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The Sick Rose [Kindle Edition]

Erin Kelly
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)

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Book Description

'You kept my secret. I know yours now. That makes us even.'



Paul has been led into a life of crime by his schoolyard protector, Daniel - but one night what started as petty theft escalates fatally. Now, at nineteen, Paul must bear witness against his friend to avoid imprisonment.



Louisa has her own dark secrets. Having fled from them many years ago she now spends her days steeped in history, renovating the grounds of a crumbling Elizabethan mansion. But the her fragile peace is shattered when she meets Paul; he's the image of the one person she never thought she'd see again.



A relationship develops between them, and Louisa starts to believe she can experience the happiness she had given up on; but it soon becomes apparent that neither of them can outrun their violent past . . .



Product Description

Review

It's unusual for a second novel to be even better than the first but Kelly has pulled off that difficult trick. (Literary Review)

'A compelling second novel from masterful storyteller Erin Kelly.' (Good Housekeeping)

'Kelly's first novel, THE POISON TREE, earned her comparisons with Ruth Rendell and on the evidence of this second psychologically complex thriller, the accolade is entirely deserved. Like Rendell, Kelly is an expert in suburban macabre, relishing in the kind of domestic scenes we all recognise but giving them a satisfyingly chilly.' (Psychologies)

Erin Kelly's first thriller, THE POISON TREE, was widely praised, with some reviewers comparing her work to Daphne du Maurier. Her second, THE SICK ROSE, is nearer in spirit to Ruth Rendell's work . . . It's an elaborate narrative structure, but Kelly manages it with panache . . . this is an enormously readable novel and there is no denying Erin Kelly's talent. She's an author to watch. (Spectator)

'This claustrophobic psychological thriller is the second novel from the author of the brilliant THE POISON TREE. Just as good as her debut, it marks Kelly out as a formidable talent' (Bella)

'It is hard to find a more impeccably English writer than Erin Kelly, whose debut THE POISON TREE, marked her as a name to watch in British fiction... In trademark style the [THE SICK ROSE] flits between the 'then' and the 'now', playing with the magic and poison of memories, until the present intervenes with brutal and tragic consequences'. (The Times)

Kelly writes perceptively and chillingly about the long shadows cast by tragic mistakes . . . she shows considerable promise. (Daily Telegraph)

'Thumbs up to . . . this leave-the-light-on thriller.' (Look)

'A tense and twisting novel of dark secrets and dangerous desires.' (Grazia)

Kelly's first novel, THE POISON TREE, earned her comparisons with Ruth Rendell and on the evidence of this second psychologically complex thriller, the accolade is entirely deserved. Like Rendell, Kelly is an expert in suburban macabre, relishing in the kind of domestic scenes we all recognise but giving them a satisfyingly chilly twist. (Psychologies)

Erin Kelly's debut THE POISON TREE was a fine psychological thriller; THE SICK ROSE confirms that promise . . . a first-class suspense novel. (Mail on Sunday)

'After the success of THE POISON TREE, Erin Kelly has conjured up another intriguing novel that will draw you in from the start.' (Star)

'Gripping and beautifully written . . . I can't recommend this book highly enough. I read the last section in one long burst, unaware of my surroundings, and emerged as though from a trance. I think I shall have to read it again.' (www.shotsmag.co.uk)

'A real "can't put it down" mystery. This sick rose has got the grip of bindweed.' (Independent)

A compelling suspense novel from crime fiction's freshest voice. (Red)

'More creepy crime with plenty of psychological insight from rising star Erin Kelly.' **** (Daily Mirror)

'More creepy crime with plenty of psychological insight from rising star Erin Kelly.' **** (Mirror)

'Erin Kelly's first thriller, THE POISON TREE, was widely praised, with some reviewers comparing her work to Daphne du Maurier. Her second, THE SICK ROSE, is nearer in sprit to Ruth Rendell's work . . . It's an elaborate narrative structure, but Kelly manages it with panache . . . this is an enormously readable novel and there is no denying Erin Kelly's talent. She's an author to watch.' (Spectator)

A tantalising novel that grips the gut until the breathtaking conclusion. (Daily Record)

A tense and twisting novel of dark secrets and dangerous desires. (Grazia)

A compelling second novel from masterful storyteller Erin Kelly. (Good Housekeeping)

