By February 17, 2011 0 Comments Read More →

Possible Pick: The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly

If your group enjoys mystery or psychological suspense, then The Poison Tree would be a great pick.  In the vein of early Ruth Rendell, Erin Kelly weaves a tale fraught with drama, questions, and characters abound.

It’s the mid 1990s, and relatively shy college student Karen is blown away when she meets gregarious free spirit Biba and her handsome brother, Rex.  Soon she is swept up in their unconventional lifestyle, including all the drugs, drink, and drama that one could handle.  They are young and carefree, well, except for some family skeletons in the closet that threaten Biba and Rex’s unfettered, privileged existence.  By the end of the summer, 2 people will be dead, one will be in jail, and one will be on the run.

Kelly writes her characters so intensely that I could imagine them as real people.  And I loved that the story kept me guessing until the very end (you know from the beginning that 2 people have been killed and that one is in jail… but you don’t find out the details until the end, and it wasn’t what I expected!).  Groups will have a great discussion centering around the complexities of the characters, as well as the different plot threads and the implications of the student’s carefree lifestyles.




About the Author:

Rebecca Vnuk is the editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach at Booklist. She is also the author of 3 reader’s-advisory nonfiction books: Read On…Women’s Fiction (2009), Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests (2014), and Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide (2009). Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_RVnuk.

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