Dog Rose Dirt

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Pub Date 22 Jul 2021 | Archive Date Not set

Description

‘Creepy and compelling’ HARRIET TYCE
‘Brilliant – filled with tension and twists’ SARAH PINBOROUGH
‘An unsettling, terrifying thriller’ ABIGAIL DEAN
‘Masterclass in suspense’ THE TIMES
‘Will have you up all night with the lights on’ ELLE

What if your mother had been writing to a serial killer?

A convicted murderer with a story to tell
 
Serial killer Michael Reave – known as The Red Wolf – has been locked in Belmarsh Prison for over 20 years for the brutal and ritualistic murders of countless women.
 
A grieving daughter with a secret to unearth
 
Ex-journalist Heather Evans returns to her childhood home after her mother’s inexplicable suicide and discovers something chilling – hundreds of letters between her mother and Reave, dating back decades.
 
A hunt for a killer ready to strike again

When the body of a woman is found decorated with flowers, just like his victims, Reave is the only person alive who could help. After years of silence, he will speak to Heather, and only Heather.

If she wants to unearth the truth and stop further bloodshed, she’ll have to confront a monster.

PRAISE FOR DOG ROSE DIRT:
‘One of the creepiest serial killer thrillers I’ve encountered in a long time’ AMY MCCULLOCH
‘I read it heart in mouth’ HARRIET TYCE
‘Terrifying, fun and insightful’ NATHAN RIPLEY
‘Taut and stylish’ E.G. SCOTT
‘Brimming with secrets’ MEGAN COLLINS
‘Reminiscent of SHARP OBJECTS’ SARAH PINBOROUGH

‘Creepy and compelling’ HARRIET TYCE
‘Brilliant – filled with tension and twists’ SARAH PINBOROUGH
‘An unsettling, terrifying thriller’...


Available Editions

EDITION Ebook
ISBN 9780008383817
PRICE £6.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 264 members


Featured Reviews

Dog Rose Dirt is properly and deliciously scary. Heather, a disgraced journalist, has to go home after her mother Colleen suddenly kills herself. The house is full of bad memories and unfinished business and does not feel like a home. Heather quickly starts to feel that someone is watching her: a malign presence. She discovers a sheaf of letters from a notorious serial killer called The Red Wolf. It indicates a long correspondence between him and her mother. At the same time, the Red Wolf is hunting again. In quick succession, women are turning up dead and displayed in the same ornate way. When the police find out about the letters, Heather is put in touch with the killer in prison. He will only speak to her and Heather imagines she can get some answers for herself. Instead, Heather is drawn further and deeper in a deadly game that she cannot escape.

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Wow this is a thriller.. Oh yes from page 2 I was like what is happening here I was hooked. I read in a day I had to know. A crazy story of a daughter Heather seeking out the truth about her mother's death. I loved it and it had me on the edge of my seat, I love readings thrillers and it's been a while since a book offered a story that couldn't be predicted and left me wondering. Jen Williams offered this is Dog Rose Dirt. 5 golden stars and highly recommended thriller for summer 2021. Amazingly unpredictable thrilling story about secrets and lies. #DogRoseDirt #JenWilliams #NetGalley #bookreview #booksin2021

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I loved this. Thank you for the advanced copy, enjoyed it so much. I loved the style of writing in this, made a change from the usual formal sometimes over the top style. Heather returns home after her mum suddenly commits suicide. They had a stained relationship and when Heather starts going through her mums things she realises that she knew nothing about oyt who her mum really was. And she finds her suicide note odd, so starts delving into her past. Could her mum be connected with the horrific serial killer, who looks to have started killing again?

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A dark gripping, twisting gut reaching at times thriller with great characters Heather our heroine and her best friend Nikki, then the badies pure evil or are they.. ....... Heather's Mum has killed her self why you will find out, however they were not on great terms with each other well since her Dad died really. That not a clue bye the way, He'd a heart problem and well that's life for some that is. Heather has to return to her childhood home for the funeral and sort out the house ect, where she links back up with Nikki and learns some surprising things about her Mum. To start with there's the pen friend who has links to her she never knew well she didn't think she knew the pen friend or his family. however I guess as in life do we really know anyone fully but hopefully our contracts have less gruesome pasts or secrets. But she never knew this friend so there will be plenty of surprises which may explain the weird going ons I'll let you read about them hate to forewarn you and spoil the shocks. I will let you know that there has been a number of ladies go missing and the clues point to someone who had a cast iron alibi so if this has wet your appetite and you love thrillers then I think this is probably a good one for you.

