The Poison Tree

The Poison Tree[Reading] ➺ The Poison Tree By Erin Kelly – Heartforum.co.uk 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 an 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 s London when Karen, a straight A studen.

Erin Kelly was born in London in and grew up in Essex She read English at Warwick University and has been working as a journalist since She has written for newspapers including the The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Express and magazines including Red, Psychologies, Marie Claire, Elle and Cosmopolitan.

The Poison Tree PDF/EPUB ↠ The Poison  PDF or
  • Hardcover
  • 336 pages
  • The Poison Tree
  • Erin Kelly
  • English
  • 04 February 2018
  • 0670022403

10 thoughts on “The Poison Tree

  1. karen says:

    hmmso i am giving this four stars because1 there is no option for three and a half2 it was kind of the perfect book to suit my mood in the day and a half it took me to read it3 in the spectrum of books that claim to be just like secret history this one takes home high marks.but really it s just a fast paced crime thriller and is not likely to stay with me for any real amount of time it gets points for having the central character named karen and having her be a genius of languages but hmmso i am giving this four stars because1 there is no option for three and a half2 it was kind of the perfect book to suit my mood in the day and a half it took me to read it3 in the spectrum of books that claim to be just like secret history this one takes home high marks.but really it s just a fast paced crime thriller and is not likely to stay with me for any real amount of time it gets points for having the central character named karen and having her be a genius of languages but a lot of it is just a secret history tongue and groove DIY project brilliant underachievers crumbling mansion wealthy layabouts sponsoring a poor friend mysterious happenings moral blurriness alcohol and drug anesthesia yeah, it s all there and i feel like i have written this review before, for all the books chasing donna tartt s tail and i was nineteen or thereabouts when i read secret history i remember being riveted at my temp job, sitting in front of the usually silent phone, occasionally being roused from the text to crisply say stewart, tabori and chang into the mouthpiece but since then, i have met so many people who have been really ho hum about it am i wrong is my memory of it making it out to be something better than it is was i just impressed at the time because it was something new tossed into the previously mild pool of my reading up to that point i hope not i hope secret history is every bit as good as i remember it, and the haters are the same people who hate anything that falls into that ambitious without being highbrow category if it wasn t good, why would there be so many people trying to imitate it don t answer that.but yeah this book a great diversion, definitely captivating, good characters i don t know that i would encourage anyone to own it, but it would be an excellent library loaner it is a fairly uncomplicated story about cause and effect, with some odd human behavior thrown in just a lot of me second guessing the characters with why didn t she and but why not simply but that is its own kind of fun.four stars for my own enjoyment, three if i am recommending it to someone else.like you.come to my blog

