Firstly, the obvious, how stunning is this cover!? I love this book’s title too!
Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy.
When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.
And then she makes a decision she can never take back.
Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?
But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.
Her Name Was Rose is an addictive read, you’ll fly through its opening pages and what first appeared to be a simple ‘hit and run’ becomes more complex than you could imagine. I definitely think the first half of this book was the strongest, it had this sense of impending dread, like you just knew it wasn’t going to end well. As much as you’re hoping for the best, you’re expecting the worst! I love how Allan incorporated a bit of social media into the plot, how often do we judge someone’s life, their success and failures based on their social media statuses and online photos. We create whole stories for people based on these snap shots we see. Her Name Was Rose is an original, and relevant, read, which taps into the impact social media has on contemporary society – how people act and react to what they perceive as truth online.
Emily is a vulnerable character, one that you root for; you won’t always agree with her actions but you’ll be on her side anyway, if only because she appeared to be the lesser of all the evils. While her naivety is clear, to the point her actions may frustrate you at times, you’ll also see how her past experiences feed into the decisions she makes in the present day, and it’s this understanding that allows you to give her the benefit of the doubt. Also, it’s hard not to enjoy the thrill of the whole “single-white female” vibe she has going on.
While the ending of the novel didn’t carry that same level of intrigue as the opening, it was still very good. There were a few unexpected twists but also some predictability, however, I think the predictable parts were unavoidable based on what came before, and perhaps were there to show a darker side of human nature, also to show consistency rather than the author throwing a spanner in the works for the sake of another twist. This novel is emotionally charged, not for the reader, but for the characters – it seems every character was driven by emotions, by their wants and selfish-desires, making this novel a dark and psychological one.
This is not a debut novel for Allan but it is her first step into the thriller genre, and I hope she plans to stay a while because I certainly want to read more thrillers from her!