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Poison

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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.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published November 21, 2017

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Galt Niederhoffer

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 352 reviews
Profile Image for Deanna .
655 reviews12.4k followers
September 29, 2019
2.5 Stars

My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

“Something delicious simmers on the stove. The dishwasher murmurs. Laundry circles. The daily rotation of domestic life rolls on, as with any perfect machine, until a circuit breaks and the machine ceases to function.”

Cass and Ryan Connor are living the dream. A wonderful marriage and a happy life with their three children. Cass has two children from a previous marriage and she and Ryan have a two-year old child together. After her first husband passed away, Cass didn’t think she’d find a man willing to accept her children from another man. But then she met Ryan. Cass tells us that Ryan is a wonderful father and step-father.

Life is grand. Cass revels in the fact that she has it all….

But does she?

It starts with late nights and little lies. There is a feeling that something isn’t quite right.

Everything is perfect in the Connor household. So what if Ryan has been coming home late more often? It’s okay that he’s increasingly moody and short-tempered. It’s no big deal when he doesn’t show up to pick up their son and Cass has to take the baby to class with her.

Cass tries to explain things away. Ryan is an architect and it’s not uncommon for him to work late. He has been stressed because he’s under a lot of pressure so that’s why he’s moody. And it’s not his fault that an important meeting ran late so he couldn’t pick up their son.

But then Cass catches Ryan in a lie. Suddenly everything is most certainly NOT perfect.

“Life as you know it is over”

But could Cass be overreacting? She keeps questioning herself. Maybe there is a reasonable explanation for everything. Perhaps her mind is playing tricks on her, she wonders if she can trust her own judgment.

Is she being paranoid?

I am conflicted in my feelings about this book. I was totally gripped the story and honestly hated putting it down. I was bouncing with apprehension and nervousness. I know one of the big signs of a good book is its ability to make a reader feel things. But it was almost too much for me at times. I spent quite a bit of the book in a state of anxiety. However, I had to see how things were going to pan out.

The plot was interesting and thought-provoking, but at times I found the writing a bit wordy and overly descriptive. There are definitely a lot of important messages and issues addressed in this book. But I did wonder if some of the messages could get lost in some of the repetitive writing. That being said, I really was obsessed and desperate to find out what was going to happen next.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Linda.
1,194 reviews1,245 followers
October 14, 2017
Paranoia strikes deep.

Cass Connor is a mother of three lively children and a professor in the Journalism Department of the University of Washington. Juggling the high points of her day is quite the challenge. She and her husband, Ryan, have been married for three years and have taken residence just outside of Seattle. These former New Yorkers are trying to establish new roots.

Cass still carries the grief of losing her first husband, Jason. But life with Ryan is a fresh start in the right direction. They share a child together, Sam, who has just turned two. And life is good until, unfortunately, it's not.

Cass begins to find evidence that suggests that Ryan may be having an affair. Late nights, suspicious texts, the knotted links of untruths. But when she confronts him, Ryan seems to paint Cass' world with his own accusations that perhaps Cass is unstable and her imaginings are unfounded. Just who is standing on solid ground while the other is weaving tales of terrible woe? We will experience a marriage coming undone and each individual caught in the crossfire of severe behavior.

Galt Niederhoffer presents a story that circles around the bulls-eye of truth. Truth seems to take on the shape of the original circumstances as it first emerges. Strangely, truth emits a hue recognized only by the eyes of the beholder. The challenge in this novel is to spotlight this questionable truth and offer it for others to view without life's usual blinders.

Poison is more of a psychological thriller than a mystery. You will find heavy evidence of Niederhoffer's deep research within these pages in order to support the main thread. Poison doesn't carry the weight in a literary sense, but it is lined with constant scientific summaries which will make more sense as you tred further into this book. I also found very contrived characterizations that support Niederhoffer's premise for Poison. These characters track their footprints back to today's headlines. I don't want to throw in any spoilers and will let you find that out for yourselves.

As I always say, take this one out for a test drive and see what you think. There's plenty of creep here to keep these wheels turning. Just very involved. Don't take your eyes off the road.

I received a copy of Poison through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to St. Martin's Press and to Galt Niederhoffer for the opportunity.

Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,121 followers
October 5, 2017
POISON.....a perfect title!

