Review: ‘In Bloom’, by C.J. Skuse

Published By: HQ

Publication Date: 9th August 2018

Format: Paperback

I.S.B.N.: 9780008216726

Price: £7.99






Darkly comic crime sequel to Sweetpea, following girl-next-door serial killer Rhiannon as she’s now caught between the urge to kill and her unborn baby stopping her.

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 fiancé 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?

My Review

I got a digital ARC of this novel from Netgalley (I missed a chance to get a physical copy frm HQ *sulk*) in return for an honest review. 

As Rhiannon survives the months of her pregnancy and her fiance Craig wastes away in prison, she joins Elaine (her mother-in-law) at a church group called WOMBATs, makes a friend among the local pregnant women’s group, The Pudding Club, goes for check ups and scans, faces daily battles with the press, looks after the garden of one of Jim’s properties, and kills a couple of people, nothing major.

I loved it. No really, it’s great, just like C.J. Skuse’s first book.

As dark and macabre as the novel is, I laughed at terribly inappropriate things. I reviewed the author’s first book about Rhiannon Lewis and couldn’t wait to read this instalment.

I enjoyed the characterisation of Rhiannon and her in-laws, her attempts to make friends in the small coastal town Jim and Elaine call home, and the dialogue between Rhiannon and her foetus. Even though Rhiannon is a serial killer, I rooted for her to succeed. The writing is a rather brilliant example of first person. Her kill lists are genius. The humour comes from Rhiannon’s reactions to events and her inappropriate behaviour. Her observations of the hypocrisy of the people around her and their small minds. The relationship she has with her distant sister, Seren, and the doggedness of the detectives investigating Craig, add tension to the plot.

Just read it, even if you aren’t generally a crime fan.


Published by

R Cawkwell

Hi I'm Rosemarie and I like to write. I write short stories and longer fiction, poetry and occasionally articles. I'm working on quite a few things at the minute and wouldn't mind one day actually getting published in print.


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