It is the sweltering summer of 1997 when strait-laced, straight-A student Karen meets Biba - a bohemian and impossibly glamorous aspiring actress. She is drawn to her new friend’s carefree world of constant parties, and quickly abandons her old life to move into the crumbling Highgate mansion Biba shares with her brother Rex and a stream of lodgers. For a while, life is one long summer of love. But summer must end. And by the end of theirs, two people would be dead...
©2009 Erin Kelly (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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"Enthralling from start to finish"
This book was responsible for a lot of my nights ending at 3am. Superb writing style, will be reading more from Erin Kelly.
This is not the type of work I normally read or listen to but I enjoyed this a lot. After a dramatic and engaging start, the narrative runs along two lines, the present and the events of a decade earlier, before the two strands meet and go forward to a really gripping climax. The narrator is well-chosen too and I really wanted to know how it was going to conclude.
"Clever plot keeps you hooked to the end"
This is a great story of a bunch of decadent hedonists for whom life goes horribly wrong. The characters are wonderfully drawn and the overall atmosphere is sinister and tense. I loved the fact it was set in the recent past because I could identify with what younger people were doing at the time. I look forward to more books from this author.
I was really looking forward to this and just feel that it is an ok story but feel that it is not quite believable and the ending between Beba and Karen does not ring through. If you wish an easy read then fine but if you want to feel story is possibly believable then maybe reconsider
"Very engaging story"
Not sure I would listen to it again. It was a very engaging story but not a "classic".
I wouldn't say I had a favorite character but I did have a least favorite one. I didn't need to get very far in listening to lose my fascination with Biba's character and figure out how manipulative and selfish she was.
I couldn't help but in a weird way I kept thinking this is like Pippi Longstocking fifteen years on. While you know there's tragedy lurking behind the absence of parents, she kind of behaves like it's an awful lot of fun having a house to herself and doing whatever she wants. In spite of the surreal associations this was a pretty good story though, very good narration too, although the ending didn't convince me.
"The Poison Tree"
I was a little disappointed with this book after watching the TV series and reading the reviews i thought i would give it a go,what i did not like was the past and present keep switching over i found myself a little confused as it gives you no warning that its switched,i also think it dragged on with too much boring detail it would have been alot better if it wasnt so dragged out,as its a pretty good story and the narrator has a great reading voice too.
"Slightly surreal reality"
This is a chickthriller with a difference! The London settings are splendidly real.The main characters are slightly larger than life but nonetheless believable. The heroine embraces the bohemian lifestyle to which she is drawn like a moth to a candle with vigour, entranced by the contrast to her own. The surprising and macarbe and deadly turn of events in the house become quite believable as one is drawn to the excellently portrayed characters. There are several twists and turns. When you think it is all over there are more surprises. I really enjoyed it, but was slightly irritated by the narrator not pausing long enough between the "then" and "now" scenes.
"Thoroughly gripping and absorbing"
The recent ITV adaptation was a real let-down, not only whittling down the story until it was barely recognisable but messing with the plot and characters to a ludicrous degree. This original story is vastly superior.
What more can I say. Loved the narrator, loved the story, kept me listening which is no mean feat! Looking forward to her next couple of books which are in my Wishlist.
"A great debut!"
I would highly recommend this debut novel from Erin Kelly. At times there are hints of early Ruth Rendell and I loved the intermingling of past and present. It keeps you gripped and guessing most of the way through. My only criticism is at times some of the characters were a little unbelievable but this is not a huge problem. I am very excited to see Kelly's new novel on Audible and can't wait to listen
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