The Rose Petal Beach: Book Review

What it says on the back:

‘I could kill them for what they’ve done to me’.

I said those words. And I meant them at the time. But what would you do, what would you say if your husband was accused of something terrible and the accuser is someone you trusted with your life?

That doesn’t mean I wanted this to happen. I didn’t want anyone to get hurt. And I didn’t want to be scared that every knock on the door is going to be the police, coming to take me away. What’s going to happen to my children? What’s going to happen to me?

My name is Tamia Challey and this is my story. 


As I eagerly accepted the book shaped parcel from the postman one morning and ripped open the packaging, I knew that great wonders lay beneath.

Dorothy Koomson outdoes herself each time and she definitely has provided her readers with a tension packed tale of love, lies and unforseeable twists in this emotional, heartbreaking tale. As you tentatively turn each page you will find yourself wanting to cry, smile, even hide behind a cushion all at the same time. The Rose Petal Beach is definitely the penultimate emotional  thriller which keeps you guessing until the very end.

A number of people have remarked on the pastel shades of books adorning my bookcase, querying how I can read such ‘chick lit’. I reply with the well founded come back that Dorothy Koomson is not chick lit (not that there is anything wrong with such books), Koomson has in fact created her own genre of emotional thrillers. The Rose Petal Beach for me also read like a crime/who done it, to the extent that it could easily hold its own among the Patricia Cornwell’s of the crime genre. The lesson here, is to never judge a book by its cover, no matter how beautiful and stunning it may be. I must mention here that the cover to Koomson’s latest work of art is in itself magnificent and my current favourite. Even when I wasn’t reading the book, I would want to stare at the cover and take in its mystery and beauty.

In my opinion, Rose Petal Beach is Dorothy’s most  confrontational and thought provoking and what I can only imagine as her most emotional demanding. There are a number of leading characters involved in the story each with their own agendas, I was amazed at how Koomson flawlessly adopts each persona, writing so powerfully from each perspective that you forget what you are actually reading is fiction. During her public engagements, Dorothy often states she gains her inspiration for her writing from real life stories from the news and newspapers. For this reason, she is so concerned with portraying the victims’ stories correctly that her research is so detailed that she steps into each character’s shoes and describes human nature so perfectly that I had to remind myself to breathe as I furiously read the story of the Rose Petal Beach with bated breath. She has provided justice to the victims of such crimes so successfully that you feel you can actually touch the reality. Koomson is so in touch with her characters that you actually hear them talking to you; they very quickly get into your head and you begin to understand them. You feel and empathise with the desperation in each character. As someone who has experienced an aspect of the story, Dorothy’s depiction is so close to reality it sent shivers through me. Koomson soon has you feeling the emotions right down to your bones. Rose Petal Beach definitely comes across as a labour of love on Dorothy’s part  – the fast pace of the story keeps the reader on their toes to the point that even when you are not reading it, you are thinking about it, longing to go back to it. I personally carried it around with me in the hope that I could steal five minutes alone to immerse myself once more in the story.

The Rose Petal Beach is ultimately a lesson in denial, in understanding yourself, in questioning what you would do in similar circumstances; putting your own coping mechanisms into perspective. Essentially it is a reminder that your past never leaves you but very often catches up with you in later life, highlighted by the back story with which Dorothy Koomson develops the legend of The Rose Petal Beach. It attests to the love is blind belief of many and proves that everyone is capable of both good and evil.

Throughout reading the book and in writing this review, I have tried my hardest to find negative aspects of the book and/or Koomson’s writing but have failed to do so. This story will stay with you long after the last word has been devoured.

Title image from 
Final image: my own 

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ruby slippers
    Sep 13, 2012 @ 21:51:58

    All I can say is I HAVE GOT TO GET MY HANDS ON A COPY!! I can’t wait to have that excited feeling one gets when you read a book and don’t want to put it down even though it’s 12:30 in the morning and your eyelids won’t stay open.

    By the way I like the photography in your blog too. Nice work! X x


  2. alphabetgames
    Sep 14, 2012 @ 15:45:17

    Thank you!

    If you are looking for a book that will have you fighting sleep – The Rose Petal Beach will definitely do the trick!! xx


  3. liz
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 08:52:09


    I do not understand the end couple of chapters. Was Tami having an affair with the police woman/murderer who in turn loved Mirabella. Sorry to be so stupid


    • alphabetgames
      Mar 24, 2013 @ 22:53:28

      Hi Liz,

      Your question is the reasons I adore Dorothy Koomson’s work, her books do not always have a ‘tidy’ ending, particularly her latest pieces. Dorothy herself remarks on The Rose Petal Beach as being the ‘malleability of the truth’. You can always read a little further into the story by downloading ‘Beside The Rose Petal Beach’ from her website at: Hope that answers your question, which was not stupid at all!


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