“The Poison Tree” by Erin Kelly – A very good crime book

I don’t know why but I usually don’t read or like crime books.  I think it might be because I live in the woods and don’t really like surprises.  (I almost always read the end of a book first so I can be prepared in case something bad happens.)

But true to my New Year’s Resolution about reading a wider variety of books, when this book was recommended to me as a “very well written crime book”, I was intruiged.

One of my criteria for liking a book is that it has to grab me right away. Within the first few lines of this book the reader is aware that a crime has been committed that has left two people dead.  I love a quick start.

The book has three main characters but is told from the perspective of Karen, a stable college girl with a somewhat boring life.  Her life is forever changed when she meets a beautiful actress named Biba.

Biba introduces Karen to her hard partying life which is led in a mysterious, crumbling mansion. She also meets Biba’s awkwardly handsome brother Rex.  Rex and Biba lead a drug and alcohol infused life and they have creepy brother/sister “vibe” going on which is explained to the reader by the fact that they are orphans who have to rely on one another.

There is a lot of description in the book about the strange feelings these three characters have for each other that is wound around a deep dark secret.  While it is very creepy, it’s also kind of like a car accident, you can’t help but be interested. As Karen says after she meets Biba for the first time:  “I had finally met the person that all the love songs were about and it was a girl – a weird, wild girl living in a filthy house with a creepy brother.  And there didn’t seem to be anything that I could do about it.”

The remainder of the book paints out the secrets the three of them share which include but are not limited to a double murder.  The story is told out of chronology as it goes back and forth in time between present day and 1997.

The book has an excellent plot that is very unusual and has a very big explosive surprise ending.  For book clubs the main question you will discuss is “To what length will you go to preserve or take what you think belongs to you.”

As a girl who hates surprises, it does have a surprise ending.  It’s 350 pages long but it goes fast.  It has a good plot, good characters and is well written.  I give this one a 4.  The surprise ending is worth waiting for.


About Anne Loughrey

I am an avid member of several book clubs and a prolific keeper of my books. I love to discuss books and hear what others think of books I have read.
This entry was posted in book clubs, books, Erin Kelly, reading. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to “The Poison Tree” by Erin Kelly – A very good crime book

  1. Stacey says:

    Hi Anne, after reading your post about this book I decided I had to read it. I’m so glad I did! Thanks for writing about it. I would never have picked this book up if it weren’t for your blog. Thank you!

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