Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
The king of suspense delivers the story of a woman on the run from her husband, a vicious cop who will stop at nothing to find her. With the 1.75 million-copy first printing, plenty of books will be available for the on-sale date of June 26. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
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 novelsthe breadth of vision of The Stand, for examplewith 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. 1.75 million first printing; BOMC main selection; simultaneous Penguin Audio; paperback sale to Signet. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
YAKing 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.William Byrd, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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 Madderto 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. (Reviewed Apr. 15, 1995)0670858692Ray Olson
Kirkus Book Review
King's 30th novel (Insomnia, 1994, etc.) gets off to a careful, grand start but quickly turns to a half-pound of story to five pounds of stuffing, or tedium triumphant. Still, this one may find King hitting the ball not just out of the park but around the globe. After 14 years of marriage to biter and wife-beater Detective Norman Daniels, Rose McLendon Daniels steals her husband's ATM card and runs off to another city. But Daniels's job is finding people, and as a biter he's even more bent than the wife-beating police-chief in Nelson DeMille's Spencerville; like his, Daniels's verbal rage allows no range to monolithic villainy. In a far-away hockshop, Rose trades her engagement ring for a mystery-ridden painting of a woman in a crimson (rose-madder) chiton with her back to the viewer (one thinks of Wyeth's Christina's World), which she hangs in a new apartment found for her by the Daughters and Sisters, a battered women's group. She also falls for softspoken Bill Steiner, the shop's young pawn-dealer, who courts her on his motorcycle and opens her to new worlds. Rose also finds new worlds as a Liz Taylor-sound-alike reader for audiobooks, and in her painting, which magically allows her to enter its dense detail. We follow Daniels's course as he unearths clue after clue and bites several straw figures to death in warm-ups for his first big bite out of Rose. When it comes, Rose discovers that an armlet worn by the figure of Rose Madder in the painting has given her left arm the strength of Wonder Woman. Even so, she and Bill race through moonlight into the painting, while Daniels, as enraged as a bull, chases after them.... Magic against wife-beating--sounds attractive? But as events thin out, what's left are pages and pages of dull, falsely pitched lowbrow dialogue, abuse, biting, symbolic fantasy, and feminist tub-thumping. Overwhelmingly uninventive--and if Liz Taylor does the audiobook, believe in miracles. (First printing of 1,750,000; Book- of-the-Month Club main selection)