The Rose Petal Beach
Every love story has a dangerous twist.
Tamia Challey is horrified when her husband, Scott, is accused of something terrible – but when she discovers who his accuser is, everything goes into freefall. Backed into a corner and unsure what to think, Tamia is forced to choose who she instinctively believes. But Tamia’s choice has dire consequences for all concerned especially when matters take a tragic turn.
Then a stranger arrives in town to sprinkle rose petals in the sea in memory of her lost loved one. This stranger carries with her shocking truths that will change the lives of everyone she meets, and will once again force Tamia to make some devastating choices…
I expected to love this book before I even started it, simply because I love Dorothy Koomson and generally think she can do no wrong. I wasn’t disappointed. It’s been a long time since a book has grabbed me so much that I couldn’t put it down.
The Rose Petal Beach begins when Tamia Challey opens the door to a couple of police officers, who immediately walk in and arrest her husband, Scott. Scott has been accused of a horrible crime, and things soon get worse when Tamia learns that the accuser is someone very close to her. They each have a very different story, and Tamia has no idea who to believe.
The story follows what happens after the arrest, but it’s difficult to say much more about the plot as there are so many unexpected twists and turns. Koomson is very skilled at exploring the thoughts, emotions and backstories of her characters in such a way that it really feels like you know them; there are lots of flashbacks to the past, and the first person narrative switches between a few different people. We regularly get to see two different points of view of the same conversation, which is very effective, and Tamia’s downward spiral as she reflects on how her life has fallen apart is particularly well-written.
I found it very difficult to know which characters are trustworthy, which really add to the mystery of the plot. It was clear that even the characters I really liked were capable of withholding the truth, and many of the revealed ‘secrets’ later turned out to be lies. With every twist I had a new idea of what the truth might be, but when it came to the climax of the story I was completely wrong. Not even close. In fact, I’d like to read the whole thing again just to look out for the hints!
It’s hard to talk about all the things I loved when I’m so conscious of not spoiling the plot, so I’ll just say this: if you like a twisty story with lots of heartache, secrets and lies, you need to buy this book. Plus everything else Dorothy Koomson has ever written. Because I love her.
Thanks to Sophie at ed public relations for sending me this book to review.