  2. Misha Mathew says:

    Following The Secret History, there has been an avalanche of books claiming to be like it or inspired by it My attention was first drawn to The Poison Tree, after I read a review comparing it to The Secret History My interest was immediately piqued because The Secret History, as some of you may know, is one of my all time favorites.Though many elements of the book are reminiscent of The Secret History, The Poison Tree manages to hold its own It s mesmerizing, unsettling and shocking It s def Following The Secret History, there has been an avalanche of books claiming to be like it or inspired by it My attention was first drawn to The Poison Tree, after I read a review comparing it to The Secret History My interest was immediately piqued because The Secret History, as some of you may know, is one of my all time favorites.Though many elements of the book are reminiscent of The Secret History, The Poison Tree manages to hold its own It s mesmerizing, unsettling and shocking It s definitely going to be on my Best of 2011 list at the end of the year.In 1997, Karen Clarke was what we call a good girl She had good grades and always did what her parents expected her to All this changed when she met the charismatic Biba stunning, carefree and so filled with life Unlike Karen, Biba had a lifestyle that was glamorous and exciting It made Karen s life look dull What followed was that Karen was instantly and irresistibly drawn to Biba Rex, Biba s brother, was exactly the opposite of her overprotective and a worrier Though he and his sister looked so alike, he almost disappeared next to his enigmatic sister When Karen moved in with Biba and Rex in their home, she anticipated an adventure filled summer Initially, it started off that way, but all that changed as the events of that summer turned out to have a life changing impact What Karen mistook for Biba s perfect story book life was not so after all Rex and Biba had a painful past As Karen found outabout them, theshe became embroiled in a tangled web of secrets.Ten years later, Karen is living a life of paranoia She is constantly on the edge, sensing danger everywhere She lives with her daughter, Alice, whom she is fiercely protective of Rex, Alice s father has been recently released from the prison after he was arrested for murder ten years ago Karen and Rex desperately want a chance of living a normal life, which they were denied before What Rex doesn t know is that Karen has secrets which she can t even reveal to him She is scared and trying her best to protect Alice and Rex from all harm She s afraid that anything can happen any time, afraid that her past will come to haunt her again Karen might be constantly worried about what might happen, but she knows that she will do anything to protect Rex and Alice.As the story moves back and forth between 1997 and ten years later,of the story is revealed andedge of the seat it gets My heart was racing with every page I turned I was almost as afraid as Karen of what was about to come Tension increases with each chapter, as we get to know the events of the summer of 1997 which shaped Rex and Karen s present The unexpected twists kept me glued to the book and sleep completely evaded me We know that Rex went to prison for murder What we don t know is whose murder it was As questions after questions kept piling up in my head, I had to resist the urge to read the ending.None of the characters are perfect every one of them is deeply flawed Still, I felt for Karen and Rex I cannot imagine living your whole life in fear, for what what you did when you were so young and naive Karen , in some ways, reminded me of myself She always does the right thing, the careful thing Yet somewhere inside, she s yearning for an exciting life Biba is a character who will grab your attention she mesmerizes and disturbed me at the same time Her reckless, selfish and dramatic nature causes trouble and chaos Despite that, Rex and Karen would do anything for her By the end of the book, she almost seems inhuman to me and her selfishness is beyond shocking.The best thing about The Poison Tree is the atmosphere that the author has created Throughout the book, there s a feeling of impending danger, something dark lurking in the background I was constantly worried about what I might find out and at the same time, I could not wait to see what happens next To say that the ending was unexpected will be an understatement I NEVER saw it coming I didn t think what happened was possible to happen My heart was pounding all the while I was reading the ending.The Poison Tree is one of the best psychological thrillers that I ve read recently The characters and the ending continued to haunt me long after I had finished reading the book The morbid atmosphere of paranoia and fear that the author has created is definitely praiseworthy

  3. Ova - Excuse My Reading says:

    I read some good reviews of this book but I was hesitant to read it after the comparisons to Secret History I really didn t get the hype about Tartt s novel but this one, was SO good If you re a fan of reading unlikeable characters which you want to slap and shake, then this is your psychological thriller, a really good one Highly recommended.

  4. Mary says:

    This book did not succeed for me, on several levels Primarily I just didn t get the fascination the narrator, Karen, felt for the Capel siblings, Biba and Rex Biba seemed spoiled and self absorbed and Rex was jobless, wimpy, and ineffective at his self appointed task of being Biba s caretaker Their so called Bohemian lifestyle was pretty tame by my child of the 70s s standards There was drinking and a little pot smoking, a couple hits of ectasy and a few lines of cocaine hardly the drug cra This book did not succeed for me, on several levels Primarily I just didn t get the fascination the narrator, Karen, felt for the Capel siblings, Biba and Rex Biba seemed spoiled and self absorbed and Rex was jobless, wimpy, and ineffective at his self appointed task of being Biba s caretaker Their so called Bohemian lifestyle was pretty tame by my child of the 70s s standards There was drinking and a little pot smoking, a couple hits of ectasy and a few lines of cocaine hardly the drug crazed debauchery I was led to expect The house the erstwhile Bohemians lived in was described repeatedly as a filthy, rundown pigsty which I fail to believe anyone would find appealing Karen seems like a nice, grounded, middle class girl, not an insecure, troubled and easily influenced sycophant who would fall under the dubious spell of people like Biba and Rex She is fluent in several languages yet has a been there, done that attitude towards the idea of spending the summer abroad, rather than hanging around London with the dirty and faintly repulsive Capels The twist at the end was nicely done, but that s about it The majority of this novel was thinly plotted and not especially authentic Ms Kelly should probably actually smoke some hash herself before she makes anyattempts to describe the experience , and I didn t find any of the characters motivations to be very credible

