Author: Alice Clark-Platts
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Format: Hardcover 352 pages
Release Date: 24 January 2019
Publisher: Raven Books
I would like to thank the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
THREE CHILDREN WENT OUT TO PLAY. ONLY TWO CAME BACK.
The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose.
One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity.
Now, nineteen years later, another child has gone missing.
And the Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again…
This is a story which starts back in 1997 with two young girls, Laurel aged ten, and Rosie aged six, who whilst out playing led the even younger Kirstie Swann off to play and which somehow resulted in young Kirstie being beaten and tortured to death.
Laurel and Rosie are known as ‘The Flower Girls’ in the press and as you can imagine, the story generates immense media coverage. As Rosie is only six years old she is too young in the eyes of the law to be criminally liable and therefore no further action is taken against her. Laurel however, whilst only being slightly older, stands trial and despite never actually confirming her involvement in the tragic circumstances which lead to Kirstie’s death, finds herself tried and convicted of the young girls brutal death.
Fast-forward nineteen years, and whilst Laurel has never seen the outside of a prison cell, her sister Rosie, who now goes by the name Hazel, is staying at a hotel with her partner and his daughter celebrating New years Eve when a young girl also staying at the hotel goes missing. This brings the infamous ‘Flower Girls’ back in to the public eye….
This is a story which is bound to bring up some emotions when reading. I’m sure everyone will be familiar with other similar notorious child killers and there is always a strong argument that emerges when it comes to their release date and whether or not they have been rehabilitated sufficiently to be let out to live a normal life.
The author deals with these conflicting emotions very tactfully and describes through her characters the point of view from the person who has served time in prison, their family members and the family members and people associated with the victim also. There’s always two sides to every story and the author explores these variations in this book.
I love a story that I can relate to real things that happen in real life, and although thankfully, the circumstances of this story is not something we read about often, it does still happen. It got me talking about the topics and issues that are bought up in this book with my friends and family and I love a good discussion!
I thought I had the ending figured out about half way through but this didn’t stop me reading on and wanting to know the hows and whys. However, when I got to the end I realised there was a further twist yet to come and I can honestly say I did not see that one coming!
I really enjoyed this book and if you like a read that plays with your emotions and keeps you turning pages with a brilliant twist to look forward to at the end then I throughly recommend you have a read of this book as you will not be disappointed.
About the Author
Alice Clark-Platts is a former human rights lawyer who has worked at the UN International Criminal Tribunal in connection with the Rwandan genocide, and on cases involving Winnie Mandela and the rapper Snoop Dogg. She studied at Durham University and is a graduate of the Curtis Brown creative writing course whose fiction has been shortlisted for literary prizes.
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