I started this book off on the wrong foot. Reading the book notes I thought I was in for a contemporary family novel with complex relationships. It even begins with a classic cosy family scene where we see Cass, mother of three and part time journalism lecturer at the local university, preparing dinner as the family waits for her architect husband Ryan to arrive home.
As the details of this family are revealed we learn that this is not just any family but one in which spontaneity is the norm (impromptu trips for ice-cream on a school night), where traditional maternal and paternal rolls are undivided and where the intensity of the love shared between Cass and her second husband Ryan is very much a very modern family.
But then very slowly the edges start to fray – nothing an outsider would notice but just enough for Cass to start questioning Ryan’s commitment to their relationship. However it isn’t till Cass catches Ryan out with a little white lie that the storyline takes an unexpected turn. Ryan not only denies having an affair but convincingly twists the situation around accusing Cass of sabotaging their marriage, being mentally unstable as well as an unsafe mother. It is at this point I realise we have gone from happy families to a gripping psychological thriller.
Written in the third person narrative we experience everything through the eyes of Cass. We are with her when she looks for support from her friends and neighbours. Just like Cass we too become suspicious of these confidantes. We too wonder who she can trust. And then ultimately is Cass suffering from paranoia or is Ryan really trying to kill her?
With each page having more twists than a roller coaster and just as many heart stopping plunges, to give away anymore of the story line would be a plot spoiler. Suffice to say feisty and intelligent Cass doesn’t always make good decisions and this page turner had me swaying between anxiousness and frustration.
If you are looking for a page turner where good and evil do battle then you can’t go wrong with Galt Niederhoffer’s fourth novel.
Posted by Miss Moneypenny
Catalogue link: Poison