This claustrophobic psychological thriller is the second novel from the author of the brilliant THE POISON TREE. Just as good as her debut, it marks Kelly out as a formidable talent (Bella)

After the success of THE POISON TREE, Erin Kelly has conjured up another intriguing novel that will draw you in from the start. (Star)

Thumbs up to . . . this leave-the-light-on thriller. (Look)

Gripping and beautifully written... I can't recommend this book highly enough. I read the last section in one long burst, unaware of my surroundings, and emerged as though from a trance. I think I shall have to read it again. (www.shotsmag.co.uk)

This is a page-turning read from a writer who has been compared to Daphne du Maurier and Ruth Rendell. (You Magazine)

An excellent book . . . Erin Kelly has written a well thought out, skilfully executed study of destructive relationships and how the past is always lurking, threatening to contaminate the present and, indeed, the future.... The Sick Rose shows that she is accomplished in interpreting the inner workings of the mind whilst turning it into riveting entertainment; a talent evident in few, envied by many and gratefully enjoyed by the likes of me. (www.thebookbag.co.uk)

This harrowing novel is a work of true talent. (Publishers Weekly, Pick of the Week)

It's a book that's very hard to put down, with each precisely timed turn of the narrative screw increasing the tension to a very assured climax . . . The book delves deep into dark hearts and troubled minds and does so in deft and highly readable fashion. (cornflowerbooks.co.uk)

Disturbing yet compelling. It's from the "I don't care if it's your birthday, we can't go out until I've finished this" school of fiction. The plot grasps and branches like its namesake, with a strong grip on the random coincidences that can both bring people together then blow them apart. Sick or not, once this rose has got its thorns into you, it will be quite some time before you can disentangle yourself. (www.reviewingtheevidence.com)

Book Description

The chilling second novel from the author of the critically acclaimed THE POISON TREE

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1005 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (9 Jun. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004YD1JXQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,464 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Erin Kelly is a freelance journalist and lives in North London with her family. The Poison Tree is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars couldn't put it down... 24 April 2012
Format:Paperback
Which was a little awkward as I found myself on a very crowded tube with 2 large bags unwilling to put this book away despite imminent danger of falling over.

I'm usually addicted to police procedural crime novels so to tackle something more psychological, especially a book as accomplished as this, was a real pleasure.

I think this is a stunning second novel. To me, the places and people were even more authentic than those in the poison tree, the moving between time periods was seamless and utterly compelling.

And the twist at the end got me. Cannot recommend this highly enough.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book 22 Jun. 2012
Format:Paperback
This is my first novel by this author and I can't wait to read The Poison Tree now. There is a dark, mysterious quality to her writing that pulls you in and makes it hard to put the book down. I completely believed in her main characters Louisa and Paul, and the tragedies that happened to them and brought them together. She writes as convincingly about life on a tough estate as she does about life on the King's Road in London, and I particularly felt for Paul and the way he is stopped from following his dream by people who don't want him to have dreams. Brilliant.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely riveting read 4 Jan. 2012
Format:Hardcover
I'd read Kelly's first novel The Poison Tree and thoroughly enjoyed it but The Sick Rose is in a different league.
It grips from the start, transporting you back in time to Kensington Market in the 1980s - a vivid, very real portrayal for anyone who remembers the dingy old place.
But it's the characters and storyline that really grip. Sympathetic, yet interesting leads and an engaging, well researched story that slowly but very cleverly winds two very different tales into one. And the ending is utterly unexpected and shocking.
I read it in one go and immediately went online to find out if there was another Erin Kelly novel I'd missed. Sadly there are only two but if she continues to improve at her current rate, I really can't wait for her third book. Surely, given the quality of this one, there must be one on the way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely 'Ruth Rendell' class 26 Jun. 2014
Format:Paperback
Paul is an ordinary young man whose life circumstances have been such that he has found himself deep in friendship with a young man who doesn't share his understanding of honesty. As they reach adulthood, the cracks in the relationship become apparent.

In another earlier time, Louisa is a young woman who rejects the mainstream attitudes of her doctor parents. In experimenting without support, she finds herself in circumstances that she struggles to handle. Her life takes a quieter trajectory, shaped by a secret that is too big to tell.

