Cover Image: Flowers for the Dead

Flowers for the Dead

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Member Reviews

Flowers For The Dead is the first book I have read by this author and I must say, it will not be the last.
Lovely novel, full with great atmosphere, twist and really great touch in characters.. absolutely colorful psychological thriller.

Thank you NetGalley 🙋
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Adam Bourne is a serial killer who stalks his victims and then kills them removing  there lips.
He starts to stalk Laura who is coming to terms with the loss of her family.
Strange things start happening Laura reports it to the police but they think she is crazy.
The story follows Adam from the past to the present telling you all about the the incidents that happened to Adam.
Very creepy
Thanks NetGalley
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This is my second book by Barbara Copperthwaite, and I’ve bought the rest of her books and will be impatiently waiting for more!  It was another wow read for me!  Unputdownable, well written, riveting!  It provided my much needed thrills, chills, twists, and turns, and shocks, plus a few scares!  I thought it was one that really was gripping from beginning to end!  It had me flipping pages to find out what would happen, and needed ot not to end at the same time!  Wow!  Highly, highly, highly recommend!  Clear schedules and don’t start prior to bedtime!  

Will buzz around and use lower amazon reviewer number on release date!
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Flowers For The Dead is the first book I have read by this author and I must say, it will not be the last! It was an excellent read.. I absolutely loved this book and the emotions it built up in me for the characters and situations. I loved the storyline with all of its twists and turns. I would definitely recommend this book! Full on 5 stars!
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This was one creepy read where Adam genuinely scared me. He kept obsessing about the girls and thinking them to be in a relationship with him, I kept getting the shivers. 
The author was one talented wordsmith, and quite evil too in the way she portrayed Adam, I wanted to shut the book, yet continued to read it. It was hypnotic and scary. I probably shouldn't have started it late at night. 
A fantastic scary read. I was genuinely glad of lockdown as then I knew I wouldn't meet any of the creepy guys.
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This is one of the best psychological thrillers I’ve read this year!!  It had just enough twist, turns and creepiness in it to keep me turning pages way past my bedtime!!

If you want to get into the mind of a serial killer, this one is for you!!  Don’t be surprised when you start to feel empathy towards this monster….it was a weird feeling to say the least!!!

Thank you NetGalley, Edelweiss and Bookouture for the eARC of this book.
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This book introduces you to two main characters, Adam and Laura, whose worlds collide in this gripping psychological thriller.
Adam grew up with a terrible childhood, having a mother who abused him and a father who was gone for long periods of time. The only true love he ever felt was from his grandmother, who taught him the secret language of flowers and their meanings. He starts using these at an early age to express to others what he is feeling, not realizing that not everybody understands what he is trying to say. I felt he used them as he as he did not have a way with words, stuttering when he was nervous. His grandmother also read fairy tales to him all the time, making him seperate fantasy from reality. He wanted to be a woman's knight in shining armour, finding women at the local park, stalking them by putting cameras in their house and tracking their phones, doing things for them while they were gone such as cook and clean for them, and watched them while they were sleeping. All while slipping under the cracks because he was able to break in without any signs of forced entry. I kind of felt sorry for him in a way because all he ever really wanted was true love, but how can you love someone you've never even met until they show up one day only to kill you? 
Laura grew up with a traumatic experience of her own, only loosing her parents and brother only five years earlier. She promises her aunt she is going to try to start living again and trying to be happy, and just when she's starting to find herself again, she unknowingly becomes one of Adam's victims. It takes her three long months before she realizes she is being stalked by a stranger and does everything in her power to catch him in the act, which is kind of hard when he has her house bugged and watches her every move. The police don't believe her because their is no proof of anybody else ever being there, so she has to find a way to prove she is in danger before it is too late.
This book had a very slow build, going through Adam's childhood and what he did to all the women before Laura, but you could feel the tension flying off these pages. It was just a matter of time before Adam shows his face. The main police officer who helped Laura was quite the loveable character as well, Being a big teddy bear type, raising his daughter on his own after his wife dies from cancer. This was quite the enjoyable read and I am happy to give it a great review. Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this one!
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3.5 stars. I had been looking forward to reading this book for a while but unfortunately it disappointed me slightly. There was so much unnecessary detail in it and the author dragged it out a bit too much for my liking. I ended up having to skim parts. I did like the idea and the storyline but it was just too long winded
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Firstly a big thank you to the publishers for my copy to review on netgalley. This is a new author to me and this has made me want to read all her books. This was so good!

