Happy publication day to Alice Clark-Platts, The Flower Girls is out today!
YOU’LL NEVER FORGET THE FLOWER GIRLS
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…
It’s so exciting to come across a synopsis that could be ‘ripped from the headlines’, this novel spoke to the true crime fan in me, so if believability is something you seek in your psychological thrillers, you won’t go wrong with this one. The majority of this story is set in the present day, and centres around Primrose, who is now known as Hazel; a child has gone missing from the same hotel she is staying at. Meanwhile, her sister, Laurel, continues her battle for parole. And that’s as much as you’re getting about the specific events that occur – you need to experience the suspense for yourself, guess all the different outcomes, and then see how things turn out.
Clark-Platts is a former human rights lawyer, and I think her knowledge in the field was evident in this novel, it played a role in how she crafted the legal elements, but also the personal and emotional reactions of the characters, whether it be the emotions from the family, from Laurel herself, from the wider public (always ready to play judge and jury), or journalists (ready to exploit to get the story). There were some very human emotions on display here, and this transcended off the page to the point where you, the reader, start asking questions… Is nineteen years long enough, should Laurel be given parole? You find yourself analysing a person’s capacity to change, trying to decide if your actions at 10 years old should determine the rest of your life. In equal measure, you wonder how a family moves past the death of a child, can they? What does it take to heal and move forward with your life? All this and more is explored within this novel, wrapped up in a thrilling mystery.
From very early on, I did call one of the ‘reveals’, but this novel has more than one, so Clark-Platts still managed to shock me. As this plot plays out, there are continued references to real life cases; these give the novel a chilling edge if you are familiar with the cases mentioned, if you remember when you first heard about these tragic incidences and how they made you feel. These references make the novel all the more hard-hitting, darker in nature.
The Flower Girls gives you a 360-degree view of all that occurs, you really feel invested in the plot, privy to the thoughts of the main characters, you have total belief in what you’re reading. Not only through the well-crafted plot, but through the fluid writing-style, this was a really gripping read.
While this is not a debut, it’s the first time reading this author, and I must say, I’m mightily impressed, and will for sure seek out more of her work!
*My thanks to the publisher for granting me access to a digital copy of this title via Netgalley*