Monday, October 2, 2017

Poison by Galt Niederhoffer

Poison is a literary psychological thriller about a marriage that follows minor betrayal into a bubbling stew of lies, cruelty, manipulation, and danger.

Cass and Ryan Connor have achieved family nirvana. With three kids between them, a cat and a yard, a home they built and feathered, they seem to have the Modern Family dream. Their family, including Cass' two children from previous relationships, has recently moved to Portland —a new start for their new lives. Cass and Ryan have stable, successful careers, and they are happy. But trouble begins almost imperceptibly. First with small omissions and white lies that happen daily in any marital bedroom. They seem insignificant, but they are quickly followed by a series of denials and feints that mushroom and then cyclone in menace.

With life-or-death stakes and irreversible consequences, Poison is a chilling and irresistible reminder that the closest bond designed to protect and provide for each other and for children can change in a minute.

I really enjoyed the first half of this book. Cass presented as a strong and intelligent woman who had faced some tragedy in her life but been able to move on. She had little to no emotional support from either of her parents yet still grew into a compassionate and capable woman and mother.
The problems in her marriage, although supposedly subtle at first seemed glaringly obvious to me. There was  a lack of respect from her husband that to me seemed apparent from the start. He gave off a general feeling of ill will and derisiveness. An  insult said with a smile is still insulting, Overriding of a woman's parental authority done with an air of fun, is still disrespectful.
Towards the halfway point of the story and beyond I just found that it strained believability. I can't say much without giving away the plot but I just found it hard to believe a woman of her intelligence would make such choices, or give out personal information so easily to people she had no reason to trust. There were also some medical and safety issues with the children that if faced with in reality a person would seek immediate help. Since Cass was a journalist I would have expected her to have better sense.

I received an advance copy for review.

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