Tamia and Scott shouldn't have ended up together; she was studious and from a respectable family while he was part of the infamous Challey clan. Everyone knew the family was bad news but Tamia saw something different in Scott. They became friends, fell in love and married, living happily ever after with their beautiful daughters.
Until one day the police knock at the front door and Scott is arrested, accused of serious sexual assault. Worse, the accuser is one of Tamia's closest friends.
Tamia is thrown into turmoil, the illusion of her life shattered. Someone is lying - either her husband or her best friend and she can't be sure who. Scott would never do such a thing, would never risk losing Tamia and their girls but why would her friend, someone so close to Tamia and her daughters, try to destroy her life?
As the police investigate the case, Tamia unearths well hidden secrets that neither her husband or her best friend want her to know. The illusion of her marriage and friendship is further shattered and Tamia isn't sure she'll ever be able to put them back together again. And when one of them ends up dead - murdered in their own home - Tamia's life as she knows it can never be recovered.
I'm a huge fan of Dorothy Koomson and, despite only discovering her wonderful books last year, she is one of my favourite authors and The Rose Petal Beach is another example of why. Dorothy Koomson's writing is exquisite, seemingly simple and flowing yet powerful, bringing the reader into the very centre of her characters' lives. I always feel as though I am there, feeling every emotion they are going through. Her characters are complex - nobody is perfect or bad to the core - but that only makes them more believable, more real.
Tamia is at the centre of the story, pulling everybody together. I really felt for her as her life crumbled around her as yet more secrets came to light. Whether the assault actually happened or whether it was revenge for a rejected advance, Tamia's life will change. She is caught in the middle and, through no fault of her own, she will lose someone important to her. Though she may not have always felt like one, Tamia is an extremely strong woman. She showed great strength and restraint as she dealt with the horrific turn her life was taking and had an amazing amount of compassion for those around her, whether they deserved her kindness or not.
Dorothy Koomson's writing and storytelling is as beautiful and full of raw emotion as ever but as well as being an emotional tale, The Rose Petal Beach is a gripping thriller that keeps you guessing with each new event and revelation. Who had it in them to kill and why? I absolutely loved The Rose Petal Beach and it took great effort to put it down as I was desperate to know who the murderer was and what would become of Tamia.
The Rose Petal Beach is published today.
Thank you to Quercus for sending me a copy to review.