I devoured it ,it had me gripped instantly. Its dark,disturbing and menacing.

Written in alternate narratives and timelines this gives the reader a indelth insight into the psyche of the serial killer . As a psychology student this is my type of read..

Excellently written and thought provoking.

Highly recommend !
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Adam feels he has so much to give. He longs to find that special person so that he can shower them with love, care & affection. Laura was devastated when her whole family were killed in a road accident. She is struggling to make any kind of life for herself. When Adam spies her he is immediately drawn towards her. He wants to shower her with flowers, cook & clean for her, to show her how special she is.  Adam has made mistakes in the past when he focussed on the wrong one- will this really be the girl of his dreams?

The story is told focusing on Adam, Laura & a grieving policeman. Adam certainly had a dreadful upbringing & it was easy to feel sympathy for him whilst at the same time being horrified by his actions. I liked Laura, she really developed as the story went on. I liked the way each chapter started with a flower & its meaning. The fact that Adam was so caught up with such a gentle subject as the language of flowers & fairy tales was a great contrast to the fact there was never going to be a happy ever after.

Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this book- it was a cracker!
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Having read all of Barbara’s other books, it was kind of a no brainier to read this one also.  

So as always with Barbara’s books, this was highly entertaining, full of tense moments and edge of seat in anticipation of what will happen next, all good traits for a thriller story and above all very well written.

I was really enjoying the story and was all set to be giving it a five star review, when the story (in my opinion) took an about turn, in that everything just fell into place a little too quickly and easily with regards to the police investigation, it just became unbelievable, not very realistic at all. Which was a shame as it ruined the end of the story a bit, for me anyway. 

Despite this little blip though, I am still a fan of Barbara’s books and so will continue to read her books in the future.
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Oh Barbara! Flowers for the Dead should come with a warning! Adam is quite the killer, and his… ways are better read when you are NOT EATING! This being said, the descriptions contained in the novel were darkly fascinating. You will not look at your lips the same way after you’ve finished the book. 

Adam is a brilliant character. There is nothing he would not do for the woman he loves. Nothing. In many ways, he is the perfect boyfriend. Caring, attentive, sweet… He creates a bubble of love, a history between the woman he has chosen and himself, and you better not be in the way! 

Getting to know him from his current actions, but also as a kid who loved reading with his grandmother, was very disturbing. How such a sweet kid had turned out to be a killer? What was the tipping point? The author manages to keep the tension sky high while digging deep into the characters’ background and psyche. 

I felt a weird (and creepy) bond between me and Adam. There is something about him that doesn’t leave you indifferent. An eerie sadness surrounds him and it taints whatever he does and thinks. I love the idea of nature VS nurture and here we have a good example that comes tickling what we think we know. 

Laura is another great character. She’s at the center of Adam’s world but she doesn’t know it. She gets flowers, nice gestures… from a shadow. How would that make you feel? I would freak out! Adam’s stalker ways really pushed Laura and I was torn between saving her and seeing Adam get his… well, happiness? But can there be a happy ending here? Nope! Laura’s situation gave me goosebumps and made for a very uncomfortable and upsetting read! Looking behind your shoulders not knowing what’s waiting for you but feeling your gut twitch and warn you that danger is around? Oh boy! The tautness ratchets up as Adam’s behavior becomes more dangerous and erratic. I couldn’t wait to know what would happen, but at the same time, I was afraid of the ending. 

Flowers for the Dead is an exciting and dark novel that changes the ideas you associate with flowers!
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“Flowers for the Dead” is a powerful novel. This serial killer thriller is breathtakingly gripping and tragically unsettling. It’s also beautifully and hauntingly written, making it an affecting must-read.

Whilst visiting a friend in a different constabulary, DS Mike Bishop observes a horrific crime scene where a young woman has been brutally murdered and had her lips removed. Adam is a shy and quiet boy, who suffers unspeakably at the hands of his mother. His only refuge is his Gran’s house, where he spends time reading fairy tales and understanding the language of flowers with her. Growing up, Adam retreats further into himself, fostering a love of taking things apart and putting them back together, plus old fashioned virtues courtesy of his Gran. However, as he enters adulthood, Adam’s pursuit of love is rooted in old fashioned, fairytale romance, but with a lack of social skills causing crippling anxiety, his grand gestures are enacted without introducing himself to the woman of his affection. As his pursuits for love become closer to stalking, the women Adam falls in love are terrorised by his actions and may just pay the ultimate price if they reject him... Laura lost her parents and younger brother four years ago and has shrunk away from life in grief. With encouragement from her Aunt, she pushes herself to start living life again. Adam spots her in the crowd during a trip to London and with her, he’s found his next obsession... Can Laura convince the police that someone is breaking into her home to leave flowers, do the laundry and make her dinner? Will Bishop connect the cases and discover Adam is a serial killer?

