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on March 13, 2011
We've all been lured by the description of the idyllic small town, where everyone you meet is friendly and helpful. Where you can walk a few blocks to the Post Office for a chat while you mail a package, or drop into the local diner for a quick lunch with friends. Where everyone you meet on the street gives you a warm greeting. But how would you react if you found out your next door neighbor, that great guy you knew growing up, might be a serial killer? Or the mailman you've chatted with over the years and even given your fresh-baked cookies, suddenly acts far more menacing? This is the small town Ms. Gragg writes about with such authenticity. Best friends might not be your friend at all, the babysitter down the block might turn out to be your worst nightmare. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will be looking for more from this author.
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on March 17, 2011
I found The Rose Killer to be not only suspenseful but also some of the best writing I've encountered in years. The character development is superb as is the attention to detail as it sets each scene with maticulous care. If you like mystery stories spiced with humor and a little human sensuality thrown in here and there to keep the reader on their toes you will love The Rose Killer.
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on March 16, 2011
I really enjoyed the book and it held my attention until the end. I couldn't figue out who "did it", and had to wait for the book to reveil the killer. The plot was unusual and well done.
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on June 9, 2011
I had a hard time getting into this book. The characters weren't developed very well, and there were several mistakes (grammar, referring to the wrong person/name) that made the read a little harder than it should have been. Without giving too much away, it was fairly obvious who the killer was about half-way through, but there is very little indication why the killer became one. The cause of the ritual wasn't really explained; I've read enough to understand what the author was going for - but I wanted to hear the killer tell the story. There was a lot of attention paid to how the widow was dealing with her husband's death, but it seemed hollow. I found myself not liking her. More than once during the course of reading this book I didn't want to finish it. It drags in areas. After I completed the book, I found no real reason for some of the situations, maybe to distract the reader? The concept was really, really good - and had more attention been paid to the killer (background, how life unfolded) it would have been much better. There was some wonderfully suspenseful writing, I will try this author again but I wouldn't recommend this book.
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on June 15, 2011
This is like a Hitchcock goes to Mayberry story. It is pretty well written but lacking in the editing department. There were errors that I found distracting: name confusion, grammar etc. It's a good story whith a good premise. If you can over look the mistakes it is an enjoyable read.
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on August 15, 2011
There were so many mistakes I couldn't make it through the whole book. The continuity errors were mind-boggling. The writer introduced new days, but then wrote as though the character was still in the previous day. There is the revelation that she's been a widow for 11-months, yet somehow the first anniversary of her husband's death has already passed - how does that work?? If the writer is too lazy to keep her timeline straight, why should I spend my time reading the book? No attention is paid to detail - names are introduced but changed with no explanation later. The first time the reader sees the name "The Rose Killer" in connection with the serial killer there is no explanation why the main character names him that. It's just thrown in like everyone should know who he is and why he is called that. The reader knows the killer likes roses, but there is no way for Valerie to know that. It amazes me that this was even published. I have never given up on a book so early into it before, but the gross amount of mistakes made it impossible for me to move forward.
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on June 28, 2011
Well, it was free, so that was good. The idea of the mystery was good, and I liked the switching points of view between different characters, additionally, the killer was sufficently creepy. However, the main character I found completly unlikeable, most of the other characters were under-developed, the pacing was horrifically slow. Finally, and most irritating, the overall tone of the book felt like it was taking in place in 2 different times. I assumed that it was supposdly a current time, but many of the main characters seemed stuck in the 70's or 80's. Either is fine, just pick one. Finally, the teenage boy struck me as a casting-call holdover from a teenage greasser movie from the 50's. The whole thing just gave me a headache.
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on August 3, 2011
This book was one of the most poorly edited books that I have ever read. There were also a great many continuity mistakes that made me want to yell "Pay attention to what you have already written"! It was very bad!
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on August 2, 2011
I've never written a book review before, but this book was so bad...I did read it to the end then saw this woman has written books on writing AND she was an editor...huh? You have got to be kidding me.

The story had good bones but I get really upset when a writer makes mistakes, and really stupid mistakes are the worst. Why didn't she self edit or hire someone? The little things like writing a paragraph about a woman..."she did this and she did that" then the writer slips in a "HE and HIS" - check for mistakes before publishing, there were typos galore, misspellings and lots of easy to fix problems that someone was too lazy to edit or fix.

She was also trying to be clever but revealed the full name of someone that the main character was trying to find the identity of...she had the name, the writer added it...at the time I couldn't believe anyone could make that mistake and several chapters later the "true identity" of the person is revealed...except the reader knew it a long time ago because the writer didn't edit.

Another thing that bothers me is when someone writes about something then forgets or doesn't have the knowledge...in the story there is a dog, a big dog - the writer has two cats so maybe she doesn't understand dogs and dog owners. You can't start writing about something then forget it...in one part of the story (after the dog is introduced and we know it stays in the house and goes out in the back yard) there is a horrible storm, branches breaking, driving freezing rain...no mention of the dog, the dog isn't padding around or frightened by the noise - so where is the dog (I kept wondering to myself) did she leave the dog out in that storm? This is just sloppy, you can't forget things like this, attention to detail please. Honestly, this made me dislike both the author and the main character for not taking care of the dog.

As for the story, it could have gone somewhere but...instead there were all kinds of unanswered questions, again - sloppy. The murderer is made to seem like a normal and mostly forgotten character who the writer suddenly seems to decide to make the villain without any reasoning or motive. She is looking at all kinds of people who could be the killer, no questions are answered about ANY of those people and there is no justice for any of the bad guy's wrong doings (and there are several bad guys) and a couple of good guys that seem bad but we never do get their full story...I don't know if she is hoping to write another book so tried to leave every single question unanswered or...?

This book is a waste of time and money and since most of the reviews were 5 or 4 star...my trust in Amazon reviewers is gone. This author is either too lazy to clean up all the messes she made, loose ends and even small things like spelling errors or just can't write. I believe she probably can if only she would put the effort in, like I said - the story could have been good with a little effort.

Sadly the character development was bad too, the main character has no soul and is unlikable. There were a couple of characters that she made me want to get to know but just went and killed them off, the most likable and compelling were disposed with. Others that we really needed to know more about...we were left hanging and never got a back story. The actual killer? Who knows, we got some descriptions of his looks and work history and upscale taste, I started not to like him because he may be a cheater - then boom, he is some psycho and that is it, and of story? Bizarre. Lazy. Unworthy. Too bad, could have gone places if only a little more care were taken.
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on October 25, 2010
Imagine living all your life in a small town. You know everyone and you feel safe. Then the killings start. Your ordinary little town has a serial killer.
This is a tense thriller as the heroine slowly starts distrusting everyone, including her late husband. These are characters you feel like you know. You want to tell the heroine "Stop! Don't do that!"
There is a nice romance and if you want to find out if everything turns out all right, you'd better read it.
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