But perfect family.....not by a long shot. At first glance, all seems well with the Connor's and their three children...new city, great jobs, even a new house, but it doesn't take long for lies and mind games to begin....it is then that life turns scary and more dangerous with each passing day.

CAREFUL who you trust. BEWARE of every action. Some are truly frightening....and lethal. (gave me the creeps!)

Overall, I was totally engaged in the story, but had a few issues with it too....a mother putting her children in harm's way for one, and the ending....a bit too abrupt for my liking. I was also left with unanswered questions about motives and characters....a prologue perhaps would have tied it all up nicely.

Many thanks to St. Martin's Press for reaching out via NetGalley with an early reading opportunity!

Profile Image for Carrie.
3,092 reviews1,510 followers
October 18, 2017
When Cass was left on her on raising her two young children she thought the dream of a perfect family life with a loving husband was quite out of her reach, that is until she met Ryan. Ryan was unlike other men that Cass had known when he didn't run away from the mere thought of her young children and instead proposed marriage and having more of their own someday. The two came together and formed the perfect little family and eventually did have a third baby added to their lives.

After their family expanded Cass and Ryan bought a fixer upper of a home to grow into with their children and with the two working and raising their family everything looked picture perfect for them. Things slowly began to do downhill for Cass though when she would find evidence that maybe, just maybe her husband might not be fully invested in their charming little family. Instead of denying though Ryan would always turn the tables onto Cass until on drunken night he let it slip that he would kill her.

Poison by Galt Niederhoffer is a psychological thriller that was a tad different than most. This story lacks the usual twists and turns and keeping a reader guessing at who done it with the fact that there really could only be two outcomes, either Ryan poisoned his wife or he didn't. But with knowing from early on it was an either or situation the story still gives the reader plenty to follow along as it unfolds and has built a much bigger message into the book.

What this book has done is fit into it the idea of our society being one that immediately questions victims of crimes and turns the tables onto them instead of the accused. In this story it's a matter of poisoning but that could be replaced with numerous other crimes that are suffered every day in society. Victims of rape or abuse for instance could really be living Cass' entire roller coaster ride as she brought the allegations up in the story. This deeper message of victim shaming or blaming is one that society deals with daily and that is what made this one an intense ride while waiting for the answer in the end.

Cass was the perfectly flawed character that she needed to be to make this story work and keep readers guessing all throughout. From one moment to the next I had no clue whether to trust her narrative or to question her side of the events being given in the story. That is exactly what the author seemed to be going for with the deeper meaning to the book and it was done wonderfully in my opinion. In the end I'd definitely recommend checking this one out.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
Profile Image for Caro (Bookaria).
602 reviews18.8k followers
October 30, 2017
Cass and Ryan have been married for three years and have recently moved to Seattle. This is Cass' second marriage after her first husband died. She has two children from her first union and a third with Ryan.

All is marital bliss until Cass starts to suspect that Ryan is being unfaithful. Late-night texts, suspicious hairs and other clues are driving her to these conclusions. Ryan dismisses his wife's accusations because, after all, Cass has always been a bit paranoid.

One night when Cass is being particularly accusatory, Ryan threatens to kill her and goes back to sleep. This event is the beginning of Cass descend into madness: is Ryan trying to kill her or is she imagining it all?

The book kept my interest until the end but at some points I was annoyed with the characters' actions. I feel that there were some questions left unanswered and that an epilogue would have tied up everything nicely.

Overall I enjoyed the novel and recommend it to all readers of thrillers.

Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this publication in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Liz.
1,964 reviews2,413 followers
November 22, 2017
I had trouble getting into this book. There is some beautiful writing, as in lovely phrasing, but the plot was clunky. Cass has the perfect marriage and family life, along with a satisfying career as a journalism professor at U-Dub. As the author tries to paint a portrait of their family life, I quickly became bored. In fact, the description of Ryan and Cass’s initial romance read like a bad romance novel. I had to convince myself to keep reading. I could tell what the author was trying to do, set up the drama for the whole “psychological thriller” aspect. So, I plowed ahead. And then, it’s like a switch is flipped and Mr. Wonderful becomes Mr. Husband from Hell.

