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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, truly original thriller
Sheila Redling's debut novel is one of the most original and yet credible thrillers I have read for years. The setting is the site of a chemical spill, where the people exposed to the chemical have been walled in in the Flowertown of the title to prevent them contaminating the rest of the country. It's an interesting proposition on its own, but the plot just carries on...
Published on 26 Mar 2012 by S. P. Long

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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight, flawed but readable conspiracy thriller
An entertaining enough read, particularly the early part where scene is set and characters developed. The setting is a 'quarentined' town, thanks to a chemical leak, being run by the very company that caused the leak in the first place and populated by the poor people who happened to be there when the leak occured.

There are 4 main characters of which 2.5 are...
Published on 4 July 2012 by Misty


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flowertown, 22 Mar 2012
By 
A. Lucas "bookworm" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Flowertown (Paperback)
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This is one of those rare books where I wish there were MORE stars we could award. I just couldn't put it down... in fact, I tried to put it down and go to sleep - but couldn't rest until I had put the lamp back on and read through to the finish! Then, of course, I was upset that it was all over. Hopefully, from the way the book ended, ther could well be a follow up....so, fingers crossed.

The characters are likeable and you can really put yourselves in their situation, and just imagine how awful it must be to live in a quarantined area, where you can't leave, and outsiders can't visit. There is only very limited telephone/internet access to the outside world, and obviously there are only limited amounts of jobs and as everyone is ill from the decontamination drugs, there isn't really a social life for the poor people of Flowertown. All they do is shuffle papers in their jobs, get high on home grown weed and live in sub-standard apartment buildings. Occasionally, suitable people can be put through a dreadful detox programme and leave for 48hrs, although places to visit are limited, as there has to be special facilities provided so nobody else is contaminated.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of hope for the people of Flowertown. Or does there?? Could there be cryptic messages in the home-produced local newsletter? Are there hidden meanings when people speak to each other and say the words "all you want" in conversation?

It's a fantastic journey finding out the answers to those questions and more. I absolutely loved this book, and will recommend it to anyone and everyone!

Just one teeny, tiny niggling thing...... it seemed that in any situation, for any reason, any person would "bend at the waist". I'd be really interested to find out just how many times somebody 'bent at the waist' - so if anyone is reading this review and then goes on to read the book - PLEASE make a note of how often the bending at the waist occurs! I'd love to know!!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'll back you to a point, pal, 21 Dec 2013
By 
MisterHobgoblin (Melbourne) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Flowertown (Kindle Edition)
Flowertown starts so well. It creates a menacing world in which a town and its people have been quarantined following a chemical spill. The medicines people take to combat the poisons make them smell of flowers, hence Flowertown. The world is well created; it is frustrating but necessary. People suffer privations, but it is for the greater good.

Of course, it turns out that sinister things are afoot. But these reveal themselves gradually. This is a slow burner of a thriller with the first half, at least, caught up on the domesticity of the situation. Ellie, for example, is a university graduate who was caught in the town as she was saving for an adventure in Spain with her boyfriend. But the boyfriend died in the early days of the spill, leaving Ellie trapped, eking out an existence as a filing clerk in the records office, smoking dope to numb the pain. There are other cases of people whose lives took a downturn - the professor who ended up running a papershop - as all the jobs of consequence go to the army or the personnel from the pharmaceutical company.

Ellie is the novel's star. Foul-mouthed, fatalistic, petulant. She spends most of her time self-consciously telling everyone she doesn't give a stuff. She seeks comfort from her best friend Bing, a clerk from the floor below, and her room-mate Rachel who is a goody-two shoes, slavishly following the programme to get a 48 hour pass to visit her family. Oh, and there's Guy Roman, a soldier with an unlikely name and the pulling power of a tow-truck. Alongside a credible cast of supporting characters, they explore both the strategic and personal impacts of the quarantine.

Now, I wanted an easy read - some interesting ideas and a well developed world. And for 90% of the book, it delivered - even if it was turning into a bit of a breathless chase by that point. But, at the 90% mark (thank goodness for Kindles' percentage display) there was a twist that simply defied belief. All the good work to that point was shattered as readers were expected to accept a paradigm shift that was inconsistent with the basic premises we had come to believe. It's not simply that the twist was unwelcome, it is that it shatters the consistency of the novel up to that point. And when a reader loses the suspension of disbelief, the game's up. A book cannot recover once the reader no longer believes the writer. The characters crumble, the story is just words on a page. It is such a pity because, up to that point, Flowertown had real promise.

Oh, and at the risk of spoiling things, the ending contains a huge signpost that a sequel is in the offing. It might as well have said "to be continued". Sadly, I won;t be continuing because I no longer believe in the people or their story. But three stars for the well-written bulk of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 17 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Flowertown (Kindle Edition)
This is an unusual plot which I liked because it was different. The storyline is fascinating, thought-provoking yet plausible. The fact that it is so realistic makes it quite scary.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different sort of Sci-Fi, 23 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Flowertown (Kindle Edition)
Some good characters and a reasonable twist. No aliens, no end of the world and (thank goodness!) no vampires.. It's a 'near future' idea that works very well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars May this happen?, 21 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Flowertown (Kindle Edition)
I can see that this could happen, or already has, in the more oppressed countries I just hope it does not happen here.
Ellie along with thousands of other ordinary people who just happen to live close to a chemical company finds themselves as prisoners in a sealed town after a chemical spillage. I will not tell you any more of the story but it is so believeable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 20 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Flowertown (Kindle Edition)
A book that takes you to a place you can imagine, but would not wish to be. Great characters - with individually interesting personas but the whole story line is also gripping with some great twists. I can often work out the ending or somewhere close (often a bit of a let down) - but this was gooood!! Worth the £ -
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5.0 out of 5 stars Original and enjoyable read., 5 Sep 2014
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Carmen Schmitt (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Flowertown (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book, found it gripping in many areas. I liked the characters and loved the twist toward the end. Would have liked to have more character build up on Guy Roman the soldier as I felt it would have gone with the story better. But all in all a great read, that would be fun to read again. I feel it was flawed at all and would recommend it to anyone who likes a thriller without the bloody gore some authors rely on to sell books. I don't expect a sequel as other reviewers did as I felt the end was solid.
Happy reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I hope there's more, 21 Aug 2014
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Radiojock (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Flowertown (Kindle Edition)
Flowertown. Violence. Some spoke of a conspiracy. The story is one of significance as there have been real chemical spills. What could happen if you or I were, please, God forbid - caught up in one?

Here, we see a town cut off from the rest of normal society, and how its inhabitants live; plus how government agents handle everything. Not to be confused with any real story, but a book to make you think!
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4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD ALL THE WAY, 26 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Flowertown (Kindle Edition)
Fantastic cover, brilliant title, interesting story. This was a different interpretation of a familiar theme. What I very much liked was the way the writer developed the characters, especially Ellie, the main character. It's so often the human aspects that make a story memorable and that was the case here. A satisfying conclusion as well, with a cheeky little way of holding things open for a sequel!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Slow starter but worth it in the end., 8 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Flowertown (Kindle Edition)
After several attempts I finally finished this book, and I'm glad I did. It takes a while to pick up momentum and some of the writing at the beginning was clumsy. However there is a really good story behind all that with some nice twists and turns. Ending leaves it open for a sequel which I would like to read. If you can stick through the first 8 chapters or so then it is definitely worth a read.
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Flowertown
Flowertown by S.G. Redling (Paperback - 19 Jun 2012)
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