The Dark Rose: A Novel

The Dark Rose: A Novel

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by Erin Kelly
     
 

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The brilliant new thriller from the author of the critically acclaimed debut, The Poison Tree.

Paul was led into a life of crime by his boyhood protector, a bully named Daniel; but one night, what started as a petty theft turned into a grisly murder. Now, at nineteen, Paul must bear witness against his friend to avoid prison. Louisa's own dark

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Overview

The brilliant new thriller from the author of the critically acclaimed debut, The Poison Tree.

Paul was led into a life of crime by his boyhood protector, a bully named Daniel; but one night, what started as a petty theft turned into a grisly murder. Now, at nineteen, Paul must bear witness against his friend to avoid prison. Louisa's own dark secrets led her to flee a desperate infatuation gone wrong many years before. Now she spends her days steeped in history, renovating the grounds of a crumbling Elizabethan garden. But her fragile peace is shattered when she meets Paul; he's the spitting image of the one person she never thought she'd see again.

These two, scarred and solitary, begin a secret affair. Louisa starts to believe she can again find the happiness she had given up on. But neither of them can outrun his violent past.

A story of secrets and guilt set among the ruins of a sixteenth- century English garden, The Dark Rose explores the extremes of obsessive love and loyalty, devotion and desperation. Like Kelly's critically acclaimed debut novel, The Poison Tree, this fantastically creepy, atmospheric novel thrills until the final shocking moments.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
British author Kelly follows her powerful debut, The Poison Tree (2011), with another stunning novel of psychological suspense. When Paul Seaforth meets garden designer Louisa Trevelyan at a garden restoration site in Warwickshire, where the authorities have sent him for safety until he can testify against a friend at a murder trial, Louisa reacts to him with shock. Paul resembles Adam Glasslake, a charismatic musician with whom she was once violently obsessed. Paul, who later becomes Louisa’s secret lover, hopes to give her closure by discovering Adam’s fate, but his plans explode when his own past finds him. The title, which alludes to the way a new rose won’t bloom where an old one has died, perfectly evokes the story’s theme: unhealed damage inevitably stunts fresh growth. With its rich intertwining of viewpoints and time frames, its nuances of character and class, its sustained suspense and its gothic/contemporary fusion, this harrowing novel is a work of true talent. Agent: Zoe Pagnamenta. (Feb.)
The Washington Post
“Kelly gives readers a compelling creeper that intelligently invokes the conventions of the Gothic and plays within the doom-laden confines of the voice-over. More please, Ms. Kelly! Quickly!”
USA Today
“There is a brooding sense of impending doom and imminent danger. . . . [T]he explosive ending, its revelations about the threesome and the lengths to which people will go to preserve or take what's theirs, makes The Poison Tree a rich and satisfying pleasure.”
Suspense Magazine
“Erin Kelly has delivered a stunning look at human desperation, loyalty, and absolute terror. . . . First class writing that is absolutely captivating!”
O: The Oprah Magazine
“Everything we love in a thriller—obsessive passion, haunting secrets, a shocking ending—is here, set among the creepily atmospheric ruins of a 16th century English garden.”
Library Journal
By day Louisa is a gardener who restores historic gardens. Yet she also harbors a secret obsession for her ex-lover, often wearing his scent and drinking his favorite whiskey. Nineteen-year-old Paul, a dead ringer for Louisa's ex, hides out assisting with her garden after agreeing to testify against a friend in court. Paul and Louisa, who is two decades older, begin an affair while grappling with questions of guilt and loyalty as flashbacks reveal further secrets. VERDICT Kelly's follow-up to her debut, The Poison Tree, is a dark, oddly intriguing read about the powers of obsession and the lines that separate the guilty from the innocent. Though many of the "surprising" details that come to light are rather predictable, readers will stick it out to the shocking conclusion to learn how culpable Louisa and Paul are for past incidents. Recommended wherever The Poison Tree is popular. [See Prepub Alert, 8/26/11.]—Katie Lawrence, Chicago
Kirkus Reviews
A second novel from British journalist Kelly (The Poison Tree, 2011). Young Louisa Trevelyan was a Goth girl who frustrated her upper-class parents. With no thoughts of moving on to college, Louisa came and went as she pleased, working in a stall at Kensington Market selling aromatic oils, drinking and sneaking a different guy into her room (which is set off from the main house) each night. Then she meets Adam, the beautiful lead singer for a group known as Glasslake. Louisa is immediately captivated by the sexy bad boy who keeps his past hidden and is devastated by their arguments and his flirtatious nature. Kelly weaves in the tale of Paul Seaforth, a young man who loses his father at an early age to a terrible accident. The chapters, which span a 20-year range, tell the back stories simultaneously while chronicling the characters' lives in 2009, when both are working to reconstruct a heritage garden. Paul, who has an uncanny resemblance to Adam, is preparing to go to court and testify against his former best friend, a man who has been both his protector and burden. The author is a careful chronicler, but the earlier chapters are somewhat confusing and not as engaging as they could be, particularly when she delves into horticultural minutiae. The pace picks up about a third of the way through, and that's where the characters turn engaging, if not always sympathetic. A solid psychological thriller that provides readers with a harrowing look into the violent pasts of a pair of characters who have everything to lose and know it.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101559857
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/02/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
283,906
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Stephen King
Praise for THE POISON TREE:

“A terrific suspense debut, reminiscent of another British woman’s auspicious bow: Daphne DuMaurier’s Rebecca. The shadows gather until the ending looms like a threatening figure. This one gets the writer’s ultimate bit of praise: I wish I had written it.

From the Publisher
“Erin Kelly has delivered a stunning look at human desperation, loyalty, and absolute terror…First class writing that is absolutely captivating!”
Suspense Magazine
Maureen Corrigan
“[Kelly] draws readers in with her compelling stories; then, she dims the lights, darkens the worldview and bolts the exit doors. . . . It’s useless to resist: You must read it.”

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