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.
 
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