In Bloom by C J Skuse HQ August 9th 2018
If only they knew the real truth. It should be my face on those front pages. My headlines. I did those things, not him. I just want to stand on that doorstep and scream it: IT WAS ME. ME. ME. ME. ME!
Rhiannon Lewis has successfully fooled the world and framed her cheating fianc Craig for the depraved and bloody killing spree she committed. She should be ecstatic that she’s free.
Except for one small problem. She’s pregnant with her ex lover’s child. The ex-lover she only recently chopped up and buried in her in-laws garden. And as much as Rhiannon wants to continue making her way through her kill lists, a small voice inside is trying to make her stop.
But can a killer’s urges ever really be curbed?
I have to say I loved the cover of In Bloom, the beautiful flowers are very striking, but that is the only beautiful thing about this novel. As I opened the first few pages I was greeted by Rhiannon or Sweetpea attempting to deal with a dead body as loud knocks beat on her door, instantly immersing me in the crazed and somewhat warped world of Rhiannon.
She is not a character I warmed to and, as I read, I looked for glimpses of her past or indications of any redeeming features only to discover nothing. Rhiannon was a woman who loved to kill, who got her kicks from seeing those who had hurt others suffer. I did admire her cunning, her manipulative behaviour and her quick thinking intelligence in escaping detection.
I wouldn’t be spoiling it if I also mentioned that Rhiannon was also pregnant, and its her love hate relationship with the baby growing inside her that was particularly interesting. I was continually asking myself if perhaps she would change as she felt the baby move or indeed when it was born. Skuse was brilliant at portraying Rhiannon’s love hate relationship with the unborn baby, and it raised a lot of questions in my mind as to the type of mother she would be.
From the first page to the last, In Bloom moves at a furious pace and was at times quite exhausting too read. Yet I don’t think Skuse could have written it any other way, it wouldn’t have had the same intensity, the same feeling of being on a rollercoaster never knowing when the next stomach churning moment would happen. In someways it was reflective of Rhiannon’s mind as she constantly sought ways to deflect blame onto others as she planned her next move.
If you are expecting a believable plot then forget it, In Bloom is totally outrageous fun. It’s a book where you can immerse yourself in the mad world of Rhiannon and forget real life on the outside. It might not be for everyone, but if you can suspend reality, then In Bloom is pure and utter escapism, ending on a cliffhanger leaving you wanting more.
My only regret is that I hadn’t read Sweetpea, the first instalment in Rhiannon’s story, but I shall definitely be borrowing a copy from my local library. I just want Skuse to hurry up and write the next novel, if there is one as I want to know what happens next!
I would like to thank HQ Stories for a copy of In Bloom and for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
C.J. SKUSE is the author of the Young Adult novels PRETTY BAD THINGS, ROCKOHOLIC and DEAD ROMANTIC (Chicken House), MONSTER and THE DEVIANTS (Mira Ink). She was born in 1980 in Weston-super-Mare, England. She has First Class degrees in Creative Writing and Writing for Children and, aside from writing novels lectures in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. C.J. first adult novel SWEETPEA for was published by HQ/HarperCollins in April 2017.
C.J. loves Masterchef, Gummy Bears and murder sites. She hates carnivals, hard-boiled eggs and coughing. The movies Titanic, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Ruby Sparks were all probably based on her ideas; she just didn’t get to write them down in time. Before she dies, she would like to go to Japan, try clay-pigeon shooting and have Ryan Gosling present her with the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.