Until she meets Paul,

I read psychological thrillers for relaxation at the weekend and I expect nothing more from them than that they hold my attention. This one is a 'cut above', certianly better than many that I have read recently. Whilst being both compelling and unputdownable it still took me a couple of days to read it - as someone who is frustrated when a 'thick' book takes no more than an afternoon and evening to read, a book that keeps me going for a bit longer is highly valued.

For once, I think that the comparison to a well-established writer, Ruth Rendell, is justified.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute belter of a story 19 Jan. 2013
Format:Paperback
I read this book in record time but not because I was reading quickly, I just simply couldn't put it down. I was actually annoyed when my flight landed early as it meant less reading time! The story was fantastic, the pace never stopped, the gradual building of the back stories of the main characters through the course of the book worked really well and the ending....well, yes I shed a tear!

I'm not going to say anymore for fear of giving something away. All I will say is read it - you won't be disappointed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable page turner 9 Jun. 2012
By Rossi
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a long time fan of psychological thrillers, I am really starting to like Erin Kelly's work. This book charts the relationship between social misfit Louisa and Paul - 20 years her junior and on a work placement with a witness protection scheme where Louisa is working restoring a Tudor garden. We are flicked back into both of their pasts, Louisa's world in 1989 and her love affair with a singer in a band and Paul to his growing up and involvement with petty criminal Daniel.

An enjoyable page turning read. EK excels at the creation of atmospheres and scene setting - the recreation of 1989 London was extremely well done along with life in an Essex estuary town and I actually felt a touch of Ruth Rendell coming on here. In her last book I thought her characters were stereotypical but she has proved me wrong in this one. My type of book and I am certainly looking forward to more.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I read and enjoyed Erin Kelly's debut novel, The Poison Tree, a couple of months ago, and when I saw this new book was being released I couldn't resist snapping it up. I was glad to find that, while The Sick Rose is completely recognisable as the work of the same author, it's quite different from The Poison Tree - the storyline is fresh, the characters original, and thankfully it seems much less like it's partly targeted at the chick-lit market.

The Sick Rose has two main characters. 39-year-old Louisa is a botanical expert working on the restoration of the gardens of a crumbling country house. 19-year-old Paul is a petty criminal sentenced to community service at the site, the job literally a get-out-of-jail-free card in exchange for helping to put away his dangerous friend Daniel. Both protagonists, inevitably, are troubled, and they each get their own flashbacks: Louisa's take place twenty years before and describe her first serious relationship with wannabe rockstar Adam, whose death at 18 still haunts her; Paul's jump back seven years and cover the traumatic loss of his father and the start of his criminal career as Daniel's accomplice. As the story begins, a meeting between the protagonists triggers a violent reaction in Louisa, who thinks Paul is the spitting image of Adam.

The truth about the past is carefully unfolded, and as Louisa and Paul get to know one another and a tentative relationship develops between them, the flashbacks slowly reveal that Adam was in fact volatile and potentially unfaithful, and Daniel a possessive bully who conspired to make Paul's life hell for his own amusement. Paul is terrified that Daniel will catch up with him, while Louisa also seems to have something to hide and begins to imply that she was involved in Adam's death.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb and highly original
This was the first book by Erin Kelly that I've read. I found it thoroughly absorbing, and have subsequently read two more in a row - The Burning Air and The Ties that Bind, the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by R. Perkins
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book could not put it down enjoyed the story ...
A good book could not put it down enjoyed the story well worth reading
Published 2 months ago by carol clamp
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Superb!
Published 2 months ago by mary wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but not one that i would recommend
Not a patch on her first novel. Not bad but not one that i would recommend.
Published 4 months ago by Sally G
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
Sleepless nights as I didn't want to put book down! Great work Erin... Now need to locate next book! Amazing
Published 6 months ago by Maxine Yates
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another tense and great read from Erin Kelly.
Published 8 months ago by Miu miu Lin
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It was a bit depressing and left me feeling flat
Published 8 months ago by Annie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant read - tense, gripping. I love this writer!
Published 9 months ago by Angela
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyed this book
Published 9 months ago by Mrs J Holmes
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It
Loved this book after reading the Poison Tree. Definitely one of my favourite authors - great paperback escapism - well written and good plot.
Published 9 months ago by RK
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