‘Rhiannon’s back and killing for two’
In Bloom, by C J Skuse, is the second instalment in the SWEETPEA series. The first novel, Sweetpea, introduced Rhiannon Lewis, a 27-year-old female serial killer like no other you’ve read about before. She is the average girl next door, except that she has a murderous trait and hates EVERYBODY!
Rhiannon is back. Her cheating fiancé is locked up, successfully framed for her depraved killing spree. Her ex-lover is chopped up and buried, hidden where no one will ever find him. And she is pregnant! She should be happy, but a small voice from the life growing inside her is trying to put a stop to her favourite pastime – MURDER!
In Bloom continues the story from where Sweetpea left off with the gruesome murder and disposal of Rhiannon’s (aka Sweetpea) latest victim.
She has successfully convinced the world, and more importantly the police, that Craig committed a series of murders that she is responsible for. Still writing in her diary and compiling her kill lists, she is free to kill again but her unborn baby is voicing its objections and stopping her.
She has moved in with Craig’s parents, and pregnancy is doing nothing to improve her love of killing but the baby is slowing her down, although not entirely!
Overall, whilst In Bloom is a continuation of Sweetpea, it is slightly different as there isn’t the same amount of murder involved, but she does bump off some of her kill list and in spectacular style. You really do need to have read Sweetpea to understand a lot of what happens in this book.
Sweetpea was a shock and gore-fest, whilst In Bloom reveals more of Rhiannon’s backstory and mental state, she even makes a real friend. In Bloom has with the same type of crude, shocking, sick and twisted horror littered with dark comic humour and is just as riveting to read.
With less murder than the previous novel, it is not as fast-paced or intense, but the story is good and written well. After all, pregnancy has slowed her down to a point and C J Skuse seems to have gotten the balance right.
The character of Rhiannon is chilling, absurd, but fantastic and one that I love. Her character is written so well that it is her bringing the story along rather than the killings. She is still as deranged and depraved as before, just not as anti-social. Rhiannon is definitely not for the squeamish or for anyone that gets offended easily. A true psychopath.
Rhiannon is an excellent character and one that I can’t wait to read more of. I am really looking forward to the TV series in the pipeline.
Sweetpea was unique and original. In Bloom continues in the same vein without the same uniqueness as I experienced in the first novel. Sweetpea, for me, was the better of the two books but In Bloom is very close. A very consuming read that still has to be worthy of 5 stars.
RRP: £7.99 (Paperback) / £3.49 (Kindle)