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The Poison Tree
Synopses & Reviews
From an incredible new voice in psychological suspense, a novel about the secrets that remain after a final bohemian summer of excess turns deadly.
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.
"British author Kelly deftly weaves past and present in her highly satisfying debut novel of psychological suspense, which reveals how a convicted murderer came to be released after serving 10 years in prison. In 1993, the naÃ¯ve yet brilliant Karen receives a scholarship to London's Queen Charlotte's College, where she's beguiled by Biba Capel, an iconoclastic and edgy drama student, who soon introduces Karen to her strange older brother, Rex. Karen joins sister and brother at the grand but deteriorating Capel family house in Highgate, with its several unconventional tenants. The three throw disorderly parties that enrage the neighbors, but they succeed in creating their own Edenic existence until the unwanted intrusion of Biba's hostile lover. Though melodrama looms, including a double homicide, the tension never wanes, and the ensuing horror comes as a major shock. The surprises don't end until the last page of this twisted tale with its wonderfully evocative London atmosphere. 5-city author tour. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
In her compelling debut, Erin Kelly evokes the brooding atmosphere of "Rebecca" in a contemporary and completely convincing novel of tangled family desires.--"New York Times"-bestselling author Sara Paretsky.
A heart-stopping tale of twisted obsession from the author who gives us “everything we love in a thriller” (O, The Oprah Magazine)
The MacBrides lead a cozy life of upper class privilege: good looks (more or less), a beautiful home, tuition-free education at the prestigious private school where Rowan is headmaster, an altruistic righteousness inherited from magistrate Lydia.
But when Rowan and his three grown children gather for the first time since Lydia’s passing at the family’s weekend home—a restored barn in the English countryside—years of secrets surface, and they discover a stranger in their midst. A stranger who is convinced that Lydia was a murderer. A stranger who has been exacting vengeance upon the family for years without their ever knowing. And one who will threaten the youngest MacBride, baby Edie, and the clan’s memory of Lydia, shattering their world forever.
The Burning Air is Erin Kelly's most chilling novel yet—a novel that fans of Sophie Hannah and Kate Atkinson will find spellbinding.
"A stunning look at human desperation, loyalty, and absolute terror" (Suspense Magazine) from the acclaimed author of The Poison Tree
When Erin Kelly burst onto the scene with The Poison Tree, readers were left breathless and hungry for more. Maureen Corrigan at the Washington Post pleaded, "More, please, Ms. Kelly! Quickly!" A story of secrets and guilt, The Dark Rose is a mesmerizing follow-up that's every bit as chilling and atmospheric as her acclaimed debut.
Nineteen-year-old Paul sits in a stark interrogation room across from two police officers. What started as petty theft turned into murder; only terror and loyalty keep him silent. Louisa spends her days roaming a crumbling Elizabethan garden—until she meets Paul, who is a dead ringer for her long-lost love. Louisa starts to hope she can find happiness again, but neither of them can outrun his violent past.
About the Author
Erin Kelly has worked as a freelance journalist for ten years. A regular contributor to the Daily Mail, Psychologies, Red, and Look, she has also written for Elle, Marie Claire, and Glamour.
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