Review: “Flowers for the Dead” by Barbara Copperthwaite

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Sinister, twisted, yet deeply intriguing, “Flowers for the Dead” by Barbara Copperthwaite is a serial killer thriller that, at times, reads like something ripped straight from the headlines.

About the Book

“Flowers for the Dead” by Barbara Copperthwaite

He sees her. The one. The sunglasses don’t fool anyone, she is clearly upset, her nose and lips swollen from crying. They are two lost souls and he knows his love can help her. After all, she is not the first girl he has followed home…

Adam is the perfect boyfriend. He pays attention, he buys flowers. He knows everything about Laura and looks after her every need. He cooks, he cleans – he even does the dishes without being asked.

But Laura has never met Adam. Still grieving after a devastating car crash that killed her family, she’s forgetful and struggling to pull her life together. She’d be horrified to know the depth of this unsettling fantasy in which she is the star. But there’s no denying the chill she feels every time she finds another elaborate bouquet on her doorstep, or wakes in the night sensing she is not alone.

Adam has been watching her every move, and now it’s time to act. Except, there’s one little detail he’s missed: Laura has been watching him too.

After everything she’s been through, Laura’s ready to fight back and stop being the victim in her own life story. But in Adam’s world, there are no happy endings…

My Review

Adam believes he’s the perfect boyfriend. The romantic secret admirer type in his eyes. The nightmarish stalker type in theirs.  He gives flowers and gifts to the woman he loves.  He does her shopping and chores. By the time he steps out of the shadows to introduce himself, he expects gratitude and love, but what he gets is betrayal and fear.  After the unplanned murder of the first woman who rejects him, Adam realizes the only way they’ll be able to love him forever is if he kills them. But when he sees Laura, he’s convinced she’s unlike the rest. She loves him.  She really loves him.  This time, it can be different.

Four years ago, Laura lost her mother, brother, and father in a car crash.  Since then, she’s spent her life waiting to die instead of moving forward. However, after a difficult conversation with her aunt, she decides to try to change all that.  She makes new friends.  She starts to enjoy living.  When she starts noticing strange things going on inside her flat, such as flowers or shopping she doesn’t recall buying, she chalks it up to forgetfulness and still-buried grief.  By the time she realizes she has a stalker, Laura’s ready to do anything to fight to live.  But Adam’s watching, and she’s making him angrier than perhaps he’s ever been… 

Unsettling, sinister, yet deeply intriguing, “Flowers for the Dead” by Barbara Copperthwaite is a serial killer thriller that, at times, reads like a story ripped straight from the headlines. Adam is a psychopath. His methods of stalking and murdering his victims are evil and grotesque. Yet, because the book starts out when Adam is still a little boy, you can see how his childhood shaped him. Sexually abused by his mother and overlooked by his father, he learned to be unseen, manipulative, and cruel. You have empathy for the child even as you are sickened and fearful of the man. Deeply traumatized from losing her family, Laura is a loveable and sympathetic victim. She’s also the perfect foe for Adam. After all she’s worked to overcome, she won’t let go of her life without a fight.

Not the standard fast-paced thriller by any means, “Flowers for the Dead” moves along at its own steady pace, taking time to develop the story, build up characters, and create an atmosphere of dread. For a good portion of the book, Adam’s and Laura’s paths don’t cross. They are like two trains unknowingly heading toward each other on the same track. You know disaster is becoming more imminent the closer they get, and you’re filled with a sense of foreboding. As a result, the climax can only be described as explosive and the conclusion extremely satisfying.

“Flowers for the Dead” blew me away. The story is as engrossing as it is disturbing. For lovers of serial killer thrillers or true crime fanatics that crave a little fiction, “Flowers for the Dead” is a must read.

About the Author

Barbara is the Amazon, Kobo and USA Today bestselling author of psychological thrillers INVISIBLE, FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD, THE DARKEST LIES, HER LAST SECRET and THE PERFECT FRIEND. Her new book THE GIRL IN THE MISSING POSTER is out now!

Her writing career started in journalism, writing for national newspapers and magazines. During a career spanning over twenty years Barbara interviewed the real victims of crime – and also those who have carried those crimes out. She is fascinated by creating realistic, complex characters, and taking them apart before the readers’ eyes in order to discover just how much it takes to push a person over a line.

Her first book, Invisible, was ‘totally gripping, and scarily believable’ according to Bella magazine. Its success was followed by Flowers For The Dead, which was the Sunday Mirror’s Choice Read, beating Lee Child’s latest offering. ‘Will have you looking over your shoulder and under your bed… Original, gripping, with a deep psychological impact,’ their review read.

The Darkest Lies came next, published by Bookouture, and became a USA Today bestseller. The follow-up, Her Last Secret, hit the Number 1 spot on Kobo. The Perfect Friend is a No 1 Kobo and Amazon best seller.

When not writing feverishly at her home in Birmingham, Barbara is often found walking her two dogs, Scamp and Buddy, or hiding behind a camera to take wildlife photographs.

2 Comments

  1. Writing With N.H Aurelight Blog says:

    Loving your bookish thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad. Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

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