Roused by a single drop of blood on the bedsheet, Rosie Daniels wakes from fourteen years of a nightmare marriage and suddenly takes flight. She uses her husband's ATM card to buy a bus ticket, determined to lose herself in a place where Norman won't find her. She'll worry about all the rest later.
Alone in a strange city, she begins to make a new life, and good things start to happen. Meeting Bill Steiner is one; and finding a junk-shop painting is another. It may be bad art but it's perfect for her new apartment-and somehow, it seems to want her as much as she wants it.
Still, it's hard for Rosie not to keep looking over her shoulder, and with good reason. Her husband is a cop, with the instincts of a predator. He's very good at finding people. The fact that he's losing his mind might even be an advantage.
Rose-maddened and on the rampage, Norman Daniels becomes a force of relentless terror and savageness, a man almost mythic in his monstrosity. For Rosie to survive, for her to have a chance in her brave new world, she must enter her own myth--a world that lies beyond the surface of a work of art-and become a woman she never knew she could be: Rose Madder.
About the Author
Few authors have tapped into our secret fears as adeptly as Stephen King, Master of the Macabre and one of the most widely read novelists writing today. With his trademark blend of fantasy, horror, and psychological suspense, this prolific and immensely popular contemporary writer continues to remind us that evil is still a potent force in the world.
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New York Times - Christopher Lehmann-Haupt
Rose Madder is rarely dull. It builds to a vivid climax. . . . In Rose Madder Mr. King has a rousing story when he needs one and when he doesn't.
Relentlessly paced and brilliantly orchestrated, this cat-and-mouse game of a novel is one of King's most engrossing and topical horror stories. At the center of the action is heroine Rose McClendon, a battered wife who starts life anew by leaving her police officer husband, a consummately cruel man depicted by King as a paragon of evil. Crowded with character and incident, the novel builds to a nearly apocalyptic conclusion that combines the best of King's long novels -- the breadth of vision of The Stand, for example -- with the focused plot and careful psychological portraiture of Dolores Claiborne. The story of Rose's joyous growth from tortured wife (her persecution gruesomely but realistically portrayed) to independent woman alternates with the terrifying details of her husband's deliberate pursuit to create unflagging tension. The book is a phantasmagorical roller-coaster ride, peopled by a broad array of indelibly characterized men and women and fueled by an air of danger that is immediate and overwhelming.
School Library Journal
YA -- King moves from supernaturally frightful subjects into the real world of terror. This heroine has been systematically abused (mentally, physically, and sexually) for 14 years of marriage. As the book begins, Rose is finally escaping her husband, a truly psychotic cop, and is starting a new life in another city. The suspense comes from wondering when he will finally catch up with her and talk to her ``up real close,'' his verbal prelude to physical punishment for every perceived wrongdoing. The book is full of graphic language and acts and may be all too real for some YAs. But those readers who have enjoyed King's past books will not be disappointed by this one. Though he doesn't frighten, he does create tension in the chase, demonstrating just how mad this husband is. As the final conflict occurs, though, the author emphasizes the strength one can find in oneself by having Rose (with the aid of a painting that comes to life) vanquish Norman herself. Unfortunately, very few victims of abuse in today's world have access to supernatural paintings.
One gift that distinguishes King from other horror writers is his knack for and dedication to creating convincing female protagonists who are more than stock damsels in distress, like feisty Dolores Claiborne in the novel, arguably King's best, that bears her name, or this book's Rose McClendon Daniels. Rose is the abused wife of sadistic cop Norman Daniels. We meet her in a typical King grab-'em-and-shock-'em prologue, just as she's beginning to suffer a miscarriage brought on by Norman's latest beating. The main action begins when Rose finally walks out of the 14-year hell of her marriage. Dazed and ignorant of the regular world, she finds a battered women's shelter 800 miles from home, starts an independent life, and even meets a decent man, a pawn shop operator from whom she buys a strange painting. Of course, Norman, gone -- as a King character might say -- round the bend and ballistic, is tracking her down, maiming and murdering every informer and obstructor he can along the way. The expected bloody showdown climaxes the yarn, but not until King invokes the supernatural -- the painting, of course, and its inhabitant, whom Rose dubs "Rose Madder" to help his heroine. This time, the tactic seems strained and unnecessary; Dolores Claiborne needed only a dash of the uncanny to get out of her predicament, and Rose McClendon, bolstered by her shelter cohort, seems equal to Norman without the assistance of weird artwork. That judgment, however, is something with which King's millions of readers will want to concur or dissent after their own reading.
?Riveting, engrossing, packed with suspense.?
?A boiling hot shocker.?
?"Cleveland Plain Dealer"
Number Of Pages: 480
Published: 1st June 1996
Dimensions (cm): 18.0 x 11.0 x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.231