Sunday, April 15, 2012

Review: Blow Up the Roses

Blow Up the Roses
Blow Up the Roses by Randy Attwood

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I originally reviewed this 9/2/2011, but am reposting it in preparation for a giveaway featuring Randy Attwood coming up this next week on my blog, starting 4/16/12

Book info Genre: horror novella Reading Level: Adult

My Synopsis: Blow up the Roses is about a small cul de sac in Kansas City, in which horrible things have happened, and continue to happen. Betty Keene’s husband has disappeared – just the latest in her life of tragedy. First her youngest daughter disappeared and was discovered dead the next year; then her son was killed in a car accident. Now her remaining daughter has severed ties – at least temporarily – after discovering through hypnotic regression that she was molested by her father as a child.

Frank Califano lives across the street and tends his rose garden; he is well-versed in the language of flowers, and he and Betty form a relationship, comforting one another in their loneliness. Mr. Griswald sells Amway, and is obsessed with New Age and the unified field theory. Julie Davenport is a nurse. Mrs. Riker is also a health worker, and she comes home one day to discover her two daughters murdered – then some time later, she finds her husband dead, also – hanging in the basement room where his daughters were murdered. Griswald is involved with each of these women at different times in the book. Mr. Brown rents the other half of Betty Keene’s duplex, and keeps mostly to himself. Betty suspects he might be a homosexual, because he is extremely neat and has a severe lisp.

My Thoughts: These are the major players in the cul de sac; their interactions, reactions and perversions are all laid bare in this twisty tale of murder, child abuse and pornography. Readers should be aware – while Attwood refrains from the worst of the explicitness, the subject matter is often brutal. However, it is extremely well-written and, most importantly, reminds people that those around us are not always as they seem. I recommend this book.

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