Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: Available Now
Synopsis: 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, REALLY hate it when everyone seems to love a book that I don’t. It makes me question myself and wonder “What am I missing?” Unfortunately, due to my intense frustration with the main character, Poison is one of those books.
The biggest problem I had was with Cass. I don’t mind unreliable characters. I actually like them because they can add some interesting twists as you don’t know what’s going on with them. Cass however, really got on my nerves. In my humble opinion, most of her actions were incredibly stupid and put not only herself, but her children at risk. I kept trying to put myself in her shoes. She thought she had the perfect marriage, only to find out that her husband Ryan, is hiding something behind his charming veneer. I can’t go into specifics without plunging into spoiler territory, but I spent a good part of the book mentally yelling “No! Stop! What are you doing? What’s wrong with you?!” Argh! It was so infuriating!
Ryan is a little more interesting and while he did seem like the perfect husband and dad at the beginning, the author does a good job slowly turning him into a monster. I found myself getting anxious because you didn’t know what he was going to do next. And the children are absolutely adorable and what I liked the most about the book.
The plot itself was a little slow to start, with lots and LOTS of detail about how perfect this family seemed to be, but once things got going, I couldn’t wait to see how everything would be resolved. Another thing that I liked was how Galt Niederhoffer makes some fantastic points on how women who report being victims of domestic abuse are treated by the police, hospitals, and the criminal justice system. Granted, Cass’ situation is a little unique, but there are some realistic flaws that are explored and I appreciated that.
I found the ending to be rather abrupt and unsatisfying and it left me with more questions than not. When I got to the last page I thought “Wait. That can’t be it!”
Overall, Poison just wasn’t for me. But, the majority of reviewers are giving this 4 and 5 star reviews, so if you like psychological suspense, please give this a try for yourself. It’s not so much a whodunnit than a howdunnit, which has its own interesting aspects.