  5. Blair says:

    Pandemic rereads 4The first time I read The Poison Tree is one of my strongest and most enduring reading memories It was an unseasonably hot day in April 2011, and I got through almost all of it in a few hours while sat on a grassy bank in a park near my old sixth form college Both setting and weather seemed a perfect fit for Erin Kelly s debut, which brims with heady nostalgia.Of all the books I ve been inspired to pull off my shelves and reread lately, I was least sure I d still enjoy The P Pandemic rereads 4The first time I read The Poison Tree is one of my strongest and most enduring reading memories It was an unseasonably hot day in April 2011, and I got through almost all of it in a few hours while sat on a grassy bank in a park near my old sixth form college Both setting and weather seemed a perfect fit for Erin Kelly s debut, which brims with heady nostalgia.Of all the books I ve been inspired to pull off my shelves and reread lately, I was least sure I d still enjoy The Poison Tree When I thought about it, I realised I could remember little of the story except for a sense of atmosphere, and I couldn t be sure I wasn t conflating my memory of that day in April with the contents of the book itself But once I had settled into the story, I tore through it, reading it evenquickly than the first time It is indeed a fabulously atmospheric novel.In fact, now I look back at my original review which is below, and which I ve left intact despite wanting to edit out the bits that now make me cringe , I feel I was unduly harsh I remember this book as a favourite, I enjoyed it enough to buy a hardback copy after reading the ebook, and my review makes it sound as though I didn t really like it In particular, I have no idea why I was so bothered by the present day scenes admittedly they re not as absorbing or evocative as the 1997 sections, but they re not that bad, and do not in any way spoil the book.I liked the endingthis time, too it might be a bit far fetched but it s certainly cathartic.TinyLetter Original review April 2011 The Poison Tree had been on mywishlist for months, and this sunny weekend I finally decided to treat myself to it I was happy to find that, true to my expectations, it was hugely readable, so much that I d finished it within 24 hours of my purchase The book is divided up into two stories, flipping back and forth between the long, hot summer of 1997 and the present day Both are narrated by Karen in the 1997 story, she is a naive 20 year old and, having recently finished her degree, becomes entangled with the decadent, overdramatic Biba Capel and her older,reserved brother Rex In the present day plotline, we find Karen in her early thirties, living in a small country village with her nine year old daughter Alice, and adjusting to a new life with Rex, who has just been released from a long stint in prison this isn t a spoiler, we learn it very early on The rest of the book brings the two strands together, exploring exactly what happened in that fateful summer to lead to Rex s incarceration and Karen s paranoia which, it quickly becomes clear, now dominates her life.The 1997 sections of the book, I absolutely loved The atmosphere of this cloying, dreamlike summer is conjured with such flair Karen s passion for Biba and Rex s lifestyle, how she falls in love with the two siblings and their romantic, ramshackle house, her transition from strait laced student to companion of the hedonistic Biba and the feelings of power, release and abandon this gives her The whole thing seems desperately romantic and utterly enchanting I could easily appreciate how thoroughly Karen was drawn into the Capels world because, as a reader, I was consumed by it too Even when I put the book down, images of chaotic house parties, Highgate streets and sweltering summer days were so vividly imprinted on my mind I felt like I d been there I m sure anyone of my generation will appreciate the way in which Kelly accurately portrays a time not long past and yet suffuses it with great nostalgia.I loved Karen, too she s very believable and the narrative really gets under the character s skin She s a self confessed unremarkable girl who s had a sheltered existence, cosseted by a trio of vacuous friends and an equally boring boyfriend throughout university, and her revelatory entrance into a life where she no longer feels invisible is wonderfully evoked While there are some slightly irritating inconsistencies and mistakes such as when Karen is given her first ecstasy tablet, has a wonderful time partying all night and then has absolutely no comedown , the overall effect is so arresting that small errors don t really dent its power.The present day story is, however, much weaker It has all the hallmarks of those chick lit cum thriller books that seem to be so popular these days told in present tense, there s a first person female narrator, secrets involving a crime murder, usually a child or family involved somewhere, the woman will do ANYTHING TO PROTECT HER FAMILY, etc I don t really like this genre and found the style a turn off I think present tense is quite difficult to pull off effectively and, while I can understand that it made sense to differentiate the past from the present in this way, it didn t work for me I can also understand why Karen s character was different, having been altered as a result of all she d experienced, but I m afraid I found this version of her quite dull Whenever one of the present day segments popped up I found myself comparatively bored, desperate to get back to the past they seemed like unwanted interruptions in an otherwise flawless narrative They didn t ring entirely true, either I wasn t convinced that after so much time in prison, Rex would move straight into Karen s home and start playing happy families with a daughter he d only previously encountered through short visits every few months.Crucially, I also disliked the ending Where I had related to the younger Karen so much, I found the older version s final actions impossible to sympathise with.For me, this is a book of two halves one half I consider worthy of five stars, the other islike three no prizes for guessing which is which , hence the overall rating of four I hope that if Erin Kelly writes anything else, she draws on the original, fascinating portrayal of human relationships and new experiences demonstrated in the past segments of this novel, rather than the muchpedestrian and uninteresting if perhapslikely to shift units thriller element represented by the present segments

