yesterday, because I couldn't put this book down.

McMahon is a superb suspense novelist, in that she uses just the right amount of hints in the appropriate places to put suspicion and doubt in our minds. She has a knack for ending her chapters with cliffhangers, as she goes onto a different chapter of an entirely different time period. It's like watching a soap opera, biting your nails and waiting for the next episode to find out if your favorite character dies. In this book, as in many of her books, she alternates her chapters between Reggie's childhood, and present day. Both scenarios have cliffhangers that play out, as we hang on the edge wondering what happened in Reggie's childhood that changed her friends lives, and hers. The present day storyline takes us along the quest to find out who Neptune, the serial killer, is before it's too late. The book is told from Reggie's point of view, so her character is developed thoroughly as we are let into her thoughts. Throughout the book, Jennifer drops hints here and there about who Neptune could be. One chapter, he seems to be one person, and the next, we are led to believe he may be another person entirely. The last quarter of the book is difficult to put down, and I couldn't wait to find out who Neptune turned out to be.

I loved this book, and it was refreshing to read a suspense novel written well, as Jennifer classically does. I did figure out who Neptune was before it was revealed to us, but I had doubts because of the other potential characters.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "We're both dead, Dufrane..." January 14, 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Jennifer McMahon's new novel The One I Left Behind is a formulaic thriller/mystery that is saved by its strong characters. I found the story - about a serial killer who severs his victims' hands and leaves them for police to find - predictable and somewhat cliched. I guessed the identity of the killer fairly quickly, probably because I've seen this type of story so many times in so many other books and on TV shows. However, McMahon's strength here is her excellent characters, including the main one, Reggie - a young woman haunted by her past and her mother's disappearance/reappearance; Vera, Reggie's mom - an aging former beauty with a lot of issues; Reggie's childhood friend Tara, and many others who come across as very real.

I've read other books by this author and found them rather hit or miss. I loved Don't Breathe a Word, but Island of Lost Girls left me cold. I think she's a good writer but falls down a bit with her plots. As I said above, I think her strong point is her ability to create characters that are very believable and that we can care about.

One other thing is that McMahon, like many authors of this genre, tends to tell her story in a back-and-forth-in-time, broken up way that can be very irritating until you get used to it. I have read a lot of books that use this device, so I don't mind it, but when I have lent out this type of book, sometimes I get it back from the borrower saying "I can't follow stories written this way." So it might be something to consider if you're bothered by this.

Overall, this is an OK book and I would recommend it if you like the genre, but don't expect it to be great.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is Neptune? October 31, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have read all of Ms. McMahon's previous books and found them uniformly excellent. This latest one is no exception: well written, with appealing characters, and a mystery at its heart. It seems that, in the mid 1980s a serial killer was cutting off the right hands of females, and depositing them on the steps of the local police station. Five days later the bodies would be placed somewhere in the town. The killer was never apprehended, and the last victim's right hand showed up, but her body never was found.

In 2010 the female protagonist is told that her mother, the last woman kidnaped, was not dead as had been feared, but was alive and suffering from a terminal illness. The mother is in a very confused state, and the daughter rushes to her childhood town and home to help. The chapters alternate, with events in 1985 and then in 2010, and also with excerpts from a book about the killings published by a local reporter in the `80s.

There occur a number of surprising moments, and the daughter resolves to discover if the killer, nicknamed "Neptune", has survived and if he will come after her mother. The worst happens and it appears that Neptune has returned, leaving the severed right hand of the daughter's friend in the usual place. She has five days to discover Neptune's identity and save her friend.

It's an exciting book, with red herrings tossed here and there, and with a climax that is heart-stopping. I hope Ms. McMahon continues to write such excellent novels, and I will certainly read them!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Leave This One Behind! November 14, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have been a fan of McMahon's for a few years now, and she never ceases impressing me. Her writing talents are unique in that each book she adds to her canon gets better and better. It makes waiting for the latest volume quite frustrating! Her latest is no exception - I read it in one sitting! It is literally impossible to put down!

While some of her other novels tend towards the more literary mystery, this book feels more like a thriller/mystery with a serial killer dubbed Neptune at the heart of the plot. There's some sensationalism to the plot, and plenty of suspense as McMahon weaves her story in both the past and present (well, 2010, so present-ish). Each chapter alternates between 1985 and 2010, the tension increasing with each chapter. Really, it's a riveting read with plenty of red herrings, backstories and a very efficient tidying of loose ends in the book's conclusion.

All of the characters are well developed. Reggie (Regina) is quite likable - as both a thirteen year old and a thirty-eight year old. McMahon really does a wonderful job of realistically portraying these two different (but still similar) perspectives in the structure of the novel. It is masterfully handled and I am already looking forward to seeing what McMahon will publish next!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I think this is a young adult novel,even tho not billed as one,but,its readable for an adult.
Published 8 hours ago by mysreader
5.0 out of 5 stars The one I left behind
I have read all of her books. This is her best work so far. Loved this book.
Published 2 days ago by Sherry A. Krapfl
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed the book, very unexpected turn at the end.
Published 17 days ago by M. Sanchez
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It was a good one. I could not put it down
Published 21 days ago by Lee Kucher
5.0 out of 5 stars The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon
I read by authors and this lady writes!!!! This was the 2nd of her books I read and I am busy finding all of her books. This is a great book. I would highly recommend it. Read more
Published 25 days ago by J. Pickens
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites.
Jennifer McMahon writes excellent books with just enough suspense to keep you guessing and, more importantly, reading. I've read all of her books. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mandy Evans
2.0 out of 5 stars Shoulder Shrug
I have ready several of McMahon's novels, and so far, I'd say this is my least favorite because it just wasn't all that believable. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. Nagel
5.0 out of 5 stars must read
Amazing! Could not put it down
Published 1 month ago by Charlene Booth
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read. Lots of red herrings to keep you ...
Very good read. Lots of red herrings to keep you reading to find the solution!
Published 1 month ago by Karen James
3.0 out of 5 stars writing can't overcome characters
It's well written, good pacing, etc., but I found most of the characters profoundly unsympathetic -- to the point where I was rooting for the killer by the end.
Published 1 month ago by walkamungus
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 


Look for Similar Items by Category