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Flower Girls

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  547 ratings  ·  253 reviews
YOU'LL NEVER FORGET THE FLOWER GIRLS

The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose.

One convicted of murder, the other given a new identity.

Now, nineteen years later, another child has gone missing.

And The Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines all over again...
Paperback, UK, 352 pages
Published January 24th 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  547 ratings  ·  253 reviews


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Paromjit
Alice Clark-Platt's nightmarish and chilling psychological thriller brings back memories of the notoriously unforgettable 1993 murder of toddler Jamie Bulger by two boys. Here we have the character driven disturbingly unsettling story of 10 year old Laurel and her sister, 6 year old Primrose aka Rosie, who abduct, torture and kill 2 year old Kirstie Swann in 1997. The girls became tabloid and media fodder, becoming the infamous Flower Girls. Laurel is convicted and imprisoned, but Rosie is deeme ...more
Louise Wilson
Dec 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1997, two little girls (sisters) aged 10 & 6 abducted and killed a two year old toddler. The older girl was charged with the crime but younger one got a new identity. The younger sister (Rosie) went on to lead a normal life. 19 years later, another young girl does missing at the hotel where Rosie was staying. The Flower Girls are about to hit the headlines again!

This is quite an uncomfortable book to read. It is indeed a twisted tale. The murder of the two year old girl read a lot like wh
...more
Mark
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

2 Sisters go out to play, while they are out they abduct and murder a baby!
The 2 sisters Laurel and Primose are caught, one is charged and is put away for life, one is too young to be prosecuted and so has her name changed ( and her parents ) and her life is led in secret
19 years on a little girl goes missing at the hotel her and her fiancé are staying at....of course the truth of who she is comes out....but is she involved in this crime?....she then decides to go and visit her Sister in prison
...more
Carolyn
Laurel and Primrose (Rosie) Bowman became known as the "flower girls" after they abducted and killed a toddler in the 1990s. Laurel, aged 10 was tried as an adult and found guilty of murder but Rosie, only 6 years old was considered too young to charge and was instead given a new identity as Hazel Archer. She and her parents move away and have no further contact with Laurel. Twenty years later Laurel has been trying to get parole but is being blocked by the dead toddler's family who feel she sho ...more
Liz Barnsley
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read The Flower Girls in one sitting- utterly compelling and a real page turner.
It’s not a new story – children committing horrific crime then years later the consequences of their actions still resonate- but Alice Clark-Platts tells it so well, with an underlying and unsettling sense of emotion that gets under your skin.
This is a purely character driven drama, two sisters, one in prison, one who was too young to be brought to account and assumed to have been lead by her evil sibling. Now anot
...more
Nadia
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an intense and very disturbing read and I'm still processing how I feel about it.

In 1997, two little sisters aged 10 and 6 abducted and killed a two year old toddler. The older sister has been charged with the crime but the younger one, Rosie, was given a new identity and lived a happy life until another little girl goes missing at a hotel where Rosie is staying.

Reading about the abduction of a young child will probably make everyone feel quite uncomfortable. That's how I felt throughou
...more
Bex (Beckie Bookworm)
Sophie_flower

So this was such a chillingly interesting premise and almost from the onset here because of the delicate and disturbing subject matter we are being exposed to I felt an almost deep sense of unease and dread down to my very bones.
This really wasn't an easy subject to take on board and digest: but it was one I really wanted to tackle just because of the discomforting content and unpleasant questions this poses when dealing with the actions of children and their culpability when committing such hor
...more
Nicki
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh,Wow,just Wow. There isn't enough superlatives in the English language to describe how much I loved this book.It's the mesmerising,thought-provoking,chilling story of two sisters Laurel (10) and Primrose (Rosie) (6) who tortured and murdered two year old Kirstie Swann on a warm summer's day in 1997. Dubbed The Flower Girls by the press,Laurel was convicted whilst Rosie who due to her young age couldn't be held accountable was given a new identity and a new life.

On New Years Eve,nineteen years
...more
Mandy White
I loved this book, so different from other books that I have been reading recently. I read this over 10 days with Pigeonhole Books and at times I just wanted to keep reading to know what was going to happen next.

The story of 2 sisters Laurel and Rosie. Laurel is convicted of the murder of 2 year old Kristie and sent to jail. Rosie is too young and is given a new identity and a new life. 19 years later her real identity is revealed .
Julie Parks
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
It's true. You'll never forget THE FLOWER GIRLS.
This book is bound to stay in your memory for a long time. It's emotional and provocative, and it makes you question things you would otherwise choose not to because they're not the kind of questions that have good, satisfactory answers anyway. Sometimes it's just life. Or a good story.

