A compelling psychological thriller

What would you do for love, passion, loyalty? These are questions that riddle the suspense-filled, artfully-penned novel The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly. Karen, a brilliantly-gifted language student, is pursing her degree in London when she meets Biba, an exotic, pale girl with a thrift shop wardrobe and a posh accent. Soon Karen is swept into Biba’s bohemian life of drugs, parties, and passion. As school ends Karen is aware that she is entering a dangerous relationship with both Biba and her intense older brother Rex, as she moves in to their dilapidated mansion. But she is fascinated and drawn to them both, and she allows herself to be pulled deeper into their affairs.  

A tragedy bonds Karen to Biba and Rex, and changes all of their lives forever.
Kelly does a superb job at piquing suspense and creating tension throughout the novel by using a flashback technique. Her characters are compelling and oddly-familiar. And, Anglophiles will love the casual yet accurate way Kelly references British class conscious.
This is an outstanding psychological thriller and a standout first novel. It will linger in your thoughts long after you read the final page.

Thrill me, chill me

The Dead Lie Down by Sophie Hannah is a thriller that twists, turns, and at times chills you with its creepiness. Sophie Hannah is brilliant. She sneaks up on you with the riveting ordinariness of her characters. It is the very normalcy pervading her tales that renders them so horrifying, as she draws you into the mystery. In The Dead Lie Down she brings together two couples: an engaged female police sergeant and her cold and distant detective fiancé, with an odd, haunted woman and her creepy partner. Hannah slowly unwraps psyches and secrets and slowly it becomes apparent there is serious wrong doing a foot. But until the very end we don’t know whodunit. It is compelling, riveting, and the perfect thing to send a frisson up your spine during the sultry summer.