THE DARK ROSE
This dark, moody tale explores the actions and reactions of two teens in manipulative relationships, although they are a generation apart. The characters seem to be living under a cloud of doom where anyone might be capable of violence. No happy ending here for anyone.
As part of a protective custody arrangement, Paul is relocated to a crumbling estate in the British countryside. He helps restore the historic garden, while waiting to testify against the friend, and bully, who pressured him into a life of crime. Paul and Louisa, the garden project manager, are kindred souls and begin an affair even though Louisa is twice his age. As they disclose secrets of their pasts, it becomes apparent that both have been involved in deaths and both may have someone tracking them down for revenge. (VIKING, Feb., 336 pp., $26.95)