This is the first novel I’ve read by Barbara Copperthwaite and I was blown away - it won’t be my last! Whilst this is a thoroughly unputdownable and suspenseful thriller, there is so much more to “Flowers for the Dead” that it caught me in unexpected ways and will stay with me for a long time. This is very much Adam’s story - Adam the serial killer. To all intents and purposes, he is the villain, but Copperthwaite expertly blends repulsion and sympathy to create a complex and thought provoking character.  I haven’t read a novel that has left me so conflicted for a very long time. There are notes of Robert Bloch’s Norman Bates (although, more so the character Hitchcock brought to life in his 1960 film version of “Psycho”) in Adam - a young man who has suffered horrifically at the hands of somebody who should have loved and protected him. Adam’s childhood goes a long way to explain his psychosis and sociopathic tendencies, helping to portray him as a vulnerable and very human character, rather than a faceless monster. It generates sympathy for him and as a reader, his unsuccessful search for love is practically heartbreaking. However, just as our sympathy builds for Adam, Copperthwaite expertly thrusts us back into the depths of his depravity and reminds us just how sick he is. This ebb and flow of sympathy and disgust makes “Flowers for the Dead” completely gripping and a real page turner.

I also enjoyed the tension generated by the perils of modern day living - Copperthwaite perfectly depicts just how much of our information is available online and how dangerous this can be in the wrong hands. Everything from our Facebook statuses to the floor plans of our homes is potentially accessible and Adam’s pursuit of Laura is created with such eerie plausibility that it stands as a stark warning. Laura’s experience is truly terrifying and the atmosphere is thick with paranoia and unsettled emotions. The feeling of being unsafe in our home, plus the worry of being observed in our sleep, plays on our most fundamental fears. I couldn’t read this fast enough, because I wanted to know what happened to Laura and was on the edge of my seat as I found out.

The exploration of loss and finding your way in the aftermath is also explored through each of the characters. There is plenty of poignancy intertwined with the action and suspense, which worked really well together. All three lead characters have lost close loved ones and each has responded and set foot on the road to recovery in different ways. Whilst Adam’s path leads to destruction, there is still an element of retribution. However, for both Laura and Bishop the case is their permission to step back into life and to leave behind any guilt that they feel. Whilst the sense of loss will always remain with them, they both find that life is very much worth living and that they should enjoy every moment. This added a strong message to the narrative that isn’t always found in crime fiction and will make this a memorable read for me for a long time.

I highly recommend “Flowers for the Dead” and will be seeking out Barbara Copperthwaite’s other novels!
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Hands down, this is one of the most lushly described, detailed, creepy, and hauntingly beautiful serial killer stories I have ever read. And those are words I never thought I would put together into a sentence. The author even manages to make the reader (well, at least this one!) sympathetic to the killer. Adam obviously has some deep-seated issues but tracing his journey from sweet boy on his grandmother’s knee reading fairy tales to psychopathic killer who (for all intents and purposes) stalks his victims is fascinating. I particularly liked how the author used flowers and their “language” (i.e. Wood sorrel: Maternal tenderness) as each chapter heading. I highly recommend this book. But be warned: it is not one that you can just rush through. You are going to want to savor it, as odd as that sounds. For a full review, please visit Fireflies and Free Kicks. Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for a digital copy of the book.
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If you’ve ever read a Barbara Copperthwaite book before then you’ll know how they tend to get under your skin, well be warned because this one will not only get under your skin but it will stay there for a long time after. It’s a cracker. If you’ve not read one before then go buy this, you won’t be disappointed.

Ive never read a book like this before, it’s chilling and actually quite terrifying but never in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought that I would feel a little bit sorry for a serial killer. I know you are probably rolling your eyes and thinking what the …. but when you read this book you will understand. Adam is quite terrifying but throughout the story we’re taken back in time and we find out why maybe Adam is the way he is.

I really don’t want to go into the plot and spoil the story for you, this is one you need to just get stuck into but I will say that it gave me the creeps. You know when you get the shiver, the someone’s walking over your grave shiver? Well that happened on more than one occasion for me, I had actual goose bumps.