This book is absolutely perfect for thriller fans who prefer a solid plot to a PR hype. It's a guessing game with a proper, and yet shocking, ending.

Thank you NetGal
...more
Lou
Jan 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Flower Girls, Alice Clark-Platts debut thriller is both emotional and chilling due to the thought-provoking and complex plot. It reminded me right away of the James Bulger case, and as if the horror of finding a murdered child isn't enough the brutal, merciless killers are children themselves. Just like the Bulger case, this story brings a lot of emotion to the surface as we struggle to decipher why these children would carry out such an incident and how much culpability do they have for the ...more
Amanda
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I was so engrossed with this book that I devoured it in one sitting. This was chilling as this could have been a true story. Unfortunately children murdering another child has happened in real life!!

When the flower girls Rosie and Laurel were aged 6 and 10, they were playing in the park and take a toddler called Kirstie down to the canal, where they commit a heinous crime.

One sister goes to prison whilst the other one is given a new identity. Hazel is staying at a seaside hotel with her partner
...more
Becca
This is the story of the Flower Girls. Two sisters, who back in 1997, were involved in a truly horrific crime - the torture and murder of a two year old girl. What makes this even more despicable, if possible, is the ages of the sisters. Laurel was ten when the crime was committed and Rosie was just six yeas old.

Laurel was sent to a children's 'prison' until she reached eighteen, then she was transferred to an adult prison, where ten years later, she remains. Rosie was considered too young to be
...more
Roman Clodia
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 3rd Clark-Platts book I've read and she's consistently turned in books with more substance and intelligence than we sometimes find in this genre. That said, the obligatory twist here is one we've surely all seen before in a myriad other psychological thrillers, and the over-egged final scene is so campily OTT that I found myself giggling...

Nevertheless, important issues of punishment, reparation and justice are treated sensitively especially via the character of Joanna, a legal lobby
...more
Suzanne
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review to follow
michelle
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 1997 sisters Lauren 10 and Primrose 6 abducted and killed a 2-year-old Kirsten Swann. Only Lauren was arrested for her murder, as they thought Primrose was too young to be convicted. Present day Lauren is still in prison for the crime, and Primrose has a new identity and a new life. Her name is now Hazel.
Nineteen years later, Hazel (Primrose) is celebrating the New year in a hotel off the Devon coast, with her boyfriend Johnny. When 5-year-old Georgie goes missing. When the police arrive, the
...more
The Cats Mother
This is a harrowing and thought provoking novel, presumably inspired by the notorious murder of two year old James Bulger by two young boys, in 1993. That was the year I finished uni and started work, so I was studying and then working all hours, and barely watched any TV, but even in those days before instant and 24 hour news, I remember the saturation coverage and the tabloids’ fascination with the killers, which continues to this day, so while the premise seems at first unbelievable, on refle ...more
Bill Kupersmith
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: me-emma
If you like delicious meals made from off-the-shelf ingredients, you should enjoy Alice Clark-Platts’ The Flower Girls. What happens after underage murderers are released has been the basis of numerous thrillers: my favourites of all are Alex Marwood’s The Wicked Girls and Elizabeth Little’s Dear Daughter. Here two decades ago two sisters, Laurel and Primrose (hence the title), aged 10 and 6, were charged with the torture killing of the little 2-year-old Kirstie. Laurel was tried and convicted, ...more
Sheri
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The Flower Girls is a dark, disturbing and really rather haunting story.

Nearly twenty years ago, the brutal murder of two-year-old Kirstie Swann shocked the nation, not least because the apparent perpetrators, Laurel and Rosie Bowman, were just ten and six years old. Laurel, above the age of criminal responsibility, is tried and convicted of murder, and has remained in custody ever since; her sister, too young to stand trial, moves away with her parents and a new identity. Still, the public hav
...more
Adele Shea
I hate to say this but the book has really disappointed me. It took me a while to get into it as I felt the beginning a bit messy but once I got into it I liked it.
What was the ending all about? I feel let down with such an abrupt ending. It feels unfinished somehow.
Latkins
Sep 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a gripping, if deeply disturbing thriller about two sisters who were arrested when they were ten and six for murdering a toddler, Kirstie, in 1997. Called Laurel and Primrose, or Rosie, they were dubbed 'the flower girls'. 19 years on, Laurel is still in prison, having been convicted of the murder, whereas Rosie, along with her parents, was given a new identity and is called Hazel. Laurel has always claimed that that Kirstie's death was accidental, and Rosie/Hazel has always claimed that ...more
Rachel Hall
Following two police procedurals Alice Clark-Platts’ third novel tackles the ever fascinating topic of children that kill and explores some of the most contentious issues surrounding crime and justice. From the familiar nurture/nature debate on the origin of evil to prison tariffs, deciding when a criminal has paid their dues right through to the influence of the media, the novel is full of food for thought. Despite feeling heavily dramatised from the off the story gets off to a promising start ...more
gem
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating study on whether or not a person can ever truly change and become rehabilitated...

