#6 – The Poison Tree – Erin Kelly

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… – Publisher’s Website

I really liked this dark noir style psychological thriller.  From a seemingly normal start to summer holidays, Karen becomes intertwined into a game of alcohol. drugs, sex, and the people in that world, to have it all come to a head at the end of the summer. With deathly results.  One thing that I wasn’t a fan of was the style of jumping from the past to present in such fast fashion that it made me have to take a step back to realize what was what while reading.  Still a powerful novel from a new face to this genre of fiction.

Penguin / Viking

Erin’s Website

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