Robin Tales, $0.99
Bailey Evanswood’s mother was killed when the poor woman was hit by Eve Bowers’s car. Eve has a history of seeing the people around her meet tragic, mysterious, possibly sinister deaths, and she shows up at the funeral to whisper to Bailey that a “she” made Eve hit Bailey’s mother. Time eventually passes, but Bailey remains intrigued by this “she”. So, when opportunity arises, she befriends Eve, only to discover that the older woman still goes on as if her daughter, Rose, is still alive. Rose has been dead for twelve years now, apparently killed by Eve herself. So what is going on? Roses Are Dead… Rose is dead, right? Naturally, she soon discovers that there are more than meets the eye.
This kind of ghost story isn’t anything new, but for a while, I thought the author totally gets it. Bailey’s feelings during her mother’s funeral and its aftermath feel real, raw even. Sure, my copy has some dodgy use of punctuation, but I can overlook that if the story grips me by the heart and doesn’t let go.
Unfortunately, things fall flat when the author lets the heroine find things out too easily – Bailey practically guesses correctly here – and the denouement feels very rushed and hence unsatisfying after all that slow, leisurely build-up.
Roses Are Dead is a pretty short read, so yes, there’s nothing much else to say about it. It’s not too bad, at least until I reach the end and realize that, hey, the payoff could have been better. So much better. The whole thing feels undercooked – I can’t really recommend it for any reason other than it’s pretty cheap.