Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Flower Girls – Alice Clark-Platts

Psychological Thriller

Over the years I have had an ongoing interest in books that portray children who kill. Not the cheeriest of subjects I grant you but I have read some really insightful fictional books that take a look at this thankfully rare circumstance. The Flower Girls was definitely at the darker edge of the subject and perhaps surprisingly less obviously based upon known cases.

Alice Clark Platts has created two characters Laurel and Rosie, sisters, who brutally killed another child one summer’s day. Rosie was just six years old on the day of the murder, far too young to be formally be punished but Laurel was sent to prison where she remains. Rosie is given a new identity to help her move on while Laurel remains in prison nineteen years on. Rosie, now Hazel is staying at a hotel when a young child goes missing and it is this that brings the past hurtling back to meet the present.

The brilliance of this book isn’t just the premise, nor is it really the plot which while ingenious is used as a vehicle to look at the wider issues surrounding all crime, but particularly that committed by a child. DC Lorna Hillier represents law and order, the hotel guests pretty much stand for the public in all their glory, most particularly those who will uee any excuse for making money and garnering publicity, of which the media are more than willing to exploit. This really is the grubby side of crime and seeing it presented as it is in The Flower Girls really brings home how awful society can be and that while there are degrees of wrong, wounds can be inflicted by seemingly minor acts.

While I enjoyed the book which is divided into parts including the ubiquitous flashback scenes taking in the murder in 1997 and the eventual reunion of the two sisters, it did seem to be trying perhaps too hard in places to stick to the psychological thriller brief complete with surprising twists and turns. I personally felt that this meant that the excellent and sensitive probing of such a complex issue got lost in some less realistic plot devices but this was really a personal and minor quibble in what was a satisfying read.

Overall this book feels very dark indeed. I think this feeling persists due to the shadowy nature of the girls’ early years and the decisions their parents make following the imprisonment of Laurel, overall this book made me feel incredibly sad for all the wasted lives contained within its pages. Understanding the parallels to society only served to underline my sadness. For all that, it was a well thought-out novel that will stay with me for quite some time to come.

First Published UK: 17 January 2019
Publisher: Raven/strong>
No. of Pages: 339
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Posted in Weekly Posts

This Week in Books (January 30)

This Week In Books

Hosted by Lipsy Lost & Found my Wednesday post gives you a taste of what I am reading this week. A similar meme is run by Taking on a World of Words

Well we are nearly at the end of January and whilst I haven’t read anywhere near as many books as I did last year, I am back to a comfortable number per week something that I am sure has been helped by my more relaxed read what I feel attitude.

The last book I read was one that I picked up off the back of fellow blogger, Fictionophile’s review. For Reasons Unknown by Michael Wood is the first in a new crime fiction series – yes another one – and whereas previously the book would have sat on my TBR for an age while I scheduled it in, I wanted to read it, so I did! Did I like it, well you’ll have to wait for the review but I’ve bought the next in the series…


Two murders. Twenty years. Now the killer is back for more…

DCI Matilda Darke has returned to work after a nine month absence. A shadow of her former self, she is tasked with re-opening a cold case: the terrifyingly brutal murders of Miranda and Stefan Harkness.

The only witness was their eleven-year-old son, Jonathan, who was too deeply traumatized to speak a word.

Then a dead body is discovered, and the investigation leads back to Matilda’s case. Suddenly the past and present converge, and it seems a killer may have come back for more… Amazon

And I was on a roll, the book I’m currently reading I also bought a copy of because of the wonderful reviews in the blogosphere… like this one from Janal who blogs at Keeper of Pages. The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts took my fancy, I bought my copy 27 January and as you can see, I’m already stuck in!



The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose.

One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity.

Now, nineteen years later, another child has gone missing.

And the Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again… Amazon

Next up I’m reading a review copy, but as it is the eleventh in the Ruth Galloway series that I absolutely LOVE, I’m all revved up for The Stone Circle by Elly Griffiths.


DCI Nelson has been receiving threatening letters telling him to ‘go to the stone circle and rescue the innocent who is buried there’. He is shaken, not only because children are very much on his mind, with Michelle’s baby due to be born, but because although the letters are anonymous, they are somehow familiar. They read like the letters that first drew him into the case of The Crossing Places, and to Ruth. But the author of those letters is dead. Or are they?

Meanwhile Ruth is working on a dig in the Saltmarsh – another henge, known by the archaeologists as the stone circle – trying not to think about the baby. Then bones are found on the site, and identified as those of Margaret Lacey, a twelve-year-old girl who disappeared thirty years ago.

As the Margaret Lacey case progresses, more and more aspects of it begin to hark back to that first case of The Crossing Places, and to Scarlett Henderson, the girl Nelson couldn’t save. The past is reaching out for Ruth and Nelson, and its grip is deadly. Amazon

Admittedly the week is looking crime heavy, even by my standards but I certainly can’t complain.

What does your reading week look like?