The Poison Tree: Book summary and reviews of The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly

The Poison Tree

A Novel

by Erin Kelly

The Poison Tree
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2011
    336 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

This taut psychological thriller begins when Karen and her nine-year-old daughter, Alice, pick up Rex from a ten-year stint in prison for murder. Flash back to the sultry summer in 1990s London when Karen, a straight-A student on the verge of college graduation, first meets the exotic, flamboyant Biba and joins her louche life in a crumbling mansion in Highgate. She begins a relationship with Biba's enigmatic and protective older brother, Rex, and falls into a blissful rhythm of sex, alcohol, and endless summer nights. Naïvely, Karen assumes her newfound happiness will last forever. But Biba and Rex have a complicated family history-one of abandonment, suicide, and crippling guilt - and Karen's summer of freedom is about to end in blood.

When old ghosts come back to destroy the life it has taken Karen a decade to build, she has everything to lose. She will do whatever it takes to protect her family and keep her secret. Alternating between the fragile present and the lingering past with a shocker of an ending, The Poison Tree is a brilliant suspense debut that will appeal to readers of Kate Atkinson, Donna Tartt, and Tana French.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The surprises don't end until the last page of this twisted tale with its wonderfully evocative London atmosphere." - Publishers Weekly

"Tension in this psychological thriller builds slowly, piece by ever more suspenseful piece. Fans of Sophie Hannah's domestic suspense novels will enjoy this gracefully written effort." - Library Journal

"A dark, twisted tale of domestic tragedy, Kelly's debut doesn't miss a step: character, plot, dialogue, atmosphere, and pacing are right on the money." - Booklist

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Author Information

Erin Kelly Author Biography

Erin Kelly is the author of three psychological thrillers, The Poison Tree, The Sick Rose, and The Burning Air.

She was born in London in 1976 and grew up in Essex. She read English at Warwick University and has been working as a journalist since 1998, writing for newspapers including The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Express and The Mirror, and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire and Elle. She writes about health, lifestyle, women's issues and parenting, and is a columnist at Mother and Baby magazine. I live in north London with my husband and daughter.

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