The clock ticks down in a heart-pounding crusade for justice
Susan Lentigo’s daughter was murdered twenty years ago—and now, at long last, this small-town waitress sets out on a road trip all the way from Upstate New York to North Dakota to witness the killer’s execution.
On her journey she discovers shocking new evidence that leads her to suspect the condemned man is innocent—and the real killer is still free. Even worse, her prime suspect has a young daughter who’s at terrible risk. With no money and no time to spare, Susan sets out to uncover the truth before an innocent man gets executed and another little girl is killed.
But the FBI refuses to reopen the case. They—and Susan’s own mother—believe she’s just having an emotional breakdown. Reaching deep, Susan finds an inner strength she never knew she had. With the help of two unlikely allies—a cynical, defiant teenage girl and the retired cop who made the original arrest—Susan battles the FBI to put the real killer behind bars. Will she win justice for the condemned man—and her daughter—at last?
Perfect for fans of Karin Slaughter and Harlan Coben
Optioned for film—with Leonardo DiCaprio attached as producer
What I Loved
The aspect I loved the most about The Necklace by Matt Witten is that the story came from bits and pieces of a few different actual cases and a few real people. This added to the authentic feel of the novel. I often wondered if I was reading a fictionalized story about a real case – that’s how authentic the plot and characterization feel.
The intensity of the main character’s emotions drives this story and keeps the pages flipping more and more quickly. Susan has been through much more than any person should have to endure, and even though she has shown remarkable resiliency, it has not been an easy path. As she tells the reader her story, you can’t help but be swept into it and feel all that she feels.
The third-person focused narration is just as intense as any first-person POV I have ever read. But, in this perspective, you know that the narrator is reliable and has a broad perspective even if the story is told, as it is here, in a strictly focused manner. The dual timelines also work efficiently as the reader wants to know what came before.
I did guess the ending correctly from early on, but that in no way impacted my enjoyment of the story at all. I’ve been on a roll of figuring out the endings lately, so I’m sure it’s not a reflection of how suspenseful and full of red herrings this story is. I loved the way the truth is uncovered! What an ending!
What I Wish
There are only some minor plot points that irritated me, but overall I can’t imagine how this story could have been any better.
Susan, the main character, is very well developed with all her scabs and scars on display. Susan Lentigo is a broken woman who has more strength than even she realizes. Having been to hell and back, she is ready to face her demons one final time so that she can move on with her life and become a person who lives and loves once again.
Kyra is my favorite character. A teenager who reluctantly helps Susan, she is my hero. Interestingly enough, the author said this is the character most like him. She is plucky and has a firm grasp of right and wrong. Her fearlessness and sass hide her deep-seated pain, and she is very well developed, especially for a minor character.
Reminds Me Of
It reminds me of The Damage by Caitlin Wahrer in that it uses authenticity to drive the thrills and intensity of the story.
To Read or Not to Read
If you love the intensity and feeling of a true crime story, The Necklace is the book you won’t want to miss!