Now, you’re not expected to like Ryan once the switch has flipped. But I also found myself unable to sympathize with Cass. In fact, she really infuriated me. The woman seems to totally lack common sense. She is all too willing to be a victim and to put herself and her children at risk.

This book just didn’t do it for me. In addition to my problems with Cass’s character, the plot is like a sledgehammer hitting you over the head with how women are not believed by the police and the victim is turned into the criminal by the judicial process.

My thanks to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book.

Profile Image for Sarah Joint.
445 reviews986 followers
November 21, 2017
At its best, it's unnerving, raw, and powerful. At its worst, it is a bit overwritten and drags. I could feel my interest waning when I was reading on occasion. More dialogue and less extremely descriptive narrative would have been better for me. It is undoubtedly unique and unsettling, however. While much of the narrative was necessary in order for the reader to place themselves in the shoes of the main character, it could have been cut back a bit. I enjoyed some of the feminist undertones and felt like it made some great points, but feel I should warn those that have been in an abusive relationship that it could bring back bad memories.

Cass has what many people want... happy and healthy children, a handsome husband, a stable career, and a house of their own. She and her family have recently moved to Portland for a fresh start. She lost her first husband and father of her two eldest children a few years ago, and she and second husband Ryan have a two year old together. Ryan seems to be the perfect father, but there's more to him than meets the eye. Sure, he's successful. He cooks elaborate meals. All of the kids hero worship him. But he's starting to act different to Cass. While he denies all of her suspicions, Cass thinks that he's cheating and lying to her... and eventually, that he might not want her around anymore. Permanently. She becomes increasingly convinced he's planning to harm her as she grows more and more unstable, and the reader is left wondering who to believe.

Which way is up? I love trying to predict how books will end as they go along, but I was constantly going back and forth on this one. It still managed to surprise me. It's a very different sort of psychological thriller. I found it to be one of the creepiest I've read in awhile, but I was wishing for a little more of a faster pace.

I received an advanced review copy of this book from Net Galley and St. Martin's Press, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.
Profile Image for Holly  B (busy month catching up).
799 reviews1,810 followers
July 8, 2018
3.5 star

A fairytale life complete with an adoring husband, Ryan and 3 young kids. They both were previously married and they have one child together, Sam. Cass is a forgiving wife, but begins to suspect an affair and other inconsistencies are piling up.

I really enjoyed how the author described Ryan, giving me a feel for his creepiness and freakiness! Cass' mom never liked Ryan. Cass returned home one day and found that Ryan had "hacked the room demolishing it with a hammer." Ryan would frequently fall off asleep after watching aggressive zombie flicks. Cass was never sure if Ryan was threatening her or playing mind games.

A slow burn psychological/domestic thriller that picks up speed and kept my eyes glued to pages of the last few chapters to see how it played out. The pacing was a bit slow for my taste though. Fans of Behind Closed Doors and Never Let You Go will enjoy (possibly). I actually thought this one was better and had deeper elements of obsessive creepiness that had me questioning motives throughout.

I won this ARC through Goodreads Giveaway!
Publication date November 21,2017
Profile Image for Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews.
1,044 reviews1,367 followers
November 21, 2017

A whirlwind romance opposed by her mother, a marriage made in heaven, and a move across the country. Was the move part of Ryan’s plan to have no family around for Cass?

A second chance with a man that she never dreamed would come into her life after her husband died was what Cass needed, and Ryan fit the bill.

Everything was perfect wasn't it? A perfect marriage, three perfect kids, and a loving relationship until..…

The Connor family looked perfect on the outside, but the Connors were not perfect at all. Ryan and Cass started out as the dream couple until Ryan showed his true colors of physical as well as psychological abuse. When Cass would confront him with things that happened, he would turn it around and make her feel as if she were the guilty party.

Ryan went from the perfect loving husband and father to an abusive monster that Cass put up with and even denied.

POISON had good writing that pulled you in, but it seemed to drag on and brought up one crazy situation after another.

Domestic abuse was the main theme of POISON and very upsetting, but not as upsetting as some domestic thrillers. It definitely is frightening how often domestic abuse occurs and how many books have this as a theme.

Cass made some very stupid decisions that put herself and her children in danger when she knew she should have just left. It was pretty tense at those moments.

