Hunting Annabelle

Hunting Annabelle

by Wendy Heard

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781488095405
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 12/18/2018
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 49,843
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Wendy Heard was born in San Francisco and has lived most of her life in Los Angeles. When not writing, she can be found hiking the Griffith Park trails, taking the Metro and then questioning this decision, and haunting local bookstores.

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Hunting Annabelle 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
SRKirchner 5 months ago
The choice to write this book in first person from Sean's POV was truly inspired. As a creepy unreliable narrator, it was the perfect vehicle for dragging me into the story. From the very start, I struggled with whether to believe Sean's perceptions as much as he questioned his own. Sean wavers between childlike innocence and scary throughout the book, which kept turning the pages. I absolutely did not see the twist at the end coming. This was a completely fresh take on a psychological thriller. Highly recommended!
TeeP2 5 months ago
I love unreliable narrators, so this book was just about perfect for me. Great development and pacing that reveals a vulnerable man trying hard to escape his demons. This is the exact type of book that I love to read because it embodies all the unpredictability and twisty events that pull me into dark worlds and twisted minds. 4.5 stars to this disturbing debut novel that has me eagerly anticipating Heard's next book in 2019!
rentinjen 5 months ago
This book had me enthralled from the very beginning. Did it happen? Did he do it? He doesn't even know! Definitely a creepy book, with a huge twist! I recommend this to all mystery/thriller/crime lovers! Thank you #NetGalley for the early copy of #HuntingAnnabelle!
Laeljeanne 5 months ago
After leaving a California psychiatric prison, Sean Suh relocates to Austin, Texas, where he spends his days drawing people and their auras at a local Disneyland knockoff. A girl with a copper aura tempts him despite his understanding that he need protect her from himself. He witnesses her kidnapping, but no one believes him based on his mental health and conviction record, and suspicion falls more heavily on him as he conducts his own investigation. He learns interesting things about this girl he has immediately fallen for, but he could not have foreseen who did it. Heard brilliantly leads the reader through Sean’s emotional turmoil at each new piece of information; this could well be a manual for becoming a serial killer. Flashbacks from Annabelle’s point of view would have given her more depth. Being privy to Sean’s thoughts exposed his internal struggle, a fascinating insight that almost (but not quite) invokes compassion. Fans of Liane Moriarty and Gillian Flynn will appreciate this novel. I was fortunate to receive a digital copy of this fantastic thriller from the publisher through NetGalley.
SashaLasha 6 months ago
Dark, unique, a really fresh take on the psychological thriller. It's totally different than anything I've read recently. The characters are all super complex and interesting. I especially loved Sean. I found myself liking him, even thinking he's kind of sexy, and empathizing for him, and just being right there with him, and then he'd do something and I'd remember that he's a murderer. It was like being inside someone's head and realizing it all makes sense to them in there. I can't wait to see what this author comes up with next!
Anonymous 6 months ago
1986. Meet Sean. He's been released from psychiatric prison, but he's afraid to mingle with society. He's afraid of what he might do. He especially is afraid to date. So he spends all his time at a local theme park, where he draws people in his sketchbooks and lives in a haze of antipsychotic medication. Meet Annabelle. She's at the theme park to scatter her grandmother's ashes because her grandma loved this place. She and Sean meet, and she likes him. He's different. She went to premed in San Francisco, which is where he's from, and they strike up a conversation. They have one day together, and at the end of it, she'd kidnapped. Sean sees this happen. He hears her screaming. But when the cops meet him and hear his story, they can only think one thing: This guy did it, and he's completely out of his mind on meds, and he's an actual real life serial killer. They start closing in on Sean, and he's trying to figure out what actually happened to Annabelle. His mom is shady, the cops are shady, and everyone he meets along the way seems shady. Honestly by the halfway point, I thought any one of these people could have done it. And then the ending. I promise you, whatever you were expecting, let it go. This is a book where we're going to be fighting about the ending for a WHILE. Personally, I feel like I see so much of the same thing over and over again, and I like to be surprised. I could see why you'd be pissed at the end. You get so in Sean's head, you want something specific for him, and what you get at the end is maybe not what everybody wanted, but if you think about it, it's actually the best thing that could have happened. So 5/5 for a thriller that kept me thinking and guessing and ultimately caught me completely off guard.
Anonymous 27 days ago
This story really goes into what a serial killer might feel and think like, but in a much romantic way- I never thought I’d enjoy something like this
TwistedReader 4 months ago
Thriller? Romance? Mystery? I have no idea how I would classify this compelling debut by Wendy Heard, but I know whatever it is…I want more! Though predictable and a tad more Young Adult than I was prepared for, Hunting Annabelle is a thrilling ride with an adorably confused hero you just can’t help but love. With a fast pace and intriguing twists, you won’t want to put this one down. With a debut like this I can’t wait to see what Heard comes out with next!! I received this ebook through NetGalley and the publisher to read and provide my honest opinions.
Rebecca Shelton 4 months ago
