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Dead Flowers

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  48 reviews

She doesn’t trust the police. She used to be one of them.

Hardened by ten years on the murder squad, DNA analyst Doctor Sian Love has seen it all. So when she finds human remains in the basement of her new home, she knows the drill.

Except this time it’s different. This time, it’s personal...

A page-turning cold case investigation, Dead Flowers is an intriguing, multi-

Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2020 by Verve Books
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  90 ratings  ·  48 reviews

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Nicola Monaghan's Dead Flowers is a marvellous crime novel, revolving around a cold case that goes back 40 years in the past, with a narrative that goes back and forth in time. Set in Nottingham, Dr Sian Love is 46 years old, a DNA analyst, once a high flying DCI on the murder squad, having quit after being disillusioned about the corruption, sexism and racism in the police. Sian has inherited the Loggerheads pub from her Uncle Rob, and is moving in with her ex-police alsation, Elvis, a cadaver ...more
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, crime, mystery
Dead Flowers is an accomplished crime mystery with a central character that sets a unique course for a plot and disturbing family secrets. The story is told in two alternating time threads between the early 1970s and 2017. The attention to historic detail in the settings is very well captured and gives it a nostalgic dimension without trying too hard and overwhelming the story.

Dr Sian Love is a forensic scientist, having previously worked as a DCI with the Nottingham police, which she re
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*4.5* Stars. This is a gripping, multi-layered mystery involving murder, family secrets, tragedy and a search for one’s identity. A feeling of menace permeates throughout. The author seamlessly blends the story of an aspiring rock band in the early 1970s into a present-time search for the truth. There is a vivid sense of time and place established by old familiar song titles, and dialogue containing regional colloquialisms.

In the past timeline, we meet a rock band, The Midnight Roses, performi
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think this is probably one of the best crime novels I’ve read this year. The central character is ex DCI now Dr Sian Love who inherits an old pub The Loggerheads in Nottingham from her uncle Rob. She makes a grizzly discovery there and what follows is a twisty, rollercoaster of a read as Sian tries to establish the truth about what she’s found and about herself. The storyline goes backwards and forwards fluidly from October 1967 to 2017 at no point did the different time frames feel anything o ...more
Although I am not familiar with the author, I am a huge fan of British crime thrillers, and I always gravitate in their general direction. I'm not sure what it is but British crime thrillers and/or mysteries are just so much better and hugely intriguing. Maybe it's the setting, the history, the characters - I don't know. But if it's British, chances are I'm going to read it!

So without knowing anything about or by the author I wasn't sure what to expect when beginning DEAD FLOWERS...but what I go
Aug 03, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: books-i-wrote
So, I won't rate this book since I wrote it and might be slightly biased! This is my latest novel, published by the very brilliant people at Verve. It's out on 5th September 2019. The main character, Sian Love, is one of my own favourites of those I've created. She has a lot going on - I won't spoiler the book for you by saying what - but she certainly has her own challenges to face.

An ex police officer, she now works as a forensics analyst. She also has a hero German Shepherd called Elvis who
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This got steadily better - 4.5 for sure.

In full
I loved the 1967 opening chapter of this book. It had humour, darkness and interesting characters - good start. From this point we come right up to date (2017) and meet Sian Love, ex DCI and now a Doctor specialising in DNA analysis. She is moving into her uncle's old pub (which features in the opening chapter). It was left to her in his will which surprised the family. The setting (and some of the language) is Nottingham which gave it a Northern bi
Like the author’s debut novel The Killing Jar, Dead Flowers is set in Nottingham, predominantly in a pub called the Loggerheads. The realistic detail about locations in the city and its environs, and the use of local dialect and figures of speech give the book a real sense of place. Alternating between events in the 1970s and the present day, the discovery of human remains in the cellar of the pub that ex-police officer and DNA expert, Sian Love, has inherited from her uncle, is the starting poi ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a great crime story with a dual timeline centred around The Loggerheads pub in Nottingham in the 1970's and in 2017.
The main character, Sian is an ex-police officer who inherits the pub and unearths two bodies in the cellar.
Who are they and how do they relate to her and her family?
It's an enticing combination of murder mystery and family drama.

It took me a while to warm to Sian as she has had a lot of problems and is very rebellious because of it...but once I stopped shouting at her for
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Well, this one was not bad. It was quite entertaining. Not badly written but I didn’t feel the thrill. The writing is very simple and easy to follow. Interesting characters and good story line. The chapters are short, which makes this book a fast read. Unfortunately it is forgettable. But I would read the other books by this author.
Robert Intriago
Sep 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, 2019
A very clever plot involving DNA investigation of cold cases. Dr. Sian Love, a former forensic police investigator, inherits an old pub from her uncle. While moving in she discovers two bodies in a walled room in part of the basement. She decides to investigate on her own by taking some DNA samples since she does not trust the police. The plot alternates between the present day events and those from the original events that led to the two bodies being deposited in the basement.

The story flows we
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an interesting read. A proper whodunit, loads of suspects and more twists and turns than a very twisty corkscrew. Full of humour and loved the central characters. I read this book in one sitting and finally turned the last page at I am a very happy reader, I have found another new author and will definitely be looking out for more of her work. An easy four stars and recommended.
I would like to thank the author, Verve Books and Netgalley for the ARC in return for giving an honest r
Bill Kupersmith
Since her debut novel The Killing Jar Nicola Monaghan has been exploring a variety of genres, including supernatural fiction as Niki Valentine. With Dead Flowers she returns to her home setting, Nottingham, with a murder mystery with a two-track time frame set in an old and now closed pub, the Loggerheads. (It was a real pub, dating from the 18th century.) In the 1970s it had a thriving working-class trade. In the novel, it has been inherited from her uncle by Sian, a former police detective and ...more
Once a copper, always a copper! Sian Love may have left the murder squad and carved herself a new career in DNA analysis but her investigative instinct is still going strong!

