I came across this book at the bookshop while looking for Christmas presents for my husband. He was with me at the time and saw my reaction when I read the synopsis on the back. Cooking and murder and secrets! So much that interested me. The Flavours of Love tells the story of Saffron Mackleroy and her family after the murder of her husband 18 months earlier. The killer of her husband has started sending letters to Saffron to make her aware that she is being watched. And on top of all that, she has all the usual family drama to deal with. Her teenage daughter has some very confronting issues to deal with, the younger son is withdrawing from life, her husband’s aunt has been asked to leave her nursing home. This story is more than just about trying to solve a murder; it’s about how to survive life.
Dorothy Koomson’s writing was very compelling. I was mesmerized from the first chapter and at the end of the night, I had to force myself to put the book down to get some sleep, as I knew I wouldn’t ever find a place I would willingly stop. It was so great to get to Friday night and know I could stay up as late as I wanted and power through the last half of the book. It was after 4am when I got to bed, knowing the family was safe again after Joel’s killer had been caught.
This book could have easily just focused on the murder aspect, but it incorporated so many other things. It gave me so much to reflect upon about my own relationships and how I might cope in a similar circumstance but I hope I never have to find out. Losing the love of your life would be devastating, but then you have to send the kids back to school, return to work, keep paying bills. Life goes on and doesn’t slow down when tragedy strikes. And there are all those little things, the little neuroses that your spouse would be able to talk you through, and to suddenly lose that voice of reason and do things you might not have done in the past. So many little things that we take for granted in the normality of our lives.
I loved learning about the love that Saffron and Joel shared with little flashback scenes to their life together, while they were dating and married. There is so much magic in this book amongst all the tragedy and drama that is revealed between the pages. I wasn’t really sure of the genre to class this book as when I started it, but wanted to include it in my Literary Exploration Challenge. I eventually settled on Thriller, because I certainly felt thrilled all the way through it as all the secrets were unraveled.
I don’t think I’d ever heard of Dorothy Koomson before, but she is now firmly planted on my radar and I will be hunting down her other books to read.