Category Archives: Wendy Heard

Review: Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard

Title: Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard
Publisher: Mira
Genre: Historical (80s), Suspense, Mystery
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: C+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


“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 to be.

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.


Set during the mid 1980s, Hunting Annabelle by Wendy Heard is a suspenseful mystery featuring an unreliable narrator who is desperately searching for a missing woman.

Recently relocated from San Francisco, Sean Suh lives in Austin, TX with his neurosurgeon mother. Sean spent several years in a psychiatric facility after he was convicted of murder.  He has been diagnosed with schizophrenia but a strict medication regime appears to be keeping most of his symptoms at bay. Sean spends his days in a local amusement park where he eventually meets Annabelle Callaghan. Completely enamored by the young women, Sean is horrified when she is kidnapped right in front of him. Sean immediately reports the incident to the police who initially do not take her disappearance seriously. Sean is certain Annabelle is in danger and while he is attempting to locate her, the police begin to view him as a suspect after they learn about his past.  Although he sometimes doubts his recollections, Sean remains convinced Annabelle is in grave danger. He uncovers some very shocking information about her but how does this revelation figure into Annabelle’s disappearance?

Sean is a surprisingly sympathetic character considering his background. He is rather aimless since he has not made any attempt to plan for his future. He is a gifted artist but his daily cocktail of antipsychotics and antidepressants leave him foggy and prone to losing time. Sean works hard to keep his memories of his horrific crime at bay as he battles the occasional murderous impulse.  He is immediately enchanted by Annabelle but Sean is well aware there is no chance of a future with her.

Following Annabelle’s disappearance, Sean turns amateur sleuth as he tries to find her. His investigation takes on a bit of a nostalgic feel  due to the time period.  Without cell phones or the internet, Sean utilizes phone books and maps to track down the people in Annabelle’s life. Going to her small hometown is the obvious place to find answers and Sean unearths unsettling details that do not jibe with his vision of Annabelle. But can this information help him find the missing woman?

Hunting Annabelle is a slow-paced mystery with a dark storyline.  Sean is trying to keep out of trouble and his mother keeps him on a fairly tight leash. By all appearances, Annabelle is a charming young woman with a bright future ahead of her.  The novel is well-written with a clever plot, but Sean’s search for Annabelle becomes a bit tedious and repetitious.  Wendy Heard brings this unique mystery to a twist-filled yet improbably conclusion.

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Filed under Harlequin, Hunting Annabelle, Mira, Mystery, Rated C+, Review, Suspense, Wendy Heard