Flowers for the Dead is quite a disturbing story but it had me totally engrossed, if I could have covered my eyes while reading I think I probably would have. I liked how we got Adams point of view, it’s not often you get the serial killers thinking and it’s broken up nicely with Laura and Mikes story as well as going back in time to Adams upbringing.

If you’re looking for a story that will grip you from beginning to end then Flowers for the Dead is the one. The tension builds throughout, its edge of your seat, breath holding stuff until the emotional climax. Definitely one I will be highly recommending.
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I’m sorry that this one wasn’t for me. Thank you for the opportunity to take part in the tour with content instead.
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Flowers For The Dead by Barbara Copperthwaite is a Psychogical thriller that had me on pins while reading it. A gripping story that allows us into both the victims lives and the killers too. Laura is a sole survivor of a crash in which her family died and Adam is the only child of a terrifingly abusive mother and a father who wasn't even bothered.Luckily for Adam his gran loved him and read him fairy tales and even taught him the language of flowers.
He sets his sights on Laura, after he has experienced a few lost loves. He does all he can to prove to her he is 'The One'. Makes sure her house is clean, fills the fridge and even puts money in her purse. Laura has no clue he even exists and starts to think she is going mad when she notices anything Adam has done. She rings the police and they just don't take it as a serious issue. How can they? Her flat hasn't been broken in for anyone to gain entry?!
A sometimes dark, disturbing and gruesome story in some ways. Adam is as sick and twisted as we could find for a serial killer and   the story does slip back and forth to show us how is life has been and even though it was not normal, I still can't really get my mind round JUST how sick and twistes he actually ends up! Laura is a woman just dealing with grief and attempting to find her way through the fog. Then she is faced with all that Adam does, without her knowledge, the poor woman. The emotions she felt poured off the page, the disbelief, the shock and that awful feeling of feeling like you are being stalked and then the terror, I felt every single one. 
Flowers For The Dead is an intense, creepy and interesting read too.Towards the end I had my heart in my mouth as the pace picked up. A proper edge of my seat moment.
Many thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the copy of the book for todays blog tour.
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OMG what a book! 

It broke my heart and horrified me. My feelings have never been so conflicted. I really was not expecting that.

The story is told from 3 different people's perspective who each have their own tragedies to bear.

I was utterly hooked and flew through the chapters. The plot was dark, twisted and very, very chilling.

This is the first book I've read from this author but it certainly won't be the last.

Just brilliant!
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In Flowers for the Dead, Laura Weir is struggling to cope after a devastating car crash that killed her family. Adam Bourne is besotted with Laura even though he has never met her, buying her flowers, and cooking for her, but he doesn't know that she is watching him, too...

Written with finesse and flair, Barbara Copperthwaite stunned me with this classy psychological thriller. The plot execution was tip-top, as was the characterisation, and pacing. There were no disappointments and I was completely gripped from the first chapter, loving the shock factor and twists.

Told in alternating chapters, the reader learned of Adam's childhood as the story moved from the past, to the present, and back again. Adam was such a curious character; somebody with whom I found myself empathising at regular intervals despite the fact that that he was a serial killer. He was the highlight of the novel for me, although Barbara Copperthwaite's portrayal of the vulnerable and terrified, yet strong willed Laura was pretty good, too.

As occurrences manifested, the author certainly kept me on my toes in this immensely creepy and intense read, and towards the end, the story really picked up pace. Flowers for the Dead was everything I wanted in what was a gritty, tip-top psychological thriller, and I enjoyed how things played out in the dramatic and unexpected finale. This was my first read by Barbara Copperthwaite and it won't be my last.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Bookouture via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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I am excited to be taking part in the #BooksOnTour #BlogTour for Barbara Copperthwaite's chilling thriller FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD.

I first read FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD two years ago and I loved it then. When the new and re-edited edition came up I knew I just had to rad it again. It is the first book I've read by this author (I still haven't read any others yet) and it won't be my last. It's different, it's dark, very twisted, and in some ways quite sad.

Very early on in the book we are introduced to a very young Adam Bourne, beginning in his early childhood some 27 years prior and - in alternating chapters - slowly working up to the present tense where he has become a serial killer. We learn of his horrific childhood at the hands of his mother who sexually abused him, his absent father - both emotionally and often physically - and the constant putdowns from his mother that he is nothing, "a dirty boy". The only person who loved and cared for him was his grandmother Ada, who lived 3 hours away in Birmingham. Ada taught Adam about Floriography - the language of flowers - and together they formed a secret language between them as Adam shared how he was feeling and Ada returned by sending him encouragement - in the form of pressed flowers. He learnt to appreciate every flower and its meaning. It was where he bloomed (sorry, pun intended).

