When you hear her story, will you believe her?
Rose Marlowe is a hard-working nurse, a loving wife, and a merciless killer. Or so she says. Despite her confession, it is hard to believe that this beautiful, kind woman could have killed her vulnerable patient in cold blood.
Down-on-his luck author and ex-journalist, Theo Hazel, is convinced that there’s more to what happened than Rose is telling, and so decides to visit her behind bars to write her story. His first surprise comes when Rose reveals that the victim was not a stranger to her.
As time goes on, it seems that Rose is letting Theo see behind her perfect mask. With each new visit, he learns terrible new things about her heart-breaking past. With each new visit, he becomes more and more convinced that she can’t be a killer. But is he trying to free an innocent woman, or falling prey to a calculating murderer?
A gripping and unputdownable thriller that will keep you guessing into the early hours of the morning.
I really enjoyed this book. Some very well-developed characters including Rose Marlowe and Theo Hazel. Some others were less well-defined, particularly Ed Madden, Miles and Abigail, with Daniel Deane and Rose’s mum Marion somewhere in the middle.
I liked Theo much better than Rose, I have to admit. In fact there is nothing about him to dislike. He has experienced sadness and unbelievable heartache, but he is kind, empathic and measured in his responses. Except where Rose is concerned. Then he is overcome by his growing feelings of love, in spite of her being a ruthless killer. He says he feels like those women who write to death row prisoners and then claim to be madly in love with them when they haven’t even met.
Rose, on the other hand, is a complicated protagonist. She is serving twenty years in prison for murdering one of the patients in her care. You want to like her if you don’t think she did it – or maybe you want to hate her if you think she is guilty – but there is always something niggling away, something not quite right.
At first Rose doesn’t want to meet with Theo. Then she changes her mind and starts to tell him her life story – the story she doesn’t even tell her prison therapist Don. In fact Don seems pretty useless. Maybe the prison is saving money by employing someone cheap. Theo used to be a journalist, then a writer of fiction and non-fiction and initially he wants to write a true-crime story about Rose and the victim, a young man called Abe. The publisher will want the salacious details, but Theo soon realises that he doesn’t want to exploit Rose. So he listens. He is a good listener.
As for Rose, what is she hiding? What is she not saying? What didn’t come out in court was about her relationship with an older man in 1991 when she was a year four med student. Daniel Deane was a doctor, but working as the CEO of Bluefields private hospital. Rose was very naive and couldn’t see the hold he had over her and how he was manipulating her.
There were some things I worked out before the end (I’m not saying any more) and some that I definitely didn’t (Ed and Abigail). But this is Rose and Theo’s story. Rose killed her patient and Theo wants to know why or if she really did it. Everyone else is just a spectator or is there more to it? Well it wouldn’t be the great story it is if there wasn’t.
Many thanks to @damppebbles for inviting me to be part of #damppebblesblogtours
About the Author
Julie-Ann Corrigan was born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. She studied in London, completing a BA (Hons) Humanities degree, majoring in Modern History and English Literature. Travelling in Europe for several years, she taught in both Greece and Spain – countries and cultures she found fascinating. On return to the UK she gained a BSc (Physiotherapy), becoming a Chartered Physiotherapist. She lives in Berkshire with her family.
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3xbd5eR