Review of ‘The Sick Rose’ by Erin Kelly

This is one of the best thrillers I’ve read. Twisting, dark, well-crafted. Although it’s categorised as crime fiction, I would say it crosses the genre into psychological thriller.

The story switches between the third person narratives of two characters, Louisa and Paul. They have both done terrible things, secrets they’re hiding, and are working at a garden heritage site for rehabilitating young offenders and addicts. Louisa is in her thirties and still obsesses over a relationship she had in 1989 with a singer in a struggling band, while Paul is nineteen and is trying to escape the criminal friend who controlled him.

There were many elements of the novel I enjoyed. The characters were interesting and realistically presented, as were the details of the settings (in London, Warwickshire, Essex and Sussex). The twists were surprising, right until the last page. Tension and foreboding brooded in every chapter. I liked the down to earth dialogue too. The only thing I didn’t like was the very occasional bit of gory violence but there wasn’t enough of it to put me off.

I had previously read Erin Kelly’s debut novel, which I remember liking but I don’t think it was a thriller as such. The Sick Rose is very good indeed and I’ll be checking out more of her work.

First published in 2011. Its alternative title is The Dark Rose.

12 thoughts on “Review of ‘The Sick Rose’ by Erin Kelly”

    1. I’m quite picky about the thrillers I read, but this one stood out as pretty good!

    1. Thanks! I’m a fan of thrillers but I can be quite picky as I’ve read some disappointing ones.

      1. I think I’m lucky to have not come across any that have disappointed me so far, perhaps that’s why I’m such a fan of the genre…a bad book can definitely make you look at a genre in a different way though.

  1. I havent heard of this one before but it does sound very interesting! And since the gory stuff doesnt put me off that much, I think I am going to enjoy reading it! 😍❀️❀️


    1. Thanks! I hadn’t heard of it, but I found it for Β£1 in a book sale and thought why not! I’m glad I tried it.
      πŸ™‚ β™₯

      1. Hahhaha!! I DO THE EXACT SAME THING! I have soo many books I bought just because they were on sale, and I don’t even bother t read the synopsis sometimes, just the cover-appeal and the price is enough for me to shout – ANOTHER! 🀣🀣🀣

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