Ann | 2/16/2014
" juxtaposition of two compelling characters who underwent frightening circumstances while teenagers, good plot, twists and turns, pace lagged occasionally "
Jaclyn | 2/2/2014
" The Dark Rose is about two characters, Paul and Louisa working on the restoration of an Elizabethan garden in the English countryside. Through the course of flashbacks on the part of both characters you gradually learn about each character and what has led each of them to this garden project. Paul has come to the garden because it provides a safe haven while he is awaiting a court day where he will be a witness against his closest friend from childhood, Daniel. Louisa is part of the garden project because it is her career; however, through the course of her flashbacks you realize that she has been greatly influenced by a traumatic event from her teen years which led her to heritage gardening in the first place. What draws Louisa and Paul together initially is Paul's resemblance to Louisa's boyfriend from her youth, Adam. Eventually, Louisa and Paul begin an affair and confess their complicated past to one another that seems to bring some solace to both of them; however, complications arise when Daniel's father finds and confronts Paul about his testifying at Daniel's trial.
I enjoyed reading The Dark Rose, it was very different from what I generally read. The story was compelling and realistic, and the way that Kelly releases parts of each character's stories keeps the interest in finding out exactly what happened in each of their pasts that lead them to their current positions. Kelly provides these selections of the past through flashbacks that continue through the entire novel; therefore, the chronology of the book is not static and continually changes at significant places in the "present day" plot.
The tone of the novel was somewhat bleak and melancholic, and its not a book that I would recommend to those that like a happy ending. I would recommend this book to fans of mysteries because I found that the main drive of the novel was in finding out the central mysteries of the characters, namely what Daniel had done to cause Paul to have to testify, and why exactly Louisa is afraid of being spotted in certain areas of London. This book would also be good for those that like a character-driven plot rather than a lot of atmospheric description.
Overall, I enjoyed this book and I will certainly be looking for Kelly's first book, The Poison Tree. "
Rebecca | 1/27/2014
" Wow! This could be my first really great read of 2012. I enjoyed The Poison Tree, but I think Erin Kelly's second novel is even stronger. The book was well paced, there were shocking twists throughout and it didn't stop until the very last paragraph. "
Elizabeth | 1/26/2014
" Enjoyable read. Kept me guessing. Very well written. Recommend. "
Emily | 1/14/2014
" The first 50-100 pages were a bit slow, but the story picked up after that. "
Kim Castiglia | 1/8/2014
" I had to start this book 3 separate times because I couldn't get into it. The timeline got confusing with the jumping around and jumping between characters. I never really got attached to any of the characters either. The ending was just horrible. "
Iuliana | 12/27/2013
" Really enjoyed it. It surprised me and kept me guessing to the end. "
Sue | 12/1/2013
" Having really enjoyed her last novel I couldn't wait for this one. Initially I found the constant moving backwards and forwards very irritating and quite difficult to get into the story. Hence 4 stars. But in the end this worked and the final chapter was brilliant! "
Karen | 11/23/2013
" Really enjoyed this book! Glad I gave Keley a second chance..Poison tree was OK but this was much better constructed..faster story and tighter plot. "
Kerry | 10/19/2013
" gave it up before finishing. felt trite and self absorbed. I don't know. It bugged me. "
Anjanette Wold | 10/15/2013
" I would like to give it 2.5 stars .... it was okay "
Beth | 6/23/2013
" Sick of giving up on books but this book was doing nothing for me and didn't really care for the characters. Each time I picked the book up I had to skip back 2 pages to remember what was going on ! So on that basis gave up "
Stephen | 6/9/2013
" enjoyed the book but felt the author hadn't moved on form her first book and felt this book was a slight move backwards like the idea of older woman , younger guy both haunted by their pasts but the ending a bitter twist but overall an easy read "
Arathi | 4/11/2013
" Loved this. I may have to add Erin Kelly to the same list that Tana French is on right now. There's something very similar about both women's writing and it's something that really appeals to me. "
Carmen | 2/15/2013
" A psychological drama, this book features a woman who has killed someone in her past and how it affects her. She changes her lifestyle and lives the next 20 years as if she were waiting for the knock on the door. There are some twists that completely enthrall the reader. "
Sarah Oliver | 2/9/2013
" It was OK nothing out of the ordinary and a little predictable but a good read "
Maxine | 1/12/2013
" Although I read the US edition, title The Dark Rose, the title of the UK (original) edition, The Sick Rose, makes sense in the context of the book - whereas the US title does not. "
Debra Morris | 7/16/2012
" Great! A haunting, gothic tale. I loved the way the author told the individual stories from different time frames. I loved Erin Kelly's the Poison Tree and I thought this was just as good. "
Lisa Bergin | 1/23/2012
" Not as good as her previous novel. Did not enjoy the constant time shifts. "