Bookouture | September 2020 | 384 pgs
Source: NetGalley

We've read many suspense or crime thrillers which are often based from the victim's perspective but rarely from the perpetrator's. Flowers for the Dead surprised me not only it is a story about the perpetrator but also, I've learnt the meaning of various flowers at the beginning of each chapter. 

Adam Bourne is a serial killer who has murdered a few women whom he thinks they're his lovers. Adam would set his eyes on a particular woman, then he'd start to "serenade" her by leaving them flowers, doing their chores without her knowing that she is being stalked. Adam's initial thoughts is to find love through these gestures but what he's done has crossed the line and sent a danger signal to the victims. But eventually the victims always have no chance of saving themselves, because Adam is always one step ahead of them and the police as well. Laura Weir is his latest target, and he intends to make hers his and this time around, he'd make sure that Laura would begin to see his sincerity behind his every moves. 

Adam's sinister mind and acts began to take a turn when the reader read about his past as a boy. Unlike the monster he is at present, young Adam was actually a shy boy who had full of love and admiration of his grandmother. Growing up with a father who was always at work and a mother who always belittle and abuse him, Adam sought solace in his grandmother's fairy tales and learned the language of flowers since she loved gardening so much. Through her grandmother's love and attention, Adam was able to endure all the nonsense and abuse inflicted by his mother but his tolerance and his mind eventually snapped after a love confession to a girl gone wrong and that his grandmother passed from a terminal illness. 

In many ways, this book read as a crime thriller but Adam's sad past also made this an intriguing case of character study as we watch how little, shy, eager-to-please Adam gradually becomes an obsessive and a frightening serial killer. Adam was, no doubt, a perpetrator but before that, he was also a victim so the reaction towards him wasn't only one-sided. On the other end, Laura Weir and Detective Sergeant Michael Bishop have their own stories as well so overall this was quite an engaging read and of course the best thing to me was, knowing the meaning of flowers. 

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10 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    I've not read this author, but it does sound like Flowers for the Dead was interesting. Now that you know the language of flowers, how are you going to apply the knowledge? :)

  2. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - It was an interesting read reading from the perpetrator's perspective.

    Each flower has its meaning. So if I'd want to give flowers to someone, I'd have a gist of what flowers to give or what not to give based on the occasion. :)

  3. Kay Says:

    Hmmm...the language of flowers aspect is very appealing. I've read some about that in other books and am fascinated with the various messages that flowers can send. However, I don't particularly like reading a story from the viewpoint of the perpetrator. If they are only one viewpoint and there are others, I can manage it. Otherwise...not so much. I'll keep it in mind anyway. :-)

  4. Melody Says:

    Kay - Floriography is interesting, isn't it? I don't usually read books featuring a perpetrator's perspective, but in this book it was interesting to see how he turned from being a victim into a killer himself. That said, this is also a story about Laura aside from the perp so hopefully you'll read it at some point, Kay.

  5. Can I get someone to do my chores for me? Not a serial killer though, please. This sounds like an interesting read, Melody. It's always interesting to get into the mind of the criminal and see why they do what they do. I like that this one also gives you a glimpse into the crime fighters' background as well. I am glad you enjoyed this one. I may have to read it just for the flower meaning aspects now!

  6. Lark Says:

    Very fun that you get to learn the meaning of different flowers at the beginning of each chapter. I love when authors do stuff like that. :)

  7. Iliana Says:

    Ok, I'm intrigued. I like that the author decided to give us the thriller from the killer's viewpoint. This reminded me a bit of a book by Arminta Hall where the main character was an obsessive guy to say the least. I'm going to have the check this one out!

  8. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I share your sentiments about it being interesting to get into the mind of the criminal and see why they're committing the crimes. That's why we need profilers. And the flowers meaning aspect definitely add some useful information (at least to me) aside from the gruesome story.

  9. Melody Says:

    Lark - Me too, Lark! :)

  10. Melody Says:

    Iliana - Right, I need to check out Arminta Hall's books. Never heard of this author and I'm always happy to explore new-to-me authors. :)

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