This story will immediately bring to mind the Jamie Bulger case which shocked and horrified the nation and to this day continues to do so.

Laurel was 10 and Rosie was 6 when toddler Katie was killed. Laurel was sent to young offenders and then prison, whilst Rosie and her parents received new identity’s and seemingly abandoned Laurel.
Only Tony, her uncle, remains in constant contact and acts in her def
...more
Tracy Fenton
The Flower Girls just didn’t work for me. Having read several other books with a similar theme, I was excited to read this book as the description and blurb was intriguing and interesting.

Unfortunately after the prologue which was, imo, enticing and uncomfortable the book then left me cold. I was unable to connect with any of the characters, which meant I stopped caring about who, why, when and how.

At just over halfway through my kindle told me I had 1 hour 30 left in the book, so I continued on
...more
Oliver Clarke
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review first appeared on CriminOlly.wordpress.com. I received a free copy of the book in return for a review.

‘The Flower Girls’ is a twisted, twisting mystery that kept me guessing right up to the last page. It’s also a thoughtful, challenging and shocking examination of an emotive subject that avoids easy answers and is all the more powerful for it.
The setup is simple but Alice Clark-Platts does a lot with it. In the late 1990s two young sisters, Laurel (10) and Primrose (6) are accused o
...more
Susan Hampson
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The opening chapters in this book are enough to make any mother break out in a cold sweat. The first chapter way back in 1997 is when two sisters Laurel 10 and Primrose/Rosie 6 entice a toddler from the park down an old canal path where the little girl would be found brutally murdered later in the day. In court the sisters were dubbed The Flower Girls. Laurel stood trial for murder while her sister and mum and dad were given new identities and moved far away. Rosie was deemed to be too young to ...more
Gram
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the summer of 1997, two sisters - 10 year old Laurel and 6 year old Primrose (nicknamed Rosie) were arrested for the torture and murder of 2 year old Kirstie Swann. The British media labelled them "The Flower Girls", but only Laurel was convicted and sent to prison. Due to Rosie's young age, she couldn't be charged with any crime. Instead, she and her parents were given new identities and they moved away to a new home. Rosie's new name is Hazel.

19 years later and Hazel is with her boyfriend
...more
Laura
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was quite disappointed with this one, if I am being honest.

The story itself did not seem to flow very naturally, a lot of characters were added that did not really add much to the story.
The main whodunnit I figured out pretty early on, but there was no real motive given. I would have loved if the author would have gone a little more in depth into this, since it might have explained more about the story.

The final little twist was again an anti climax and very predictable. It is a shame since I
...more
Thebooktrail
Aug 15, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A bit uncomfortable reading this. It mentions a lot of real life child murder cases and is about two girls who are arrested for the murder of a toddler. Jamie Bulger came to mind and this and other cases are referenced throughout. The ending is also very uncomfortable and well, this just wasn't for me as it gets into the heads of those suspected and those who were there on the day.
Denise
"...the law has nothing to do with the truth."

In 1997, two young girls -- 10-year-old Laurel and 6-year-old Primrose (Rosie) -- are accused of abducting and killing a toddler in a gully near a canal by their back garden. Because of her young age, Rosie is not subject to trial but Laurel (referred to during the proceedings as "Child X") is convicted and sent to a detention center. After the court case, her identity was revealed to the public and Laural and Primrose were labeled with the Flower Gi
...more
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I am a former human rights lawyer who used to work for the UK Government. As a litigator, I worked on cases involving Winnie Mandela and the rapper Snoop Dogg. I loved my job but then we re-located to the tropics and now I live in wonderful Singapore.

I also write short stories which have been published in in various anthologies. And when I’m not writing, I’m running The Singapore Writers’ Group wh
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