So Adam becomes a hunter, choosing his victims so carefully in the search for true love. He stalks them, watches them, breaking into their homes to watch them as they sleep - comparing the act to that of the more romantic notion of Edward Cullen watching over the sleeping Bella in "Twilight". He sends them flowers, with each one sending a special message that ironically only he can understand - and yet he fails to see that. In his mind, they know he is sending them, that he is watching them, looking after them and protecting them. He even breaks in to make them a freshly cooked meal for when they return from work. He is scarily perverse and somewhat disturbing.

When Adam sees Laura at Covent Garden, he knows she is is the one. In her he believes he has found his soul mate, his one true love - and he sets about the task of "taking care" of her.

Laura is a vulnerable young woman after losing her entire family - mother, father and brother - in a tragic car accident on Guy Fawkes night four years before. Blaming herself entirely as they would not have been there had it not been for her wish to see the fireworks, she is the perfect "victim" for Adam, who sees her as a kindred spirit needing rescuing from her obvious despair. Through Laura's eyes we can feel her terror as she notices things beginning to happen - dishes being done, fridge being restocked, food being bought, money left in her purse, flowers being left - and while at first dismissing them as her unconsciously doing them, she soon realises that there is something more creepy going on. She tries to take her concerns to the local police who simply dismiss her as a bit of a "head case". The stalking makes for an uncomfortable read at times, particularly the things Laura isn't even aware of - like the cameras in her house, spyware on her phone - it is seriously creepy. It is easy to see how such behaviour can escalate, terrifying their victims until they feel completely helpless with nowhere to go and no one to believe them.

Ironically though, Adam doesn't want to scare Laura - or any of his victims. It's the last thing he wants. In his twisted mind, he is trying to look after them, care for them and do all the things a loving boyfriend would do. After all, his gran always told him a woman likes a gentleman who can take care of her and is the strong one to protect her. It is so sad to see that Adam's only reference for love he can call upon is those conversations with his gran and the things she taught him. But sadly, her world was a different one to the one Adam is now an adult in, and times have changed. But even so, Adam's view of love is entwined with aspects of the abuse he received from his mother, resulting in a twisted perspective he genuinely feels is right.

Adam is such a complicated character that I felt such sadness for him and at other times I loathed what he had become. However, having formed no proper attachment in his early years and his only experience with sex was both disgusting and frightening, is it any wonder he grew up into a sick and twisted sociopath? In his mind, his love for these women was such that he was showering them with gifts and love and was looking after them as any man should. He believes he is a saviour.

We also meet Mike Bishop, a detective sergeant with the Colchester Constabulary in Essex, dealing with his own grief of losing his wife to an aneurysm and now having to raise his 7 year old daughter on his own. His friend DCI Simon Phillips has been trying to tempt him to transfer to Reading for a fresh start and whilst visiting, he is drawn into the murder of Julie Clayton found with her lips cut off and surrounded by flowers. Back home in Essex he can't get the image out of his mind and searches for other unsolved murders with the same signature.

When I first read this book two years ago I gave it 5 stars then. And if I could give it more, I would. It is compelling, it is chilling and it is creepy. Told in such a different vein to any other thriller I have come across, FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD gives you a perspective you would never think to consider. The killer's. His backstory, his sad childhood, his pain, his loneliness, his desperation to be loved, his warped sense of love are all on display for the reader to devour. And it gives you pause to consider his role in the bigger picture. I don't know about you, but quite often I found myself silently rooting for Adam that he would evade capture...that is, until Laura. Because we are privy to her world and her pain also. But FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD is a book that is so complex it has you conflicted about how you want it to end.

Told in three separate 'points of view' - Adam's, Laura's and DS Mike Bishop - FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD is an utterly compelling read that will keep you up long into the night.

Perfectly horrific and twisted, if you are a fan of tense, creepy psychological thrillers then this book is a must!

Another solid 5 stars - and counting the first 5 I gave it two years ago, does that now make it 10 stars??

I would like to thank #BarbaraCopperthwaite, #NetGalley and #Bookouture for an ARC of #FlowersForTheDead in exchange for an honest review.
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