  6. Vegantrav says:

    I seriously hope that Erin Kelly, the author of The Poison Tree, is not one of those writers who read the reviews of their books here at Goodreads as I know some writers do because I really did not like this book at all I feel as if I have been robbed of the opportunity to read good novels by wasting my time reading this dreck The Poison Tree is promoted as a brilliant, mysterious thriller It is not.It is an excercise in emotionally overwrought tedium and long winded ridiculousness It attem I seriously hope that Erin Kelly, the author of The Poison Tree, is not one of those writers who read the reviews of their books here at Goodreads as I know some writers do because I really did not like this book at all I feel as if I have been robbed of the opportunity to read good novels by wasting my time reading this dreck The Poison Tree is promoted as a brilliant, mysterious thriller It is not.It is an excercise in emotionally overwrought tedium and long winded ridiculousness It attempts to buildandtension and does so rather poorly as the novel advances, but the atmosphere of forbidding and fear with which the author tries infuse her story is extremely weak, and the mystery that she does ever so very, very, very slowly elaborate is really not that mysterious at all and is dull just dull, pure and simple Several times I resolved to simply stop reading The Poison Tree, but then I would re read the reviews on the back cover and be inspired with a hope that the plot would soon take off, and I would at last find myself in the midst of a compelling mystery Alas, that never happened.The secrets that the narrator, Karen, keeps, which she refers to often but without revealing their nature until near the end of the novel, lead the reader to believe that Karen is hiding some grave, serious sins She is not her secrets are actually things that she has done which are very praiseworthy and not even remotely bad she also keeps us in the dark with a secret about her lover, Rex, which is also a secret that shows, basically, what a great guy Rex is instead of being some deep, dark, wicked secret about him.Karen, over, is one of the most socially inept, completely naive characters that I have ever encountered in literature For example, Karen portrays herself as being, until she meets Rex and Rex s sister, Biba, a rarther quiet, shy person who has few really close friends Upon meeting Rex and Biba, Karen immediately attaches herself to them and begins to act as if she has known them for years and, in fact, moves in with them within a matter of only a week or so of knowing them And Karen is gravely hurt at the smallest slight and utterly thrilled at the subtlest praise from Biba, and after meeting Rex and Biba s friends Nina, Tris, Jo only a few times, Karen speaks of them as if she has known them for years and is very close friends with all of them and deeply concerned about every aspect of their lives She barely knows these people and interacts with them for nothan a few days with Rex and Biba s friends or a few months with Rex and Biba , yet she seems to think that they are all best friends and deeply concerned with each other and each other s lives The immediate intimacy and tight knit friendships that form among these characters in almost no time at all is not remotely realistic it is so ludicrous that it borders on the incredible even for a work of fiction.The prologue to the novel sets a frightening tone that promises dark secrets, possibly even murder, and revenge as the heroine and narrator, Karen, flees from a grave danger This tone ends with the prologue as the rest of the novel, until the very last few pages of the last chapter, proceeds in torpid fashion, challenging even the most charitable of readers to stay awake and to finish this exercise in boring drivel SPOILER ALERT The only redeeming value in this novel is the climax Here at last, Biba, an awful, horribly unbelievably selfish, shallow character gets her proverbial just desserts when Karen actually does something that we readers can finally cheer Karen murders Biba Finally, Karen, you have a real dark secret that you need to keep

  7. Lisa says:

    3.5 starsThis drama thriller mystery was fast paced and told a decent story with a satisfying twist.Karen was a bit of a square at University specialising in languages for which she has a special gift Her life was dull and safe until she met Biba a bohemian drama student whom she adored and whose lifestyle she coveted and adopted for one special summer Biba s brother Rex is completely different from Biba but he too drew Karen further into their world.The beginning of the story is set in the 3.5 starsThis drama thriller mystery was fast paced and told a decent story with a satisfying twist.Karen was a bit of a square at University specialising in languages for which she has a special gift Her life was dull and safe until she met Biba a bohemian drama student whom she adored and whose lifestyle she coveted and adopted for one special summer Biba s brother Rex is completely different from Biba but he too drew Karen further into their world.The beginning of the story is set in the present day where 10 years after that summer Karen and her daughter Alice are preparing for Rex to move back home with them after a long separation we then flit back and forth between that summer and present day so Karen can tell us all about what happened and why.I liked the pacing and the story but I did have a problem with characterisation view spoiler I can t understand why Karen is attracted to Biba She is so spoilt, whiny, selfish and pretentious I didn t get it at all She treats Rex like absolute crap And Rex what a complete doormat What Biba did was beyond stupid and she should have paid the price for it in the first place Stupid little girl you would think Karen would know better than that And how did Rex think he could just go through life without a job Odd hide spoiler Overall a fun and enjoyable read that worked well on audio