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This is a change of pace for the author best known as a fantasy writer, but Jen totally owns this thriller/horror based story as she weaves a dark, compelling fairy tale which takes folkloric tropes and turns them on their head. How much of what makes you you, is genetic and how much is acquired? A re-appearance of an errant,grownup daughter into the life of her deceased mother has Heather re-assessing her entire existence. Apart from the really bizarre circumstances surrounding her mother's death, the atmosphere of the village where she has lived feels both caught in a time warp and also underpinned by some really dark local legends. As she begins sorting out her mother's effects, Heather's profession of investigative journalist kicks in and she starts dissecting the paperwork that was left behind and makes the astonishing discovery that her mother was writing to an infamous serial killer, known as the Red Wolf. Now behind bars for the rest of his life, the gruesome details of his killing are there for anyone to read about so, when the murders start again not long after she arrives back home, Heather begins to doubt absolutely everything that she held to be true. What links does her past have with the commune which was run in the 1960's ? Why do the woods both compel her to wander them, whilst  also terrifying her? More and more details are unearthed about a completely different person that Heather cannot recognise as her mother, and,as reflection and introspection threaten a fragile sense of self, presents begin to be left on her doorstep, and then, inside her house... Is Heather about to become the latest victim of the Red Wolf? Is it a copycat killer or was the wrong person locked away? This is a terrifying novel that examines the red riding hood myth from a mirror direction-the wolf is wearing the red hood this time around and the power of the feminine in the form of women who stepped outside the norm and expected roles, in the 1960's is explored in depth. The notion of nature versus nurture and how you grow into the person you are expected to be, as opposed to the person you are supposed is so very interestingly explored here. Yes, it is a serial killer novel and there are some gruesome descriptions of the murders committed but, at heart, this is a deeply feminist novel on the way that women are subsumed, devoured and returned to the earth to feed a system which ultimately betrays them. Heather ends up in her old childhood bedroom, with a career hanging on a knife edge, an air of disappointment hanging over all she has achieved whilst her school friends are all well established and settled in their chosen fields. The expectations versus the reality of life in a small town or village is keenly explored as she is viewed in her homestead as someone who has 'failed'. Her idea to write about the murders could be seen as a way to revive her writing career based on a patriarchal narrative which exploits and ultimately destroys the young, the beautiful victims of the Red Wolf. Her path out of the small time is seemingly dictated to her by a serial killer who wants to talk only to her, but who is exploiting whom? The killer, safely behind bars, the male detective using her to get details out of Michael, or the new killer who seems to have taken her arrival to start his 'games' again? A twisting, breathlessly turning story which keeps you well and truly on your toes, it completely fires on all cyclinders and whether Jen is dipping her toes in this genre or intends to stick around for a while, 'Dog Rose Dirt' will, I predict, be huge.

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I was so pleased I was accepted to receive the ARC. This book blew me away, it's one of the best books I have ever read. I'd not heard of JW before but now she will be an author I will never forget. The opening chapter literally grabbed me and creeped me out, it's bloody brilliant. It's like a fairy tale for sick serial killers. The main character Heather was brave, determined and didn't take no shit from nobody and the relationship she had with Michael {the serial killer} slowly revealed itself to be deeper than I first thought. The detailed descriptions of the murders and the positioning of the bodies was sick, but I loved it. I felt like I was in there in Fiddler's wood when Heather went looking for Nikki, and the ending was a stroke of genius. Even though a couple of the parts were predictable it did not ruin the book in any way whatsoever. The plot was gripping and it was so hard to put the book down, their were a few twists along the way but all in all this is one hell of a book. I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did because the blurb doesn't do it justice, but OMG it's a phenomenal read. Thank You Netgally and Harper for this awesome ARC, I truly loved it.

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Five stars! What a fantastic book. Utterly engrossing, compelling storyline which got more and more intriguing and spun me in all directions. All the way through I was picturing who would play what role as it will make a perfect six part series. Will definitely look up the authors other books. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review.

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What a very dark and scary book! This story is full of the stuff nightmares are made of and I relished every page! Some really disturbing parts but this was needed to fully understand the terrible goings on. Very good thriller.

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Well Jen Williams can you write a good scary gripping book. I loved it. I loved to gentle flow to the back story and the clues there. I also liked how you included Grimms tales into it. What a brilliant read.

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Well!! What to say about this book...... It's a dark dark book about a young woman unaware of her background. Questions arise when her mother commits suicide which seemed out of character. I couldn't put this book down and read it in two days. Primarily about a serial killer and a new copy cat killer. It could appear to be the very popular genre of bloody deaths and chasing a serial killer but it is so much more and was kept guessing until close to the end. This is the first book I have read by this author. More please. Thank you to the publishers and netgalley for a copy in exchange for an unbiased review.

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After her estranged mum’s apparent suicide, Heather returns to her childhood home to wrap up her affairs. Little did she know that she would become caught up in a tangled web of old and new murders, serial killers and a commune from the 70s where things weren’t as they seemed. Shortly after arriving home, Heather discovers a stack of letters from notorious serial killer Michael Reave, known as The Red Wolf, to her mum. Unable to believe that her mum had a life she knew nothing about, she decides to investigate. Michael has always proclaimed his innocence and when the murders begin again, while Michael is still in prison, is he really innocent, or is a copycat taking up his mantle? And what is his connection to Heather’s mum? Who seems to be following her, leaving little messages and “gifts” including feathers and notes? Is there a connection to Michael? To the strange commune she’s discovered her mum lived at for a while? Dog Rose Dirt is an exceptionally well crafted serial killer thriller which keeps you guessing until the very end. The strands of the plot are deftly woven until they come together to what can only be described as a perfect conclusion. It’s exciting, and gripping and you won’t want to stop reading until you find out the answers. It’s satisfying, doesn’t leave you hanging, and ties things up beautifully. The characters are really well written; Heather is both annoying and infuriating at times, but also stubborn in a good way and determined, and so very relatable, especially when we find out how she lost her job. Williams also manages to get you to care for Michael, while at the same time questioning yourself for doing so as he’s a serial killer, right? Should I like this character? What does it tell me about killers and how we perceive them? What does it tell us about how the media shapes our perception of people? It’s a creepy, eerie, exciting read, that you’ll love and deserves the highest praise! Looking forward to reading more from Jen Williams 😊 5 Stars 😊 Thanks to Harper Collins and Net Galley for the e-arc.

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Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins UK, HarperFiction for the arc of Dog Rose Dirt by Jen Williams. 5 Star Read- This follows a daughter whom returns home and ends up making a horrifying discovery that there are stack and stacks of letters to her mum from a serial killer... she has been corresponding and writing to a serial killer. called Michael Reave.. He was nicknamed The Red Wolf and has been in prison for a whole 2 decades. He has always claimed that he is actually innocent but the police have no reason to re investigate the murders! Until another body of a young woman has been found the exact way in which the other murders which is the corpse planted with flowers! so what did her mum actually know and why did she end up comitting suicide and ending her own life???? This was an amazing read which was gripping and fast paced and it was written amazingly! Highly Recommend 5 STARS⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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An absolute riveting read which had me hooked from the first page. atmospheric, creepy and brilliant thrill of a book

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A clever psychological thriller which included serial killers, hippy communes and dysfunctional families, this novel keeps you guessing until the end. Not for the squeamish or faint-hearted, we are told of how bodies were buried with flowers and of how those you know, including your immediate family, may be hiding secrets from their past. I thoroughly enjoyed this and will be keeping an eye out for further offerings from Jen Williams.

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Absolutely loved this original thriller combining Grimm's fairy tales with a copycat serial killer. Particularly enjoyed the character of Heather, the flawed heroine, reeling from her estranged mother's suicide and looking for answers from a long incarcerated serial killer. She gave me vibes of the rookie detective Clarice Starling and the wounded journalist Camille Preaker as she delved in to her mother's past association with an alternative living commune. The ending was unexpected and kept me reading into the early hours.

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A totally compelling read that was impossible to put down. Brilliantly written, the characters come alive from the pages, thoroughly gripping, total page turner

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My thanks to Jen Williams, Harper Collins and Net Galley for the ARC of DOG ROSE DIRT. What a roller coaster ride. Heather is a journalist, or was until she has a fight with one her colleagues in the news room and is promptly sacked. She then discovers her mother has committed suicide and returns to the family home, a house she has not visited since she was sixteen. Something about her mother's death does not ring true, and when she discovers some old letters written by her mother to a convicted serial killer, Michael Reave, known as The Red Wolf, the journalist side of her cannot leave it alone until she gets to the bottom of the story. I really like Heather, and would like to see her in other stories. This was a brilliant thriller with some great twists and turns and kept me guessing until the end. Loved it.!

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Dog Rose Dirt by Jen Williams is a Crime thriller with a touch of Silence of the Lambs horror. Former journalist Heather Evans returns to the family home she left as a teenager after her mother ,Colleen, commits suicide. They'd always had a difficult relationship,which led to Heather leaving home at an early age after being blamed by her mother for the death of her father after a massive heart attack. Surprised that her mother would even contemplate suicide Heather is even more surprised to find correspondence between Colleen and notorious serial killer Michael Reave, also known as The Red Wolf. Reave has been in Belmarsh Prison for over 20 years but a copycat killer is at large. This is something a bit different and combines a touch of Gothic horror with a fast-moving and involving crime story with Heather's investigation of the link between her mother and Michael Reave . As she looks strange things start to happen and she feels as if she's constantly being watched. Author Williams successfully maintains the sense of menace throughout the book and while it does stretch credulity at times it's a great read with very flawed but feisty and believable main character in Heather.

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This book has been completely and utterly impossible to put down. I have been completely gripped, suspicious of all the characters involved and completely unable to predict where this book was going. This is well-written, completely addictive and all round a wonderful gem. I absolutely recommend this book. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Heather returns to her family home after the unexpected suicide of her mother. While going through her mother's possessions, Heather discovers a stack of letters between her mother and a serial killer known as the "Red Wolf" who is still in prison for his crimes. While reeling from this gruesome discovery, murders in the style of the "Red Wolf" are happening again. Heather tries to come to terms with finding out this huge secret about her mother resolves to find out more about her past and how on earth the woman she knows could possibly have been in contact with a serial killer. Meanwhile bizarre and creepy things begin happening around her from strange notes on bouquets to strange things happening in her house. Scattered with hints of the original darker versions of fairy tales, this story is full of twists rights up to the closing pages.

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This was a rollercoaster of a book. A family mystery, that goes way back, creepy houses, a creepy wood, a serial killer and an unexplained suicide. This has everything, including a thrilling, heart-stopping ending that you simply must keep on reading, no matter how late at night it is!

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This is a very tense, taut book. Heather's return to the family home after her mother's death is brilliantly executed and her isolation and loneliness is almost tangible. She has one good friend left and thank goodness for that. There were moments when I realised I was holding my breath such was the tension. I was in turn worried for, worried by and heart broken for the path Heather was on. An exciting, clever and unique book that certainly delivers more than it says on the tin. Can't wait for the audio version.

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Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book. WOW what could I say to describe this book, apart from absolutely brilliant. I didn’t know what to expect when I seen the name of the book but it blew me away. It’s a definate edge of your seat page Turner. I couldn’t put it down but didn’t want it to end either. I think this book would be great on the big screen, it would be brilliant. The characters and storyline where fantastic, the twists and turns in this book where unexpected. Well worth 5 stars and more. I think I’ll read it again just incase I missed some. 😊

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An intriguing read that had me completely riveted at times. At times, this book made me feel uneasy and tense, exactly what you want from a thriller! I don’t want to give too much away, so urge you to read this book for yourself.

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Oh wow, this was one hell of a read! I felt confident I would able to put it away and get some chores down, but much to the dismay of my partner, I had to finish it in one go! What a thrilling read

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