BOOK REVIEW: THE ROSE PETAL BEACH BY DOROTHY KOOMSON

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GENERAL INFORMATION

TITLE: THE ROSE PETAL BEACH

AUTHOR: DOROTHY KOOMSON

PAGES: 657

PUBLISHER: QUERCUS

YEAR: 2012

GENRE: CRIME FICTION

COVER TYPE: PAPER BACK

www.quercusbooks.co.uk/blog/tag/the-rose-petal-beach/

www.dorothykoomson.co.uk

BLURB FROM THE COVER

‘I could kill them for what they’ve done to me’.

I said those words. And I meant them at the time. But what would you do, what would you say if your husband was accused of something terrible and the accuser is someone you trusted with your life?

That doesn’t meant I wanted this to happen. I didn’t want anyone to get hurt. And I didn’t want to be scared that every knock on the door is going to be the police, coming to take me away. What’s going to happen to my children? What’s going to happen to me?

My name is Tamia Calley and this is my story.

THE OPENING LINE

Have you heard the story of the rose petal beach?

OVERALL IMPRESSION

I loved The Rose Petal Beach. There were so many twists and turns and Koomson took me by surprise every time. I loved the quality of the writing. I loved the way Koomson executed the original storyline. I had no idea who was the villain was so the revelation took me by surprise. I thought The Rose Petal Beach was fantastic.

REVIEW

I really like the way Koomson structures The Rose Petal Beach. There are multiple first person narrators including Tamia, Tamia’s friend Beatrix and Fleur, the daughter of her other friend Mirabelle. I’m not usually a fan of multiple person points of view by Koomson makes it work. She makes it clear who is narrating each chapter so I didn’t find this confusing as I have with other novels I’ve read in this style. I liked the fact each narrator had a distinctive voice and after a while I knew who was telling the story without any pointers from Koomson. I think using multiple first person narrators helped to build tension and suspense.

I love the concept behind The Rose Petal Beach. It’s a very complex psychological thriller. It’s one of those novels that has a lot of twists and turns. There are many layers to the storyline. Each time you pull back a layer you find three more. The Rose Petal Beach starts off being about a woman whose husband is accused of attempted rape – and then her husband claims they were having an affair and the accusation is her revenge because he dumped her – and then the woman is murdered – and then – you know where I’m going with this. At page 450+ I still had no idea what was really going on.  I was impressed by the way Koomson handled this. I hate it when I can second guess where an author is leading me. I like to be dragged down the garden path many times until I become lost in the jungle.

I think this characterisation is great in The Rose Petal Beach. All of them felt very real. I could sympathise with all of the women especially Tamia. In order to enjoy a novel I really need to get on board with a character. This can be someone I can relate to or a nasty character I want to be brought down a peg or two. The reason I hated Westwood by Stella Gibbons I read recently is because I didn’t have a connection with the characters. Koomson is spot on. I felt Tamia’s dismay, hurt and rage as her world fell apart. I wanted to give Scott a kick up the arse. I wanted Beatrix to wake up and realise what a shit Scott was.

I like the way Koomson explores the complexity of relationships in The Rose Petal Beach. Scott and Tamia’s relationship was the most complex of all. They had known each other since they were kids and been married for a long time. Tamia is forced to take a long hard look at their life when Scott is arrested and doesn’t like what she sees. She discovers the man she’s known for most of her life is a stranger. He tried to rape her best friend. He likes to watch rape porn. He had an affair with another friend. He’s cheated on her multiple times. I felt all of the relationships were complex and realistic.

I had no idea who Mirabelle’s killer was until Tamia goes to confront her. I thought it was Beatrix, the friend of Tamia’s he actually had an affair with. I was gob-smacked when I found out who it was. Kudos to Koomson for managing to surprise me. It doesn’t happen very often.

I like the fact Koomson explores homosexuality in The Rose Petal Beach. That doesn’t happen very often in popular fiction by heterosexual writers. Mirabelle is a lesbian. The killer is her lover driven to commit a terrible crime by fear and misunderstanding. As a lesbian myself I could really relate to both of these characters.

I thought the title was perfect.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m a huge fan of Dorothy Koomson and have been for several years. I read her novel Marshmallows for Breakfast and was blown away. I have a copy of all her novels except The Rose Petal Beach and The Woman He Loved Before. Her earlier novels were chick-lit (sort of) and she’s developed into a writer of psychological thrillers. The Rose Petal Beach was great. I need to buy my own copy. I got this out of the library. I also have The Woman He Loved Before to read in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait.

RATING

5 STAR RATING

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Connie says:

    Who is Bridget? ?? Do you mean Beatrix?!!

    1. Oops – fixed this now

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