The Sick Rose

Paul has been led into a life of crime by his schoolyard protector, Daniel – but one night what started as petty theft escalates fatally. Now, at nineteen, Paul must bear witness against his friend to avoid imprisonment.

Louisa has her own dark secrets. Having fled from them many years ago she now spends her days steeped in history, renovating the grounds of a crumbling Elizabethan mansion. But the her fragile peace is shattered when she meets Paul; he’s the image of the one person she never thought she’d see again.

A relationship develops between them, and Louisa starts to believe she can experience the happiness she had given up on; but it soon becomes apparent that neither of them can outrun their violent past . .

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“It’s unusual for a second novel to be even better than the first but Kelly has pulled off that difficult trick.” Literary Review

“A compelling second novel from masterful storyteller Erin Kelly.” Good Housekeeping

“Kelly’s first novel, THE POISON TREE, earned her comparisons with Ruth Rendell and on the evidence of this second psychologically complex thriller, the accolade is entirely deserved. Like Rendell, Kelly is an expert in suburban macabre, relishing in the kind of domestic scenes we all recognise but giving them a satisfyingly chilly.” Psychologies

“Erin Kelly’s first thriller, THE POISON TREE, was widely praised, with some reviewers comparing her work to Daphne du Maurier. Her second, THE SICK ROSE, is nearer in spirit to Ruth Rendell’s work . . . It’s an elaborate narrative structure, but Kelly manages it with panache . . . this is an enormously readable novel and there is no denying Erin Kelly’s talent. She’s an author to watch.” Spectator

“A real “can’t put it down” mystery. This sick rose has got the grip of bindweed.” Independent

“This claustrophobic psychological thriller is the second novel from the author of the brilliant THE POISON TREE. Just as good as her debut, it marks Kelly out as a formidable talent” Bella

“A compelling suspense novel from crime fiction’s freshest voice.” Red

“It is hard to find a more impeccably English writer than Erin Kelly, whose debut THE POISON TREE, marked her as a name to watch in British fiction… In trademark style the [THE SICK ROSE] flits between the ‘then’ and the ‘now’, playing with the magic and poison of memories, until the present intervenes with brutal and tragic consequences.” The Times

“Kelly writes perceptively and chillingly about the long shadows cast by tragic mistakes . . . she shows considerable promise.” Daily Telegraph