  8. Judith says:

    At the very beginning of this book, the reader learns that Karen is picking up her husband, Rex, who just served a 10 year term for murder In the car with her is their daughter, Alice The story unfolds with alternating chapters present day and the summer ten years ago when the murder took place Present day Karen and Rex attempting to adjust to their new life and problems such as pesky journalists, Rex s learning about the modern world outside and trying to find work, living in a small hous At the very beginning of this book, the reader learns that Karen is picking up her husband, Rex, who just served a 10 year term for murder In the car with her is their daughter, Alice The story unfolds with alternating chapters present day and the summer ten years ago when the murder took place Present day Karen and Rex attempting to adjust to their new life and problems such as pesky journalists, Rex s learning about the modern world outside and trying to find work, living in a small house, and trying to parent their child together Summer ten years ago Karen just graduated from college and met Rex and his sister, Biba, who are living a crazy Bohemian life together in a strange mansion in London Karen falls in love with both Rex and Biba and they party with drugs and alcohol all summer till something bad happens which lands Rex in the slammer How could I have stopped reading half way through the book before I discovered the horrible crime Did you ever hear someone take so long to set up a joke that you lost interest before the punchline was delivered That s how I felt about this book I just got tired of all these hints and build ups to some horrific crime or accident and decided I had spent enough time with these characters Sorry I spent as much time as I did This book once again reminds me that you can have the best story in the world, but unless the story teller captivates you, it won t matter The reverse is also true a good story teller can tell a story about nothing and it will be a great success Look no further than Seinfeld for proof of this

  9. Anna says:

    Na ve Karen Hedonistic Biba Respsonsible Rex One long hot summer Two dead bodies A life time of secrets The Poison Tree is narrated by Karen, both in the past and present A decade earlier, she s sensibly coming to the end of her degree when she meets the exotic Biba and her brother Rex Mesmerised by Biba, Karen is seduced into a bohemian summer of love, drugs and parties in an old crumbling mansion Feeling free for the first time in her life, she embraces her new experiences, becoming e Na ve Karen Hedonistic Biba Respsonsible Rex One long hot summer Two dead bodies A life time of secrets The Poison Tree is narrated by Karen, both in the past and present A decade earlier, she s sensibly coming to the end of her degree when she meets the exotic Biba and her brother Rex Mesmerised by Biba, Karen is seduced into a bohemian summer of love, drugs and parties in an old crumbling mansion Feeling free for the first time in her life, she embraces her new experiences, becoming embroiled in the secrets of Biba and Rex s estranged family The summer comes to a sudden and shocking end when Rex is charged with double murder In the present day, Rex is released from prison after ten years and tentatively embarks on a normal life with Karen and their daughter Alice.But who died, and why In a prologue set in the dead of night, why does Karen flee from their home Who s been watching them And what has Karen been hiding for all these years This is an atmospheric and alluring read, with tantalising hints and clues to all the dark secrets, but with twists you ll never see coming There s an impending sense of doom as the three main characters develop and entwine although the plot had me second guessing, it s Karen, Biba and Rex who drive this story forward, who give it its heart and soul An evocative, haunting, beautifully told story I loved it

  10. Jennifer Williams says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I seem to be in a minority here, but skip it The main characters are self indulgent, substance abusing, free wheelers who are wasting their lives I really could have cared less about them I would have quit reading within the first few chapters, but I bought into the psychological suspense hype and all of the good reviews and kept thinking it was going to get better Nope When their father kicks them out of their house that they have trashed and tells them to get jobs they are adults , I s I seem to be in a minority here, but skip it The main characters are self indulgent, substance abusing, free wheelers who are wasting their lives I really could have cared less about them I would have quit reading within the first few chapters, but I bought into the psychological suspense hype and all of the good reviews and kept thinking it was going to get better Nope When their father kicks them out of their house that they have trashed and tells them to get jobs they are adults , I stood up and cheered But I got the feeling I was suppose to see how mean their father was and how awful he treated them and this was a major catalyst to the tragedy that follows Although to be fair the writing was pretty solid, I just could not sympathize with the characters There was a plot twist in the end but by that time I could only think, I am sorry I spent this time with you, and I am so glad you are not my neighbors Oh, and the poison treethere are a few paragraphs that talk about it, one was growing in their back yard, don t eat the leaves, any other connection was lost on me Was it a metaphor for Biba or the whole book, either one stay away

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