Black Flowers hooked me in right from its initial pages detailing the story of a little girl appearing on the seafront, clutching a handbag containing a black rose. This is interspersed with the voices of Neil, an aspiring writer who is gradually drawn into investigating his father's disappearance and Hannah, the police officer in charge of the investigation. It soon emerges that nothing in this story is quite as it seems; the boundaries between reality and fiction are blurred.
This is all quite cleverly executed, with the only real quibble being that at times the writing is inconsistent and sometimes is too simplistic to really breathe life into the characters. But overall this thriller goes several layers deeper than most in the genre to create a genuinely unputdownable tale that even made me get out of bed to check that the door to my flat was locked. The violence and horror are mostly hinted at - which is very effective in making it feel it decidedly creepy, in the tradition of some of the most truly horrific fiction. Well worth a read, and probably even a re-read.