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Short non-spoiling summary:

Rose Madder is the story of a woman named Rose Daniels, who is abused horribly by her husband Norman during 14 years of marriage. She wakes up one morning and suddenly decides enough is enough and leaves him. Unfortunately for her, Norman Daniels is quite insane and also happens to be a cop. Using his police skills, he begins tracking her down, leading to an ultimate (and typical King) confrontation.


As King books go, this is one of his lesser works. Rose and Norman are carefully detailed, but most of the other characters seem to be used more as scenery or background. (With the exception of Ze Bull. Gotta love Ze Bull.) The narrative flows fairly well, but there aren't really any surprises until the end, and even that isn't a surprise for any of us Constant Readers. There is also a rather feeble attempt to tie this story into his Dark Tower series, with one reference to a certain city and a few character tie-ins.

Frankly, it seems Rose Madder was written out of a need to fulfil a contractual obligation, rather than the desire to tell a story. At some points in the tale, it is obvious the author is enjoying his work, but mostly it's dry and really feels like King is writing it because he has to, much like a high-school English writing assignment.

Rose Madder, was written by author Stephen King and originally published in hardcover 1 June, 1995, by Viking Books.