I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Star Rating: ★★★✰✰
Her Name Was Rose is a psychological thriller with an important message at its heart.
Emily could never have imaged that letting a woman step out of the lift ahead of her would have such an impact on her life. As she watched the woman get hit by a speeding car and die instantly, she could never have thought how much this woman would affect her.
The woman’s name was Rose, and, as Emily soon finds out, she had a perfect life. A perfect husband, a perfect son, a perfect house. Everything Emily is missing from her own life.
So when the chance to fill the space that Rose left in the world comes up, Emily doesn’t hesitate to take it. But she soon finds out that Rose’s life wasn’s as rosy as she had made out. And now Emily is in too deep to get out.
Emily is an idiot, in my opinion.
Now, as a reader, I know that’s easy for me to say. I guess we see a slightly bigger picture than her, we get the intonations that the author drips throughout the story, and have that little bit more information than she does.
But still, Emily is an idiot.
Okay, I’m being harsh. She’s gone through a lot before we meet her. She’s been through an abusive relationship, lost friends and family, and she’s just lost her job. But that doesn’t mean you should stalk someone after their death, go to their funeral, take her old job, and muscle your way into her family. It was a bit weird and unbelievable to me.
And then there’s Rose’s husband, Cian.
I’m not sure if we as the reader are meant to believe his good guy act, but Emily sure does. She doesn’t see at any point during their relationship (I’ll call it that) that he’s *spoiler alert* an abusive asshole.
Okay, I’m being overly critical here.
I wasn’t a fan of Emily’s behaviour, but that didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book. I really did, actually. It’s a great psychological thriller with some interesting characters and enough twists and turns to keep you on your toes the whole time.
Emily was a great unreliable narrator of sorts (I bloody love an unreliable narrator!). It’s not that she was lying to the reader, it’s just that she has such a skewed sense of the world and how it views her that she can’t help but give us the wrong information. It made for some gripping reading, I’ll tell you that.
‘Facebooks’ can be deceiving…
…and the way Claire Allan illustrates this is one of the best things about the book. Her Name Was Rose is an excellent showcase of how fake social media can be and of how people only put the good parts of their life online.
No one knows what’s going on behind the scenes, and that’s the exact trap that Emily falls into. Believing everything she sees on Rose’s Facebook page.
It’s a lesson we should all be learning, and such an important thing for this book to put across. Don’t believe everything people post on social media! It’s mostly either a lie or a muddled truth (Okay, rant over).
Her Name Was Rose is definitely worth a read for fans of psychological thrillers and domestic noir. Give it a go, you might learn a little something along the way.