Flowers for the Dead by Barbara Copperthwaite




Ever since I read ‘Invisible’ I have been unashamedly excited and enthralled by Barbara Copperthwaite’s writing. I thought the plot and the way she makes you consider things about crime that you wouldn’t normally is fantastically original. I didn’t read Flowers for the Dead straight away because I wanted to pace myself and for Barbara to have another book on the horizon!



Well, this book was worth the wait. I was expecting great things, and I was not disappointed. This book tells it’s story from the point of view of a serial killer. It was such a unique perspective because, usually, I don’t enjoy hating the main character. And how can you not hate a serial killer? Ask Barbara Copperthwaite! By the end of the book, I was filled with such unease because I was empathizing with Adam. I could actually see the building blocks of what made him who he was. It takes truly amazing writing to inspire that reaction from a reader. I think the amount of detail and knowledge has this book brimming with a realism that just pulls you in. When I read the back of the book, I was unsure if I would enjoy this sort of book. But the character exploration and the unique point of view was gripping.



There were other stories from Adam’s victims in this story, and they serve to add more layers and depth to this book. However, none more than Laura. Laura’s story is heartbreaking and inspiring at the same time. As I was learning about her past, I became more enthralled with her than I did with Adam. The strength of character she shows, and it was absorbing. I was thinking about my life and how I would cope in Laura’s position. The writing in Laura’s flashback scenes was so vivid and fantastic. I was completely hooked. I also felt that it was a sort of juxtaposition. Although Laura’s experiences weren’t the same as Adam’s they can be considered equally as tragic, and yet she does not experience the psychotic break that Adam has.


I don’t want to go into much more detail as anything else would be spoiler filled. So to summarize, this book is a sophisticated and emotion exploration on what can cause humans to become ‘evil.’ It poses the question, are all ‘serial killers’ evil? Or are they are a product of their life experiences? It also made me think, who are we to judge? Yes, what Adam did was unforgivable but can we label him evil now that we know what he has been through? I really like the way that Barbara shines lights into the darkest of corners, showing us things previously hidden by the darkness of ‘evil’. Like ‘invisible’ victims or the psychologically damaged mind of a serial killer.

I am jumping up and down with impatience waiting for the next book from this author, and I’m not even worried I’m not going to like it. This book was a fantastic installment from a unique and fascinating voice in crime writing.



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