Title: Hunting Annabelle
Author : Wendy Heard
Publisher: Mira Books
Publication Date: 12/18/18
Sean Suh is done with killing. After serving three years in a psychiatric prison, he’s determined to stay away from temptation. But he can’t resist Annabelle–beautiful, confident, incandescent Annabelle–who alone can see past the monster to the man inside. The man he’s desperately trying to be.
Then Annabelle disappears.
Sean is sure she’s been kidnapped—he witnessed her being taken first hand—but the police are convinced that Sean himself is at the center of this crime. And he must admit, his illness has caused him to “lose time” before. What if there’s more to what happened than he’s able to remember?
Though haunted by the fear that it might be better for Annabelle if he never finds her, Sean can’t bring himself to let go of her without a fight. To save her, he’ll have to do more than confront his own demons… He’ll have to let them loose.
★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆ ★ ☆
“The therapy they gave me didn’t work and neither did the meds because they’re treating the wrong illness. What I have can’t be treated. It’s just what I am. I am a predator. I am a beast.”
I almost ended up passing up this title, since I had not seen many of my fellow bloggers and reviewers cover it, and those that had covered it seemed to have mixed reviews. But I am SO glad that I decided to give this one a go because it was right up my alley.
If you are a fan of Dexter and/or enjoy getting to see inside the dark corners of the mind of the ‘bad guy’ in a story… you HAVE to meet Sean. He has been through a lot of traumatic events (that he ultimately caused), is recovering and adjusting to a ‘normal’ life after institutionalization, loses chunks of time, and is highly medicated— I mean, could we possibly get any more unreliable of a narrator?! And we all know I’m a sucker for those unreliable narrators!
While he has a dark and dangerous past, the way in which the author places us inside of Sean’s mind creates this looming sense of pity. I found myself becoming very attached to Sean as a character, feeling defensive of him, and in a sense, excusing some of the things that he has done–which is an insane thing for an author to be able to do in the realm of swaying reader opinion. Sean is 100% humanized and although there were so many periods of time during the story line where I found myself doubting and questioning him… I always found myself rooting for a positive outcome for him.
The novel is fast-paced, quickly shifting us through the stages of meeting Sean, meeting Annabelle, experiencing (Sean’s interpretation of) Annabelle’s abduction/kidnapping, and going on a search for answers alongside Sean, who has fallen helplessly in love with Annabelle.
And man… that ending!!! What a whirlwind.
So many of the things that I love about this novel cannot be discussed without presenting spoilers– so if you end up picking this one up, I would LOVE to chat about it with you and discuss some of those topics and characters.
Very enjoyable, fast-paced, thrilling, and highly recommended!!
Trigger Warnings (May Contain Spoilers): Graphic Violence, Murder, Assault, Sexual Assault, Rape, Drug Use/Abuse, Mentalism, Institutionalization, Mentioning of Suicide
Thank you to the author, Wendy Heard, and MIRA Books for providing me with a DRC of this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.