Oh, my days… Dog Rose Dirt is STUNNING! I was hooked from the start and the tension and chills didn’t let up until the last page. A twisted tale that shows the dark side of the Grimm tales, you will not be able to put this one down…
Before I share my thoughts on Jen Williams’s latest thriller, here’s the blurb…
HarperCollins (22 July 2021)
What if your mother had been writing to a serial killer?
A convicted murderer with a story to tell
Serial killer Michael Reave – known as The Red Wolf – has been locked in Belmarsh Prison for over 20 years for the brutal and ritualistic murders of countless women.
A grieving daughter with a secret to unearth
Ex-journalist Heather Evans returns to her childhood home after her mother’s inexplicable suicide and discovers something chilling – hundreds of letters between her mother and Reave, dating back decades.
A hunt for a killer ready to strike again
When the body of a woman is found decorated with flowers, just like his victims, Reave is the only person alive who could help. After years of silence, he will speak to Heather, and only Heather.
If she wants to unearth the truth and stop further bloodshed, she’ll have to confront a monster.
Dog Rose Dirt is the most sinister and creepy book I’ve read in a long time.
From the first page, Williams drags you into a world of horror that had me almost reading from behind my hands in some places. As the blurb tells us, Heather’s mum recently killed herself and while she’s back at the house she grew up in, Heather discovers her mum was in touch with serial killer, Michael Reave. And it just so happens there’s a copy cat killer on a rampage – killing women in the same way Reave did all those years ago. Heather, being a journalist, jumps at the chance to speak with him after showing the police the letters. He hasn’t spoken to anyone for years, and still claims his innocence, but just maybe he’ll speak to the daughter of the only person he had contact with over the years…
Of course he does… And of course, Heather takes full advantage of the position she finds herself in with little regard to the outcome…
Williams drips us information at a pace that stops just short of being fast-paced, but with enough momentum to keep you turning the pages without wearing you out and overfacing you with information. The mixed-length, now-and-then chapters made it easy to read in two sittings and as the web of twisted stories begins to untangle, the pace speeds up leading to an exhilarating and explosive conclusion.
Reaves is a character I almost loved the most… Yes, the serial killer… But, in my defense, his backstory is heartbreaking in places and as we find out more about his life and upbringing, we see that the world helped create a monster. There are some horrific scenes for this poor little boy and it’s easy to see why, in this not unheard of before situation, why the nature/nurture debate in relation to serial killers, will never be decided. Williams shows a depth of understanding about this that just had me enthralled to her writing. I loved it!
Heather was a tricky one for me in terms of likability. She makes some pretty daft decisions, seemingly without thought or care of the consequences, but she is ultimately, in a state of shock and grief so perhaps we can forgive her… perhaps, but perhaps not, you’ll have to read it and decide for yourself!
All in all, Dog Rose Dirt is a thrilling sleepstealer that I recommend you get on your TBR NOW!
Huge thanks to the publishers and Anne Cater from Random Things Blog Tours for my review copy and spot on the tour. What an honour! I can’t wait to see what Williams gives us next!
The blog tour has been fabulous so far, with some amazing reviews, and it isn’t over yet! Check out these wonderful bloggers and their thoughts:
About the author…
Jen Williams lives in London with her partner and their small ridiculous cat. Having been a fan of grisly fairy tales from a young age, these days Jen writes dark unsettling thrillers with strong female leads, as well as character-driven fantasy novels with plenty of adventure and magic. She has twice won the British Fantasy Award for her Winnowing Flame trilogy, and when she’s not writing books she works as a bookseller and a freelance copywriter.
Find out more at http://www.sennydreadful.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @sennydreadful