Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE RED DOOR BY @rosafedeleart #weekendBlogHop

Today’s team review is from Babus, she blog at http://ajoobacatsblog.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Babus has been reading The Red Door by Rosa Fedele

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Set in Glebe, Sydney, The Red Door is a book of intrigue as we follow the owner of mansion, Rosalind, which has been converted into flats. The resident in number three is mysterious and keeps to himself, rarely allowing anyone into the flat. However, on the lease paperwork the name is Billah, the same as the victims of a double murder thirty years ago. This leads to much speculation about the man in number three, which slowly does unravel as our protagonist and her friends delve into old newspapers and speak to a retired police officer who was on the case.

Much of the book revolves around the life of the owner of Rosalind and her friends, which packs it with characters and more intrigue about them. You have Claudia, a young girl who hangs around and is often covered in bruises, Anne who is a popular character and links us to the rather unlikable Monique and a host of other characters. This is also one of the elements that made the book a little hard to read as there was just so much in addition to this central story about the unsolved murder of two teenagers years ago that I felt my attention wrenched away from one character and situation to another too many times.

Despite the fact my attention was diverted to so many characters, I really enjoyed this book and I became so invested in the characters I couldn’t put it down The last 60% was utterly gripping as we read the conclusive and loose ends to all the different stories and characters.

If this book had been better edited, so that the storyline was tighter and the narrative more linear, I think it would have possibly lost a bit of charm, however, it definitely could do with editing to make it easier to read and potentially a five star read.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT THE RED DOOR by @rosafedeleart #Mystery

Today’s second team review is from Bev, she blog at http://baspicer.blogspot.fr/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Bev has been reading The Red Door by Rosa Fedele.

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The main character in this dark mystery set in Australia is artist Maddie who has bought a mansion, ‘Rosalind’, letting out apartments to tenants. As she completes her renovations, she begins to have suspicions about the tenant in number three, who won’t let her in. This is all linked to some local murders that occurred in the 1950s. There are unanswered questions surrounding Maddie herself, too.
I really enjoyed The Red Door. The language is beautiful, especially in the first third of the book, which includes the kind of descriptive imagery that brings a setting alive – and the setting is unusual in that it centres around a period house in an Australian suburb of Sydney. Maddie buys ‘Rosalind’ as a renovation project and one by one we meet the people who either live nearby or come to work on the house. I found the observational style reminiscent of Henry James’ novels – fine detail and expertly written dialogue. We learn about the people who inhabit Maddie’s world from a variety of perspectives and yet Maddie herself remains rather a mystery until later (we don’t even learn her name until the end of the book).

 

The plot is intricate. We gradually discover the history of the house and its local environment. A history filled with disturbing tales of child abuse and murder. Maddie becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to two young girls whose bodies were found in a local park – I was riveted. The bringing together of the sub-plots is nothing short of miraculous.

 

If I had to say what detracted from my enjoyment it would be that the second third of the book seemed to lose pace a little. But in the final third, the action picked up with a vengeance and I stayed up far too late, reading until the words swam on the page!

 

There will be a sequel, apparently, and I very much look forward to reading it.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT THE RED DOOR by Rosa Fedele @rosafedeleart #wwwblogs

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry has been reading The Red Door by Rosa Fedele

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THE RED DOOR by Rosa Fedele

3.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as part of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

The main character in this dark mystery set in Australia is artist Maddie who has bought a mansion, ‘Rosalind’, letting out apartments to tenants. As she completes her renovations, she begins to have suspicions about the tenant in number three, who won’t let her in. This is all linked to some local murders that occurred in the 1950s. There are unanswered questions surrounding Maddie herself, too.

The book is illustrated by Ms Fedele, and these pictures are really lovely; I just wished my kindle was bigger so I could see them better. Honestly, they’re gorgeous. She’s a very good writer, too; her dialogue is realistic, sharp and often amusing (thank you for ‘blessed are the cheese makers!), with each character cleverly observed and clearly defined. I was immediately entertained by Maddie’s friends, unconventional Annie and bitchy, self-obsessed Monique, and tenant Mrs Hewitson; her dialogue was excellent. Maddie has a young friend, a schoolgirl called Claudia; there is intrigue surrounding her, and her apparently unpleasant family situation, from the beginning. There’s room for a secret love affair or two, as well…

Some of the writing is a real joy to read. The problem I had with the book is that it’s very disjointed, with new characters/situations/locations appearing every few pages. It switches between points of view without any introduction, as though the author had stuck in bits as she thought of them without any thought for structure. One minute I’d be reading from Maddie, in the first person, and then after just a tiny line of asterisks I’d find I was reading a third person conversation between Annie and Monique ABOUT Maddie, then it would be back to the main character in the first person talking to Jo about Monique and some other characters, then Birgitta would appear and talk about a lot of new people, and hang on, who are we with now? Oh, I see, it’s Claudia, in the third person, and some more names to remember…. if my eyes missed the tiny asterisks, as they did on occasion, I’d be left thinking, eh? What’s going on here?

Ms Fedele is clearly a very talented artist and writer; the plot’s clever, the writing is atmospheric, intelligent and sometimes quite beautiful—for this itself the book is worthy of 4.5 or 5*. The problem was that it was difficult to read, with such a confusing and jerky structure that I couldn’t enjoy it properly. If you can get past this it’s great, and the chopping and changing does lessen after the first third. It just needs planning out better and a really good edit to streamline and perhaps trim out some of the unnecessary information. Then, I think it would be the really terrific book it deserves to be.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com