Disturbed: Jennifer Jaynes
Within the pages of this complex novel is someone who will lure you into thinking he/she is an innocent victim of circumstances and whose choices in life were made as a result of being under someone’s control. Like a fire that is out of control or a burning inferno that destroys many forests and is not out until the last ember burns and the trees and greenery are gone, the rage, revenge and hate stored inside this person will shock you, surprise you and definitely make you wonder why no one ever realized that this person was DISTURBED! Emotionally ill, needing special treatment yet when you meet the many players within this novel you will never be able to tell who is emotionally troubled or worse.
Haunted by one night five years ago Chelsea Dutton spent the evening celebrating a friend’s birthday on Halloween night. Ghosts and goblins did not take the stage nor did witches or spirits but something happened night that would alter her life forever. Murders are not uncommon but finding her hanging by a thread, severely injured, Chelsea is found in a bathtub while her friends Amy and Christine died a painful death at the hand of someone whose skills with a knife were equal to a sculptors carving knife. A message on the mirror on the wall in the bathroom was their only clue from the killer yet Ethan, the boyfriend of one of the victims was their primary person of interest yet he was never found. How can someone just vanish into thin air? Where did he go and why couldn’t the authorities find anything out about his spending, credit cards, car or anything traced to him? A primary cold case that was never solved until Chelsea brings it back into the open when someone leaves her a note similar to the one that the killer wrote and from this point on things will spiral downhill not just for her but for anyone close to her. Wait until you learn why!
Finding Chelsea practically dead and bleeding out Detective Lang takes a personal interest in her and she treated for her injuries they realize that she needs more help and they place her in a facility. Memories are precious but hers are few and as she tries to cope with her nightmares and fears with her cat Harry as her only comfort, Chelsea goes through the motions of life in a fugue state. Next we meet Elizabeth who plays an intricate role in her healing and is her best friend. Trying to make sure that she was save and yet hoping that her memories would stay dormant fearing they would cause her more harm, Elizabeth was her mainstay, her moral compass and although at times she remembered certain events her fragmented thoughts and memories and the file she’d received from the Department of Children and Families after the attack was her primary link to the past but there is much more.
Ethan was the catalyst in these murders as he liked to party and have fun plus using drugs was not past him yet Chelsea never drank or used any drugs. He teased her about her not drinking and she had at one time relented to his wiles and drank a glass of whiskey letting readers know that sometimes young girls allow others to convince them to join the crowd and do what’s in even if it goes against their moral grain.
The author shares along with Chelsea how she was treated for her injuries at the hospital and her memories slim yet wondering why she was spared.
Elizabeth nurtured and cared for her and when she decided to go along with her friend to the Farmer’s Market she never expected to see someone attached to that night that drew her closer to remembering and yet at times farther away. Boyd Lawson was there that night and it haunted him yet Elizabeth warns Chelsea not to reconnect with him but she does not heed her warning. Boyd seems glad to see her but in retrospect she should wonder just why he was there and why now? Chelsea was quite and petite and Elizabeth domineering and controlling wanting to make sure that she remained safe from harm but why? Coincidence or just happenstance when right after meeting Boyd and reconnecting she receives a note that mirrored the same one left on the mirror of the murder scene. YOU MADE ME! Multiple meanings if you look closely at these words as it seems the killer states his/her actions are her fault or does this mean something closer to home? Boyd seems to care for her claiming that he and his wife Lisa are separated and he’s filed for divorce. But, lies and deceptions are at the route of most relationships within this novel and yet Chelsea calls the police and Detective Lang is asked to revisit the case hoping that it will finally be closed. But, not everyone or everything is what is seems and as he begins to question those from the past, Chelsea’s foster family and other friends; he realizes that somewhere there is a hidden truth that has yet to be unveiled.
Wanting a real relationship with Boyd she allows herself to succumb to his advances but his mood swings, his disappearances and his odd reactions alert her and send up red flags.
Personalities clash and friendships seem strained as Chelsea and Elizabeth quarrel about her relationship with Boyd and her co-dependence on others. Reliving the murders and being questioned by Lang she begins to piece some if together but then a startling revelation about Boyd comes glaring through and things get twisted, convoluted and she snaps.
She has one friend, Elizabeth, a nurse from the hospital she recovered in. Other than Elizabeth she seems isolated from the world and does not venture out to meet new friends until Boyd comes back into her life but when he suddenly leaves one night and cannot be reached we hear his voice coming through loud and clear as the deceptions rise and the lies grow but within Chelsea’s mind the anger blooms and she decides to find out the hidden truth behind his relationship with his wife. Control is a major factor within this novel as Lisa pulls the strings concerning Boyd and Elizabeth pulls them harder with Chelsea. Everyone wants to be empowered and orchestrate the life of the one person they feel they can manipulate and control. Disturbing yet this is what provides the suspense, intrigue and mystery within this psychological novel filled with creative twists and a final revelation that will stun readers.
When Chelsea feels overwhelmed or unsure of others she reverts to her couch and hides within the cover of her blanket with only Harry providing reassurance of being loved which is another theme that runs through this novel as we learn more about her past and her time in various foster homes that alert readers when Lang interviews Katherine Jones whose time with Chelsea in her home was limited to six months and their interactions few as Katherine blames Chelsea for something she did not do and it spiraled into another defeat for Chelsea. Her past ruined her present and the final realization that she really has no one to trust yet feeling close to Lang provides a conflict for the detective as the author puts all the pieces in place and the final body count will rise but you won’t see it coming and believe who pulls the trigger and uses the blade.
When Lang coordinates with other law enforcement personnel and receives a telling video a startling revelation comes to light and the hunt for a killer just might elude him again.
When hidden beneath the façade of a person is someone no one really sees and the foster care system needs to be revisited and reworked as social workers often overlook the obvious and children are placed in homes without really looking at their caregivers we have what happens to so many children and teens adults who wind up like Chelsea alone, feeling dejected and unloved.
When memories flood back and the end result is revealed and the final revelation comes to light author Jennifer Jaynes lets readers know that the killer might have the final word and just who that is I will not reveal but someone is out there and this person is the reason why this novel receives five golden stars as the character depicts the true meaning of the word and title DISTURBED!
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine