Sunday 20 January 2019

The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts

Laurel and Primrose are little girls who like to play in the woods. Two little girls who take a baby with them into the woods and only two of the three little girls come back out again. The world despises them, the nation spends years hunting them, but only one of them spends time behind bars,

Even after so many years the public believes Laurel and Primrose deserve to be punished until they themselves take their last breath.

Laurel, the elder of the two, is seen as the main perpetrator and locked up. The youngest girl is renamed Rosie and is raised normally in society as if the events had never taken place at all. The public and the family members of the victim keep finding out where she lives, so she feels like a hunted animal.

When another young child goes missing where Rosie happens to be spending the night she becomes an instant suspect, thanks to the help of a writer, who is hungry for a sensational story. She is then forced to reconsider her attitude towards Laurel and whether or not she should help her get parole.

There are definitely parallels that can be drawn between the Bulger case and the fictional Flower Girls, and it invites the reader to ponder and perhaps even debate what happens when a child kills another child. When children commit a heinous crime, it's perhaps worse than the horror of any adult on child crime, because it is so hard to fathom how a child can do such a terrible thing.

The author goes for the more hard-nosed approach with this plot, so you might think it is going a specific way, but it doesn't. Clark-Platts allows the story to hover over the dark abyss and takes the reader on the steep decline into the desolate landscape of a cruel and calculated mind.

The Flower Girls is a tense psychological thriller, which takes the reader on a difficult journey of justice and morality. Is there any right or wrong in such tragic circumstances? Then just when you think, as a reader, you have come to a conclusion you feel comfortable with, the author blindsides the reader with the truth. Not a read you should miss.

Buy The Flower Girls at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Raven Books; Hardcover release 24 January 2019
Follow @aclarkplatts @BloomsburyRaven

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