18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2014
This novel is accessible women's fiction, with a darker edge. It's narrated by Saffron Mackleroy whose husband was murdered 18 months earlier. Saffron has a lot to cope with: her 14 year old daughter has just shared a big secret, Saffron has a difficult relationship with food, and her husband's killer has started writing to her and threatening her family. Can she hold her life together and recover from her husband's devastating death?
Dorothy Koomson has an easy, readable style and is a good storyteller. However the novel is incredibly farfetched - we are supposed to believe that Saffron knew who killed her husband from the start but didn't turn the murderer in because of a big secret involving her daughter. By halfway through I was losing patience and by the time the secret is revealed the book fell completely flat, as the 'secret' is really small and contrived. The ending is also wrapped up far, far too neatly for my liking.
It's an ok read, but this lack of plausibility makes it unsatisfying.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 28 September 2014
I miss the good old days where a DK book promised you good, simple story lines and deep, intricate characters who led full lives on and off the page. Where is the soul that was in Marshmallows For Breakfast or Goodnight Beautiful? I'm missing it in this book (and actually in the last three). It is an interesting enough premise, but there was not much growth in any of the characters. Felt a little cheap. I think we're falling further and further down the 'thriller' genre hole and losing the magic that made me fall in love with DK to begin with.
Here's what I really want to say. I love DK, but she writes the same four characters in all her books. There is always the black, insecure female protagonist who is best friends with a white woman who always turns out to be vicious and betrays her. There is always a white male love interest who is purely for sex, and a black male love interest who has a heart of gold, but who she never ends up with. I want to see something different, I want to see DK write a book with different characters.
I hope the spark that was in the earlier novels returns, until then, I think I'll look elsewhere.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2014
This was a book I couldn’t put down, but not because it held my interest.. Half way through the book I was ready to give up, but was determined to finish it and so reading on became more a mission than an enjoyable exercise. Koomson has tried but for me, failed to get into the thriller genre. A lot of the ‘suspense’ fell flat and the 'big secret' wasn’t much of a secret at all. It's sometimes the simple things that can jarr when reading a novel and for me, I wonder why Koomson's black female leads always have long straight hair, and I know few black mothers for whom a shrug would be an acceptable response from their pregnant 14 yr old daughter.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2014
Thank you to the wonderful publication house Quercus for kindly sending me a Hardback cover of this twisted novel. Psychological thrillers aren't usually my cup of tea and I requested it, thinking it was a love story which it kind of was, but holy moly! What a novel.
From start to finish, I was hooked. The letters from the husband's killer were just incredible and they even made me look around at my surroundings, just in case...
The prologue and first chapter were both jam-packed with drama and the big reveal about Saffron's daughter, Phoebe, was extremely shocking and I absolutely loved reading about how that particular storyline unfolded. It did at times take over the husband's killer storyline but once the letters began to arrive, the two combined perfectly.
In terms of the killer, very little was revealed and I did have my own ideas right from the beginning yet I was wrong about who the killer was. In my opinion, I think more should have been revealed as I finished the book only knowing two things about the husband's killer - the gender and why they murdered him.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2014
Without wanting to give too much away, there were several themes to this book, in addition to the main theme of an unsolved murder. Sometimes this can make for a bitty read where nothing really fits in or is tackled in detail, however I think Dorothy Koomson tackles the themes really well and they all link in perfectly to each other, enhancing the main storyline and adding depth.
On the negative side, the book felt too long for me at times and I wanted to get to the end, I think maybe the characterisation in this book was not as strong as in others of this genre. There are some books where the characters stay with you after you have finished reading, unfortunately this was not one of those books. Also, I agree with some others on here, the reason why Saffron withholds information from the police about the day of the murder doesn't seem justifiable, which disappointed me and was the one thing about the book that was unrealistic.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2014
Disappointingly slow moving and repetitive. Reading on kindle, I thought I was accidentally turning back pages but no, the same thought processes occurred time and time again. The food theme was not really used much in the book. Apart from the blackberries on the floor, over and over again!
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2014
Firstly I'd like to thank ED Public Relations for sending me this book to read and give an honest review. I've enjoyed books by this author in the past and was excited to see where her latest book would take me...
