It is no secret that I am a huge fan of the domestic thriller genre. Give me an unreliable narrator and an up-to-no-good husband and I am hooked. So, when #cjsreads decided to read Poison by Galt Niederhoffer, I was thrilled. It seemed like the exact type of book that would keep me up late into the night.
The novel surrounds a picturesque family and their suburban life. Cass and Ryan make up a newly blended family with their three children. However, Ryan has a dark side, one that keeps Cass looking over her shoulder, and when she confronts Ryan about his fidelity, Cass begins to wonder if her life is at stake. As tensions rise, Cass’s sanity is questioned and she begins to worry her children are at risk.
As I began my reading, one of the things that stood out the most for me was the style of Niederhoffer’s writing. I was drawn in immediately, almost as if I was connecting with old friends. The prose was familiar and inviting. It had me turning the pages.
One of the cleverest things about this novel was the use of the title and the ties to the plot; the jealous nature of Cass is poisoning her relationship and Cass believes that Ryan is literally poisoning her. I loved this play and exploration into literal and psychological poison. I felt captivated as I watched the story unfold. Is she actually crazy? Is she correct? Who do I believe?
I really like novels with strong characters and Poison fit this bill. Ryan was incredibly creepy and I found Cass to be very unreliable. I also loved how Niederhoffer constantly called into question the idea of the unreliable female and the doubt that those in the legal system have with women as the victim. I felt like this is extremely prevalent in today’s society and I found myself questioning my own judgments and assessment of Cass throughout my reading.
However, I did have a few issues with this novel towards the end. About 40% of the way into the novel, I did find parts of the novel beginning to drag quite a bit. The idea of the poison is brought to light very early in the novel and teased in the synopsis, so it was very clear that Cass believed she was being poisoned. However, this was constantly drilled home for the next 30% of the book. It felt very redundant. Also, although I loved the little twist in the end, the final resolution left me feeling as if it had come out of left field.
Regardless of this, I did enjoy the easy prose and the compelling plot enough to finish this book over the course of a few sittings. This novel really gave me a B.A Paris vibe and I feel like fans of this author will really enjoy Poison. Poison is published today! Be sure to add it to your TBR pile if you are a fan of the domestic genre!
Thanks to St. Martin’s Press, the author and Netgalley for a digital copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.
I mentioned this was a #cjsreads pick; want to see what Jessica and Chandra thought of Poison? Keep reading to find out!