Hardened by ten years on the murder squad, DNA analyst Doctor Sian Love has seen it all. So when she finds human remains in the basement of her new home, she knows the drill.
Except this time it’s different. This time, it’s personal…
A page-turning cold case investigation, Dead Flowers is an intriguing, multi-layered story perfect for fans of Kate Atkinson’s Case Histories and British crime dramas like Line of Duty and Unforgotten.
Shortlisted for the UEA Crime Fiction Award 2019
I would like the author, publisher and blog tour organiser for the ARC in return for an honest review.
I really really enjoyed this book. It made me jump, it made me shriek out loud in more than one place and it kept me on the edge of my metaphorical reading chair from page one to the final page. In a thriller, you want to be thrilled and you certainly are when reading Dead Flowers. Nicola Monaghan has created an atmosphere full of menace, you feel constantly that at any moment, something unbearable could happen to Sian. Your reading like crazy to reach the end, to find out if the peril she finds herself in, will destroy all she holds dear.
Doctor Sian Love used to be a detective, so having left the police disillusioned, she decides to take action to solve the mystery of why two bodies have been hidden away in her basement herself. What makes this extra gripping is the way the writer has made this story personal to Sian on more than one level. She gives her protagonist a personal connection to the events themselves and that what I really loved about this book. Not only is it well written, but I found myself rooting for Sian, who had the most to lose, and in making me invest so much in her, the writer created an emotional connection that had my nerves on edge. I felt almost bruised by the end, so buffeted was I by the constant fear she might become a victim herself.
I was absolutely hooked. The images of the bodies in the basement still make me shudder and it is one of the best thrillers I’ve read this year. Not only would I recommend it, I think its going to feature heavily in the Christmas gifts I buy for friends this year.
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About the author
Nicola Monaghan was born in Nottingham in 1971, and grew up there on a number of different council estates. She studied Mathematics at the University of York, and went on to work as a teacher, and then in finance. She has lived in London, Paris and Chicago, but moved back to her home town in 2002 to study Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent. She has since written several novels and novellas, as well as scripts for short films. Her first book, The Killing Jar, won a Betty Trask Award, the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Prize, the Waverton Good Read, and was selected for the New Blood Panel at Harrogate in 2007. She was the first fellow of the National Academy of Writing, based at Birmingham City University, and now teaches creative writing at De Montfort University. More recently, she studied crime writing at the University of East Anglia, where she wrote Dead Flowers, which was shortlisted for the UEA/Little Brown Prize. She lives in Nottingham with her husband, son, two dogs and – the real boss of the household – a cat called Dream Tiger.
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