A very intriguing prologue began this story of life, loss and turmoil, I was taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and can easily say that it was my favourite book by this author!
Flashbacks were slowly feeding me information about That Day and those that came before and after, I thoroughly enjoyed putting together all the pieces of the puzzle. There were references to a secret between Saffron and her daughter Phoebe, I thought I knew what the secret was but when a mysterious letter arrived I began to rethink my theory. As the letters continued I found myself struggling to understand why Saffron kept it all to herself, this was a side of the story that didn't make sense to me.
A whodunnit that also involved Phoebe kept me guessing throughout, I loved how the author managed to surprise me as I read through the book. I was captivated by the way Saffron dealt with everything that was thrown at her, I felt that it was written in a believable manner, in fact the authors writing really jumped out at me because of its honesty.
About halfway through there was another serious issue thrown into the mix, this wasn't my favourite part of the book but it did give me a better insight into Saffron's character. Another character I have to mention is Aunty Betty because she had such a fun, vibrant personality, she brought a touch of humour to an otherwise serious storyline.
This was a gripping mystery with many different factors that kept me entertained throughout!
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
I love Dorothy Koomson's novels, and I've always thought of her as such a talented author and one of my favourite authors, so I was so excited to start The Flavours Of Love.
Saffron Mackleroy's husband Joel was murdered 18 months ago, and since then Saffron has been trying to work on and finish The Flavours Of Love - a cookbook that Joel started before he died. But although everyone thinks that Saffron is coping, the reality is very different. Things take a turn for the worse after her 14 year old daughter confesses something to her, and then her husband's killer starts writing to her claiming to be innocent...
You look at the cover and initially think "What a gorgeous cover!" expecting perhaps a romantic story, but what you actually get after you've read the description and the book is such a richer and darker story that pulls you in immediately. I read The Flavours Of Love in two sittings, I wanted to do it in one but unfortunately on this occasion sleep won that competition but as soon as I woke up I had my head buried back in the book, and WOW. Just WOW.
The novel is brilliantly written from the first sentence, I could feel the terror in my bones and the tension radiating from the pages. I instantly had so many questions - How did Joel die? Who is the murderer and why are they writing letters? And what has Saffron's daughter confessed? I was HOOKED and I just had to keep reading because I wanted to know.
There is a bit of moving backwards in time and then to the present day again, but Dorothy does this with such ease that the story flows naturally. I especially liked that the letters had their own part in the story and I'll be honest, they were chilling to read, I could almost hear the sinister tones in them and I raced on, my heart beating wildly. The Flavours Of Love is such a clever novel in that it is not just about Joel's murder and the killer, but there are so many more topics and issues effortlessly woven in, such as family problems, coping with grief, the loss of a parent, careers, and cookery too.
The characters are fascinating in their own ways. I warmed to Saffron straight away as I really felt for her with her loss, and her life as he struggles to keep her family together and going after such a terrible event. And at the same time, I was desperate to know what she was holding back. I LOVED the addition of Aunt Betty, she provided a refreshing mood and I loved her moments in the book, I don't want to say too much but in many ways she made the book for me.
The Flavours Of Love is gripping, full of suspense and will bring out many emotions. A thoroughly brilliant book!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2015
I have read all but one of her past books and enjoyed them greatly. This one is very different to her previous books, but equally enjoyable. I was slightly worried when I bought it, from the title and the blurb about writing a cookbook,that it was going to be like a few authors have done recently and been a substandard story padded out by a load of recipes, but I couldn't have been more wrong! I read this in one afternoon, and it's not a small book! I loved that the story had so many different threads, all being revealed in different layers, and none of them had predictable endings, I changed my mind several times about how I thought things would pan out. Some readers might not like the fact that it is not her usual style, but I really think it works and can't wait to see what she does next.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 February 2015
This is one of the best Dorothy Koomson books yet. The story is told, partially through flashbacks, which blend seamlessly into the current ongoing events. How Saffron copes with the murder of her beloved husband and the problems with her teenage daughter Phoebe, is not revealed until quite a way through the story. The constant threat to their safety is drip fed through the book in the most chilling way. On the face of it this is a story about normal people leading normal lives but with all the undercurrents of family life, particularly in the face of tragedy. An excellent read with twists and turns, a brilliant use of language and the occasional flash of humour.