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The Poisoned Island

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The Poisoned Island Cover

ISBN13: 9781476712864
ISBN10: 1476712867
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A brilliant young police officer discovers a series of bizarre deaths are connected to the cargo of a research vessel bound for Kew Gardens in this fantasy-tinged historical thriller set in early nineteenth-century London.

London 1812. On a dull, gray June morning, the Solander, a ship containing breathtaking plants and natural specimens brought back from Tahiti for the Royal Gardens at Kew, slowly pulls into dock under the watchful eyes of London denizens.

The apparently successful expedition soon takes on a horrid—and inexplicable—turn: the crew of the Solander starts dying one by one. Thames River Police Chief Charles Horton can find no signs of murder or suicide to explain the deaths, and the ship’s surviving crew, which has made a pact to remain tight-lipped about its voyage, further hampers his investigation. Meanwhile, one of the specimens begins to show frightening changes, forcing Horton to wonder just how “natural” they might be…

Tahiti 1769. English sailors arrive on the shores of the French Polynesian paradise—a place of breathtaking natural beauty where magic and ancient myths are alive and well. The island nirvana, however, soon starts to disintegrate as the explorers devastate the land with disease, death, and war. But what they carry back with them aboard the Solander fifty years later is far deadlier—and it is in the hands of Charles Horton to determine exactly what it is and how it might be stopped.

Lloyd Shepherd, the highly praised author of The English Monster, takes you into the bustling heart of the British Empire, where there seems to be no limit to what England will conquer. But what England took from Tahiti will come at a high price, one that will descend like a curse on the very soul of the London docks.

Review:

"Memorable prose, tight plotting, and complex characters distinguish Shepherd's follow-up to 2012's The English Monster. In June 1812, the Solander, a 'nondescript ship containing wonders,' arrives in London, bearing the fruits of a major botanical expedition to Tahiti. The discoveries prove to have more than scientific implications when members of the crew start turning up dead with smiles on their faces, even after being strangled or having their throats slit. The task of solving the crimes falls to Charles Horton, of the Thames River Police, whose methods have already been successful in a number of cases — notably the Ratcliffe Highway murders six months earlier. The involvement of the Royal Society president, naturalist Sir Joseph Banks, who sent the Solander on its mission to the far side of the world, makes the investigation a politically sensitive one. Shepherd's use of the present tense lends an intimate immediacy to the action. Agent: James Gill, United Agents (U.K.)." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Tahiti 1769. English sailors arrive on the shores of the Polynesian paradise— a place of staggering beauty where magic and ancient myths still hold sway. But they soon devastate the island with disease, war, and death, planting deadly seeds that will be carried back to England forty years later.

London 1812. On a gray June morning, the Solander docks, her hold containing hundreds of exotic plants from Tahiti for the King’s Gardens at Kew. The apparently successful expedition soon takes a horrifying— and inexplicable—turn: The crew of the Solander starts dying one by one. Thames River Police Chief Charles Horton can find no signs of murder or suicide to explain the deaths, and the ship’s surviving crew seems intent on hampering his investigation. When one of the plants begins to show frightening changes, it is up to Charles Horton to determine how it might be stopped.

About the Author

Lloyd Shepherd has worked for the past twelve years as a senior executive in the Internet business, holding senior management positions at Yahoo, The Guardian, Channel 4, and the BBC. Before his online career, Lloyd was a journalist covering the film and TV business for Financial Times and Variety. The English Monster is his first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

The Lost Entwife, January 12, 2014 (view all comments by The Lost Entwife)
I had really high hopes for The Poisoned Island by Lloyd Shepherd. Some of my most favorite reads involve adventures, ships on the high seas, island mysteries and folklore, and a touch of the supernatural, so you would think that The Poisoned Island would have been a home run. And it came close - but ultimately fell short of the mark as I noticed my attention starting to wander more and more as I progressed through the story until I ultimately just didn't care. I'm really, really upset that this one didn't work for me.

The story started out strong with some pretty mysterious murders happening and the disappearance of something from the trunks or belongings of the men murdered. Add into that a story about a prince and his friend on an island and you have some pretty interesting beginnings. Where the interesting stopped and the confusing part began is when the switching around started to happen before much of anything was going on in any of the stories. I was curious, but not overly so, and therefore it was rough to continue to convince myself to pick up the book and start reading again. I just didn't care enough and when you have to start forcing yourself to read something ... well, it's just not a good thing.

It's my understanding (although I didn't do a whole lot of research on this) that there were fictional characters and characters based on real historical figures here. I might have been more interested had I read Shepherd's previous book, but it's too late now and I don't feel much of an urge to seek it out. I would imagine that a reader with a lot of interest in the actual historical figures might find something more interesting in this story, but for a reader like me with little to no knowledge of the events, the ship, or the figures, it just didn't have enough of a hold on my attention for it to merit a stellar review.

Still, for those interested in sailing adventures and mysteries, I would recommend giving The Poisoned Island a shot. Just because it didn't work for me doesn't mean it won't work for others, and I think there is enough merit in the story for you to give it a try.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781476712864
Author:
Shepherd, Lloyd
Publisher:
Washington Square Press
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20140131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.31 in

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers

The Poisoned Island New Trade Paper
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$16.00 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Washington Square Press - English 9781476712864 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Memorable prose, tight plotting, and complex characters distinguish Shepherd's follow-up to 2012's The English Monster. In June 1812, the Solander, a 'nondescript ship containing wonders,' arrives in London, bearing the fruits of a major botanical expedition to Tahiti. The discoveries prove to have more than scientific implications when members of the crew start turning up dead with smiles on their faces, even after being strangled or having their throats slit. The task of solving the crimes falls to Charles Horton, of the Thames River Police, whose methods have already been successful in a number of cases — notably the Ratcliffe Highway murders six months earlier. The involvement of the Royal Society president, naturalist Sir Joseph Banks, who sent the Solander on its mission to the far side of the world, makes the investigation a politically sensitive one. Shepherd's use of the present tense lends an intimate immediacy to the action. Agent: James Gill, United Agents (U.K.)." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , Tahiti 1769. English sailors arrive on the shores of the Polynesian paradise— a place of staggering beauty where magic and ancient myths still hold sway. But they soon devastate the island with disease, war, and death, planting deadly seeds that will be carried back to England forty years later.

London 1812. On a gray June morning, the Solander docks, her hold containing hundreds of exotic plants from Tahiti for the King’s Gardens at Kew. The apparently successful expedition soon takes a horrifying— and inexplicable—turn: The crew of the Solander starts dying one by one. Thames River Police Chief Charles Horton can find no signs of murder or suicide to explain the deaths, and the ship’s surviving crew seems intent on hampering his investigation. When one of the plants begins to show frightening changes, it is up to Charles Horton to determine how it might be stopped.

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