Wednesday 22 June 2011

The Poison Tree - Erin Kelly

Karen is finishing University. It's only as the friends she had made during this time begin to pull away from her that she begins to realise just how dull her student life had been. That's when she meets Biba and is immediately sucked in to her world. Biba is an actress and is living the life Karen wants to be a part of. She falls in love with Biba's brother, Rex, and the summer seems never ending. This world comes crashing down around her when two people end up murdered.

Yet another book told from the present and the past. Definitely seems to be a trend this year. I quite like this method though so once again I wasn't bored of it. It has the desired effect of keeping me guessing. In fact for the first half of the book I was impatient to get to the end and find out what happens.

The hole premise though is a little unbelievable. Biba doesn't come across as the strong character needed to attract so many people into her life. Neither is Rex although it's primarily Biba people are fascinated with. Karen on the other hand comes across as the strong one which makes it more unbelievable that she becomes so needy to be accepted. She even changes who she is for her previous friends but then doesn't care when they push her away. If Karen had come across as weaker and Biba stronger and domineering then I wouldn't have had a problem with it.

I also found the relationship between Karen and Rex hard to take. You know it happens because you see events in the future as the past is unfolding. There doesn't seem to be much of an actual relationship though other than their mutual obsession with Biba. It's all they really have and it's hard to see anything surviving on that. Despite knowing about it, it also seems to spring up from nowhere. It's only saving grace is that Karen has doubts as to whether she loves Rex. In that it seems a bit more realistic.

Despite all these flaws I still found myself enjoying the mystery. As I said I was impatient to get to the end and find out what happens. I knew there had to be a twist at the end. This is where I found true disappointment. I was able to predict every twist. I almost threw the book across the room in frustration at its predictability. I can't say much more with out spoiling it but there was one part in particular that Karen would in no way get away with. Although that event would take place after the book.

Good mystery with a predictable ending. The author has another book coming out but I don't think I will be reading it.

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