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4.4 out of 5 stars
The Rose Petal Beach
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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
I have read all of Dorothy Koomson's books and in all honesty have loved all of them. They may have very beautiful covers, but don't let them fool you people. Hidden behind those beautiful covers lies a well constructed book that is far from beautiful and in the case of her latest book the story is almost sinister. Dorothy's books may well be categorised into Women's fiction, but this almost has a Suspense feel to it and the only way I can describe it is that it was just as gripping as a Kern Rose kind of book, but minus the multiple dead bodies!

Her more recent books have started to take a more serious theme to them and I have found myself preferring this more serious side to her storytelling. The Rose Petal Beach is a love story with some serious dangerous elements to it. Tamia Challey is married to Scott and they have two wonderful children. However, when Scott is arrested and accused of a horrific crime, things start to go very wrong. When Tami realises what he is accused of and who the accuser is her life goes into freefall and the life she has known all along seems to be disintegrating before her eyes.

Within the first three to four chapters I was feeling nervous. Why was there so much chopping and changing between Tami and two other characters, what was the meaning of it all and why was it not making any sense to me. As usual I had absolutely no reason to be fearful as by the halfway stage I was fighting sleep because I just had to keep reading. It's very hard to review this without spoilers so unfortunately I will have to keep certain opinions to a minimum, but I will say this is a book that will keep you page turning well into the early hours.

The first half of the book features Tami and her family and friends and things start to fall into place and make a little sense. After my first night of trying (and failing) to stay awake, I started again in the morning only to be thrown by another dramatic series of events. The book has one theme that it is worked around and you see relationships develop, before, during and after events that seem to unfold and become more relevant, the more the reader uncovers. By the three quarter mark I had got it all sussed, and then I turned the page and changed my mind! That happened a lot during this book.

Like I said before, it's hard to review without spoiling it, but I will say that this book delves deep into the emotional state of various people whilst they try to deal with major events. It is a book that although very driven by emotion, has a serious amount of suspense from start to finish. I think in one respect this may be her best book yet, only because it has such a sinister and unusual feel to it. This may not be everybody's cup of tea but one that I think many fans will love, and people that haven't tried will be surprised with.

Whatever you do, DON'T judge this book by its cover. It may be one of her most beautiful covers of hers yet, but it doesn't show just how dark and dangerous the story really is. It's funny that now I have finished the story the cover doesn't look quite as innocent as it did before, but is certainly a book that I won't be forgetting in a hurry! If you haven't read DK before, you may like to give this a try, trust me...it's certainly not all romance and flowers!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2014
This is the first Dorothy Koomson book that I have read. I found it difficult to put down. At the end of each chapter I wanted to keep reading and I thought that I had discovered a new author whose books I would enjoy and could recommend to friends. And then I came to the 'whodunnit' part of the book'. I have rarely been so disappointed by the way a book ends. It felt as if the author did not know how to finish it and cobbled an ending together. I have given it three stars because I enjoyed the early part of the book but would only give the denouement 1 star.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Myself, and my Nan are huge fans of Dorothy Koomson, so I was very excited when a copy of her latest book The Rose Petal Beach arrived in the post! Actually, I think my Nan was more excited than I was, she tore off the packaging and practically started reading it on the spot!

I must say firstly, the cover is STUNNING!!! I was very intrigued by it, and I absolutely loved how there was a story and background to The Rose Petal Beach. I love little tales and old stories and the story of The Rose Petal Beach was brilliant, it was fascinating and Dorothy Koomson cleverly tied it in to the book. I won't go into the tale as I don't want to ruin it, but it was a great addition, and one of my favourite bits of the book.

The story opens with a dramatic scene: All is well in the Challey household, the children are playing before bed, one in their pyjamas already, the other showing her father Scott Challey something she had learnt at school that day. Tamia Challey is happily watching them. Then comes a knock at the door: Police march in and arrest Scott, who seemingly already knows what he is being handcuffed for and quietly goes with them. Tamia is left with crying and frightened children, confused and unaware of what her husband has been arrested for, and even more puzzled that he knew more than what he was letting on.

What follows after is Tamia taking us back and forth between the past and the present, reliving important moments of her life which link up to what is happening in the present day. This was a fantastic idea of Dorothy's, and it kept me hooked to the pages. I was very interested in Tamia and Scott's background story, how they met, and what happened in their life leading up to that moment. As well as reading things from Tamia's perspective, we are also given chapters from Beatrix (or Bea, to all her friends), the Challey's neighbour and one of Tamia's best friends. This really works well as the reader gains extra information from a different set of eyes, and it's very intriguing to see things from her point of view.

