Jar Of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
Five years ago, Geo’s first love was revealed as a terrifying serial killer.
But he escaped custody and went on the run.
Now, bodies have started turning up, killed in exactly the same way as before.
The message is clear: he’s making his way to her, one murder at a time…
I can see this novel being massively popular, as it is a fantastic psychological thriller, written in such an unusual way. It explores the inner torment of repressing the most painful of secrets. The novel opens with our protagonist Geo staring as witness for the prosecution in a case where she herself took a plea deal. Geo’s guilt is never called into question as such, it is more about how much did Geo know?
Why did she keep such heart-breaking and painful secrets?
The novel is told in 5 parts, or stages. As each is labelled as one of the stages of grief. Denial, Anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance each play their part in Geo’s story. It is a story that builds layer upon layer of mystery and intrigue.
Until a phenomenal ending, that will leave readers open mouthed!
Calvin James Geo’s childhood boyfriend is the killer on trial. The Sweetbay Strangler the media calls him. He is found guilty of the murder of Angela Wong, Geo’s childhood best friend. A secret Geo knew and kept for 14yrs.
When Angela went missing, Geo kept her silence but why? Why did Geo enable Calvin? Who then went on to rape and murder three more victims until his apprehension.
Angela’s parents are in the courtroom, as they hear Geo’s evidence. The pain and anger they must feel towards Geo leaps from the page. As Geo avoids all eye contact with them. When Geo completes her testimony, she is taken straight away to serve her 5yr sentence at Hazelwood correctional institute.
Geo may have held onto secrets, but once she is convicted she loses everything she gained in those 14yrs. Gone is the wealthy fiancé and dreams of the all-American dream. Gone is the prestigious career and bright future. Gone is Geo to ‘Hellwood’.
When she arrives, it becomes clear to Geo she is going to have to find a way to survive prison. That prison eats weak and vulnerable people.
‘There are three types of currency in prison: drugs, sex and information’ – Geo
Her prison experiences did remind me of the TV show Orange Is The New Black. As Geo tries to navigate a world she is unprepared for. I almost visualised her as the main character Piper. Whilst Geo survives prison, there are flashback scenes to her arrest and interrogation. We learn how and why geo lost it all and what information she did disclose to the police. We also learn that she is holding something back.
The week before Geo is released from prison, two bodies are discovered in the exact location of Angela’s remains. Although we know it can not be Geo responsible, Calvin remains at large as a fugitive. Is Calvin back? why return to the same town?
Who are the victims and are they connected?
The two victims are a grown woman and two-year-old child. Calvin was never known to harm any young children, which leave the police baffled.
That is until they dig further into the victim’s past!
The detective handling the case is Kaiser Brody. Who attended school with both Angela and Geo. The trio were often seen hanging around together. Kaiser has kept a close discreet eye on Geo during her prison term and continues to do much the same once she is released. But can Kaiser get to the truth? Will Geo confessing her secrets, finally put the past behind her?
This novel brings Geo’s past and present together and builds to a dramatic, action-packed ending! 4*