This was a fantastic story told completely from Seans POV. Embarking on a journey together and as the story unfolded I felt I really got an insight into what made him tick. There was almost an air of obscurity, intrigue and mystery enveloping the whole narrative and this made for such compulsive reading with some real shockers thrown in along the way. I found myself questioning the hidden motives of every single individual here and as we are almost drip fed the answers this was almost at times like a journey of discovery: a kind of mystery tour with Annabelle the ultimate destination. I was there questioning along with Sean his state of mind as each occurrence happened to further muddy the already murky waters. Who is sending the notes? Is someone messing with Sean and also his meds? If so: who and why? Is sean's own sense of vulnerability and powerlessness about himself also being a victim as well as a predator feeding his own internal rage? Then there's his almost co-dependent relationship with his mother and also his obsession with Annabelle herself. This story has so much going on in terms of content and each thread is kind of connected on a much deeper level until a complete visage is eventually formed for the reader. I felt that I forged a connection along the way with Sean himself actually feeling an almost sense of sympathetic familiarity towards him. It was almost like getting to know the monster living in his head and making a sense of peace with it despite its compulsion of ultimate wrongness. There were also such contrasts between Sean and Annabelle: they were so different in terms of upbringing but also had such similarities that you could see why they ultimately gravitated towards each other. I also must confess to being slightly shocked at the blatant racism and intolerance portrayed here: such injustices I know exist but as it is something I have no hands-on experience with I found it sickening to behold. So I liked where this eventually took us and though I did guess some twists other reveals were complete surprises. My only criticism of this story Is that I thought the ending here was slightly abrupt but that's actually it. This is a story that captured my imagination almost instantly and once this journey started there was no getting off this train until final destination was reached: a fabulous read that I recommend highly. I voluntary reviewed an Arc of Hunting Annabelle. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
mweinreich 4 months ago
3.5 terrifying stars Sean is quite a troubled young man, recently released from a mental institution after being convicted of a grisly murder. Sean is mentally ill, raised by what seems to be an uncaring brilliant neurosurgeon mother, he tries to escape the hallucinations, the psychotropic drugs the delusions, and the overwhelming urge to kill. He sees auras indicative of his schizophrenia, and then one day in a park he frequents he meets Annabelle and there is an instant connection. Could this be love for Sean? Can he believe he is somewhat normal? What about Annabelle, a young brilliant woman from a troubled past working her way through medical school. How can she be attracted to a man such as Sean? Then the awful happens and Annabelle is kidnapped in sight of Sean. He runs to save her but is too late. What now, now that he is involved in this with a history such as his, how will this end? Is Sean ever the least bit reliable or is he a born killer? As Sean works his way in a desperate attempt to find Annabelle secrets and lies emerge sending him on a chase where no one will seem to win. This was quite a tale of a contorted tangled web. The suspense stay at a fevered pace as Ms Heard takes us on a journey with characters who are demented, maniacal and unhinged. Recommended for those who like to travel with characters who are teetering on the edge of sanity versus insanity. Thank you to Wendy Heard, Harlequin-Mira, and NetGalley for a copy of this frightening tale.
JCNash 5 months ago
3.25/5 Stars, rounded down. After Sean Suh spent three years incarcerated at a mental institution for a horrific crime, he moves to Austin, TX with his mother to start a new life. As he adjusts to life outside the institution, dealing with serious mental illness and a deep fear of socializing, especially women, he meets Annabelle at a local fun park and is immediately obsessed. When he watches her be kidnapped after a date and reports it to the police, he is first not believed and then becomes the primary suspect once Austin detectives learn of his past. Sean decides instead to investigate her kidnapping himself. This psychological thriller turns the genre on its head a bit, making the hero a credibly dangerous person who could have committed the crime himself, even if the reader understands this is unlikely (but not impossible!) And that is where I really struggled with this book - there is not one single likable person. I sympathized with Sean and his struggles, but his odd obsession with Annabelle and flashbacks to his violent past put me off of him, too. The novel was well-written and the pacing was pretty good, I just struggled to connect with the characters. I will say, bonus points for the major "reveal." While it wasn't the most original twist I also wasn't expecting it, having come up with a million different scenarios for who kidnapped Annabelle on my own that made less sense. The ending was also a little long, but still engaging. Overall, I do recommend this novel to thriller readers, but I feel the lack of connection to the characters will prevent it from being very memorable. Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin-Mira for my free review copy.
jnmegan 5 months ago
In Hunting Annabelle, , a debut novel of suspense, Wendy Heard introduces readers to a narrator with a unique perspective. Sean Suh is a Korean American who has recently moved to Texas from San Francisco with his mother, a noted neurosurgeon. The story takes place in 1986 and Heard immerses the reader into that time period by peppering the narrative with many references and cultural allusions. She captures the alienation of her main character as a person of color in Texas, but Sean is a true outsider for other reasons as well. He is an artist who sees people’s auras, dresses in “alternative” punk/goth clothes, and happens to be a diagnosed violent schizophrenic recently released from inpatient care. Sean spends his days at a nearby amusement park, drawing people in the crowds that engulf, but do not incorporate, him. One fateful day, Sean spots a girl whose aura strikes him as particularly unusual and he is captivated enough to follow her into the park’s wax museum. Unlike his other subjects, Annabelle confronts Sean and their interaction leads to an immediate attraction and plans for meeting again. Sean’s mother is overbearing and controlling, and her overprotectiveness means that Sean needs to keep his new friendship hidden. When Annabelle is kidnapped right before his eyes, Sean knows that he will not be believed by anyone because of his past instability and police record. He becomes obsessed with finding Annabelle on his own-both because he is convinced that he loves her and to prove his innocence. Sean must battle his own disturbing impulses and disorienting medication effects while also facing suspicion and discrimination. Diving into Annabelle’s past, he discovers an abundance of potential suspects and some revealing information about this girl that he barely knows. Wendy Heard deserves credit for creating a fast-paced and gripping thriller with diverse characters and some unpredictable plot devices. Some readers might object to her somewhat simplistic portrayal of mental illness, depending on their own experiences and knowledge. Younger readers might also feel a bit alienated by all the 1980s trivia, but these tidbits would be enjoyable for anyone familiar with them. The relationship between Sean and his mother was very interesting, and the story might have benefitted from including more details about their shared history. Hunting Annabelle is a solid page turner with good pacing and entertainment value, worth a look for fans of thrillers with an innovative approach. Thanks to Edelweiss and Harlequin for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an impartial review.