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.
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