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The Dark Rose: A Novel Hardcover – February 2, 2012
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Kelly follows up her outstanding debut (The Poison Tree, 2010) with another suspenseful tale that keeps the reader on edge until the last page. Quiet and troubled teenager Paul has become tangled up with hooligan Daniel, and the two of them get rich selling scrap metal they’ve ripped off from construction sites around Essex. When a run goes bad, leaving a man dead, Paul rats out Daniel in exchange for community service. He’s placed with a social-services group renovating a public garden, where he meets the mysterious Louisa. Louisa is tormented by her past; as a goth teen, her volatile relationship with a musician ended badly, and she’s blamed herself for the past 20 years. Despite their age difference, Paul and Louisa start an affair. Trying to hide their relationship while escaping their pasts proves to be too challenging for the lovers; a bad end seems inevitable, but there is considerable tension as it approaches. Reminiscent of early Ruth Rendell, Kelly is a master at teasing her readers by doling out just enough backstory, a little bit at a time, to keep the suspense high. --Rebecca Vnuk
“Everything we love in a thriller—obsessive passion, haunting secrets, a shocking ending—is here, set among the creepily atmospheric ruins of a 16th century English garden.”
“Erin Kelly is an elegant menace…It’s useless to resist: You must read it.”
—Maureen Corrigan, NPR.org
“With its rich intertwining of viewpoints and time frames, its nuances of character and class, its sustained suspense…this harrowing novel is a work of true talent.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Reminiscent of early Ruth Rendell, Kelly is a master at teasing her readers…to keep the suspense high.”
“Erin Kelly has delivered a stunning look at human desperation, loyalty, and absolute terror…First class writing that is absolutely captivating!”
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Anyway, I'm anxious to read Erin Kelly's other books now that I've read this one.