After he got out of the psychiatric prison, Sean Suh settled in Austin
with his mother. He spends most of his time at the local amusement
park, drawing. He has no friends until the fateful day when he meets
Annabelle Callaghan. Just his luck that he would fall in love for the
second time in his life, and that Annabelle is kidnapped almost before
his very eyes. Or was she? Sean sometimes has blackouts, is this what
happened? Did he hallucinate again? No one believes that Annabelle
has disappeared, so Sean will be HUNTING ANNABELLE by himself.
To get the full experience of HUNTING
ANNABELLE, I would strongly suggest that you start reading
without any preconceived notions of what is to come, which might have
been a mistake on my part. HUNTING
ANNABELLE is told in the first person point of view by Sean, who is
a most unreliable narrator and doesn't dwell on his past because of
particular circumstances... Sean is also an artist; his vision of the world
looks a bit like a series of visual clues and details, and I don't know if it
was intentional or not on the author's part, but I felt disconnected from
Sean. I felt like an observer, merely waiting for events to unfold while he
tries to kick his fuzzy brain in motion.
HUNTING ANNABELLE is set in
1986, and this is where Wendy Heard really shines. Her powerful
descriptive voice made the decade come alive with vibrant images of
Texas, as well as pertinent cultural references. Modern technology
being unavailable at the time also made HUNTING ANNABELLE a laborious affair. Sean's
search takes him in several locations, endlessly debating what to do;
the narrative moves at a very sedate pace until it erupts in a manic
frenzy once where we finally get a glimpse of Sean's nature, and then
in the last quarter of the book which came as a total shocker. If for the
most part of the book, I did not quite know what to make of HUNTING ANNABELLE, the story
concludes with what certainly constitutes this year's creepiest, most
unexpected, and twisted ending.
“Her scream echoes in my memory. I know what
happened. Whether anyone believes me or not, I know.”
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
Then Annabelle disappears.
Sean is sure she’s been kidnapped—he witnessed her being
taken firsthand—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.
A chilling, deeply suspenseful page-turner set in the
1980s, Hunting Annabelle is a stunning debut that
will leave you breathless to the very end.