Dorothy Koomson has created some complex and interesting characters, and it is fascinating to read about and watch their development throughout the story. I thought in particular Tamia and Scott were brilliantly written characters, they both seemed to jump from the pages into real life. I also really loved Mirabelle as a character, she really grew on me. The Rose Petal Beach has many surprises, twists and turns that definitely kept me constantly on the edge of my seat, wanting to know more.

I won't spoil it for all of you but this is a truly thrilling and gripping book. Throughout the story I kept repeating one word to myself: Wow. Dorothy has again excelled in her storytelling and I'm certain this one is going to be a big hit! I strongly urge you all to check it out!!! Fantastic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2012
This kept me gripped from the first page. Beautifully written, the novel describes the effect on the lives of ordinary people when hidden secrets are brought to the fore. Told from the perspective of three characters, the allows a deeper insight as gradually the deeper reality of the situation is revealed.

Lots of reviewers have already covered the story in detail so I won't do that, but will say this is Dorothy's best so far. Her characters are carefully and believably drawn, and could be people you or I know. I felt Tamie's pain as she realised the life she was leading had become a lie. It leaves the thought-provoking question out there: how well do we really know anyone?

If you haven't read anything by Dorothy before and are looking for a writer with substance, I would highly recommend her. Her books aren't the fluffy-froth that make up many 'chick lit' novels, but very real and powerful.

A fantastic read from an amazing writer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson is a wonderful book which I loved and one I would recommend too all readers of modern day fiction.
The main character of the book was Tami and the other two characters Beatrix and Fleur who were also used to narrate the main story where her supporting cast. Tami had the perfect life she had the beautiful family and home which she always aspired for from she was a child herself , but a visit by two police officers are going to start a nightmare which Tami will find it impossible to waken from. Her husband Scott is very good-looking and she knew women liked to flirt with him but when the police officers arrest Scott for a horrible crime and she is told who the actual accuser is it makes the nightmare harder to understand. Another crime is committed which for Tami her living nightmare is going to get graver and a visitor from London will only produce more questions rather than the answers which Tami craves.
As Tami starts to remember what her life was like before this nightmare started, you the reader will get to know her better through her looking at her past in detail as it gives an insight to the lives which both Scott and Tami had before they came to Brighton where the main story takes place. Beatrix and Fleur are two totally different characters that the author also uses to narrate the book which they also narrate in the past and present tense, both these characters will bring many depths into this book which the author has done with clarity and fine detail. Like all good books there are characters who you will love with passion but others you will hate with even deeper passion but each of the characters have problems to solve which they can only do for themselves.
The author is one which knows and fully comprehends human emotions and she has used each emotion within the pages which made this book extra special for me. The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson is a book which I recommend to all readers of modern day fiction and one which had so much action and surprises within its pages as a reader you could not fail to enjoy reading this impressive book. If I could give it ten stars I would as I loved reading every page.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2013
I really enjoyed the Ice Cream Girls which made me excited to read Dorothy's latest novel. I had high hopes throughout the book that the twist would be brilliant at the end which is what made me perservere with the story. However the end of the story left me feeling robbed of the time I wasted on the book as the twist seemed half hearted and confusing. There were no real clues throughout as to who the killer could be and even at the end, the puzzle pieces still didn't fit together. It almost felt like Dorothy was trying to hard to make the killer that unpredictable that it was too far fetched and unrealistic! I wouldn't recommend this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2012
Dorothy Koomson this book was AMAZING. Could not put it down! Thank you for such a fan book as always
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2012
I have all of Dorothy Koomson's books and couldn't await for this one to arrive - I wasn't disappointed! As usual the story is well written, the characters are believable and have you connecting with them right from page 1 - I just couldn't put it down. It is a slightly different style to some of her other books and keeps you guessing right to the very end - if I didn't have to get up for work each day I would have quite happily read through the night to finish it! Fantastic book, thank you DK!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2013
Having enjoyed the televised adaption of Dorothy Koomson's book, 'The Icecream Girls' I thought that I would try this book by the same author. The synopsis on the cover gave me the impression that I was in for a good story with an element of 'whodunnit' as well. The first part of the story was interesting, introducing you to the characters, although I found it hard to believe in a main character with two children who seemed to have only two friends who hated each other. Then there was the murder and the rest of the book went over and over the characters' view of each other and events that had taken place years before in each of their lives. None of this seemed to have much bearing on the murder that had taken place and I ended up skim reading the second half of the book because even though I was not enjoying it I needed to know who had committed the crime. When I finally found out the answer it was a most unsatisfactory ending to the story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2013
As some other reviewers said this started well and I cared what happened to Tami and Scott but by half way through the book I started to skip pages and by two thirds of the way through I couldn't care less who murdered or slept with whom, and gave up with relief. There was too much analysing of feelings, too much repetition. Not the best DK.
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