When I picked up Dead Flowers, I didn’t realise it was set in Nottingham, the city of my birth and early years. I love Nottingham almost as much as I love my home city of Leeds. I spent many Saturdays shopping in this fabulous city so a lot of the street names were familiar to me even if the specific locations weren’t. This
CJ Eve
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favourite book of 2019!!

I devoid this book I honestly couldn't put it down, it had me gripped until the end, an easy five stars.

Dr Sian Love a DNA analysis (former DCI) uncovers human remains in the cellar of her Uncles pub which she has recently inherited, which has her asking questions how well did she really know her Uncle or her family come to that??

Not trusting of her former 'corrupt' colleagues she decides to take matters into her own hands by starting her own investigation, never ima
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting read. I like that the main character is slightly flawed, makes her different from other books I have read. Good storyline as she unpacks what she has discovered. Look forward to a follow on
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great crime read which is interwoven with malice and dark, edgy violence. The historical setting is wonderful and is so well-captured and portrayed by Nicola Monaghan. The concept, the narrative and the plot were all very cleverly layered with dark secrets and timely twists to make this a wonderfully gripping read. Atmospheric throughout, the multi-layered story moves seamlessly between past and present, emanating a perfect level of suspense and tension.

I cannot say I was particularly fond of
Julia Henderson
horoughly enjoyed it!! I really loved the two timelines. Not the same era but the back story was reminiscent of reading Sillitoe’s Saturday Night, Sunday Morning and the atmosphere of bygone days. A real charm. My inner detective enjoyed piecing together events and links between past and present! As a previous Nottingham resident, I loved the descriptions of the surroundings and could easily visualise the story as it unfolded. Enough clues to keep you on your toes but no so many that you predict ...more
Jacqueline Allan
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an arc copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

I enjoyed this thriller which is not my usual genre. I felt it was fast-paced and I read it in one go! Highly recommend.
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Hard to follow.
Susan Leonard
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it
This is exactly the sort of murder mystery I like. The story alternates between events in the 1970s leading up to the murder and the present-day: finding the bodies and investigation. I really enjoyed the parts of the book set in the 1970s, some great convincing characters and storyline. Disappointingly I found the present-day story and characters much less convincing, particularly the lead character Dr Sian Love. Perhaps that's because I had made an early assumption of her being late 20s/early ...more
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Verve Books and NetGalley for the advanced copy of this book.

This was my first Nicola Monaghan novel and I hope it won't be my last and there will be more in the series.

Very well written, good characters and very cleverly done. There was more procedure than in your usual crime novel but I liked this.

Very highly recommended
Nicola Royan
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Gripping enough to keep reading, definitely feels like a series book, amusing to have it based in Notts, not quite convinced by the UoN episode.
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A new to me author, and very good. Dark family secrets, and an engaging heroine. Highly recommended.
Eleanor Hemsley
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly enjoyable read. As someone who lives in Nottingham I enjoyed picturing the various locations in the book, although I'm sure anyone who doesn't live here would also enjoy it! The story itself was a great read, with flashes to the past fleshing out the modern day crime scene. I enjoyed piecing together bits of information as I read the book, trying to figure out what had happened before it was revealed. The way it's written is different to most crime books I've read, but it works and ...more
Charlotte Bennett
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reading half the book I thought it wouldn’t be any good. However after getting halfway twists and turns started to arrive which made the book more gripping. However towards the end became more predictable but still was a nice quick book to read.
Jacob Collins
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Dead Flowers by Nicola Monaghan was such an intriguing read. Steeped in family secrets, this is a book that will keep you on your toes.

We are introduced to forensic scientist, Dr Sian Love who has just inherited a property, an old pub from her uncle once known as The Loggerheads in Newark. But within a short time after moving into her new home, Sian makes an unsettling discovery in the basement. Two skeletal remains have been abandoned there many years before. But after Sian and her partner, Kri
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-x, xx
WoW.........Double WoW...................I just Loved Dead Flowers by Nicola Monaghan. What a fantastic read this was. It's full of Suspects and Lots of twists and turns throughout. I loved all the characters and was hooked from the very first few pages and before I knew it.........the birds were singing out side and the world around me waking up.

This book has been written in dual times one in 1967 and the other in 2017 linking the past to the present time, which made this book very interesting
Shaun Nightshade
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
British crime books set in regional England. Scotland and Wales are fast becoming one of my favourite genres. This year has been an especially good crop for me. Books by Elly Griffiths, Peter James and MW Craven show how strong the field is. Each has it’s own twist, something to raise it above the ordinary. In Dead Flowers case it’s the protagonist is a forensic scientist who left the police and inherits a pub in the back streets of Nottingham.

Not knowing the author or the city of Nottingham I s
Jacqueline  sharp
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you like a good crime story this is one for you. A very well written tense, atmospheric novel. Told through two timelines but being brought together filling in all the answers at the end with a new twist just when you least expected it.

Sian Love is a 46 year old DNA analyst, she was a DI in the police force until she was disillusioned by the corruption, sexism and racism which made her quit. She has just inherited a pub called ‘the Loggerheads’ which comes as a surprise to her and her family.
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Nicola Monaghan won a Betty Trask Award, the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award and the Waverton Good Read for her first novel, The Killing Jar. Her latest book is The Troll: The Boy with the Sliver of Ice in his Heart and is the first in a trilogy. She also wrote The Night Lingers and other stories, Starfishing and The Okinawa Dragon and has been published widely in newspapers, magazines and an ...more

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