POISON was not a bad read, and the ending was unexpected, but it could have been shortened.

It definitely is a psychological thriller and makes you wonder who you can truly trust.

I would not recommend reading this book if you have been in a similar situation.

If you like intense situations, you will enjoy POISON.

I read it very quickly because I was nervous about what would happen. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
315 reviews35 followers
January 23, 2018
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

2.75 Stars

I am not sure if the main characters names changed before or after I received this ARC, but in the version I read, Cass and Ryan Connor were the names of the main characters. This book wasn’t initially on my radar, but I picked it up after it was recommended to me.

While I really enjoyed the overarching plotline, the writing was too descriptive and there was not enough dialog. The plot was a little cumbersome and there were just too many gaps and loose ends for me to fully engage. Additionally, many times I found myself skim reading over the overly descriptive writing, which is something I really hate doing. I felt more compelled to hurry up and finish it just so I could get on to the next book.

Without giving away any spoilers, here are the reasons why this book just didn’t do it for me. The first is “why”. I understand that Ryan starts to lie and change, but there wasn’t any lead up to why the flip of the switch. There was so much description on Cass & Ryan’s love affair, how they fell in love, their insatiable appetite for intimacy, etc.… but there wasn’t anything that was the catalyst for the breakdown of their marriage. I felt that we needed to see more of Ryan’s transformation from loving and doting to the slow progression of abuser. We are also told that Cass’s mother doesn’t like Ryan, but we are never really told why. Some history between Ryan and Cass’s family would have helped with the transition.

Then there are the gaps of both Marley and Aaron, especially Marley. I really never understood her role and there wasn’t any closure on her arc. I felt that the author could have spent more time closing that loop and providing resolution on Marley. Additionally, I feel that Aaron just randomly got thrown into the story and became a very convenient character. I wish that there would have been more build up to him.

Finally, whether the author intended this or not, I never really felt that Cass was unreliable. I believed her the entire time and I am not sure if we are supposed to or not. Most times it is obvious when we (the reader) are supposed to question our protagonist or not. I will, however, give extra bonus points to Niederhoffer for not making Cass an alcoholic. Amen and all that jazz for bucking the formula on that.

Overall, I liked the premise of Poison, but feel that it really needs some massive editing and rewrites. There is a lot of potential, but there are just too many loose ends and not enough build up. I wish I could have given this book a better rating, but I read so many books in this genre that this one just did not stack up.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,201 reviews34.9k followers
October 3, 2017
Cass met Ryan after the death or her first husband. Her Mother never liked Ryan but Cass was in love and wanted a second chance at happiness. After they were married, Cass and Ryan moved with her two young children to Portland to start a new life for their family. Soon they have a child of their own to complete their family. Cass and Ryan seem like the perfect couple and Cass appears to be happy until she starts to notice little things that are off. First lies, then angry denials, omission of the truth, acts of cruelty and eventually threats.

Just what the heck is going on in this book!?! This is a psychological thriller which captured my attention from the very first page. I sat and read this book in basically one reading. I had to know just what was happening, how it was happening, is what is happening real, is there an unreliable character or is one of the characters a dangerous and evil person?

I enjoyed how Cass started out as strong and intelligent but as the story progressed she appeared to weaken and make bad choices, as in really bad choices. I never really cared for her husband Ryan as he appeared manipulative and too syrupy sweet from the start and soon changed into a defensive, controlling and horrible person. I also did not find the whole neighbor angle to be believable and how Cass could trust someone she does not know so completely. That part seemed a little too convenient.

This book has a fast pace and there is always something happening which keeps the reader engaged in the story even if not everything is plausible or for me believable. The ending came really fast and out of left field for me.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed this book. I did sit and read it in one sitting. I just found some things to be off. Overall it is an enjoyable psychological thriller.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

See more of my reviews at www.openbookpost.com

Profile Image for Theresa Alan.
Author 10 books1,001 followers
October 31, 2017
This story of a woman married to her second husband after her first has died takes a long time to get going. Almost the entire first fifth of the novel is the author telling us the backstory of Cass and Ryan. Cass has a ten-year-old and a seven-year-old from her first marriage. Sam is the two-year-old she had with Ryan.

Once the story actually starts, the pace picks up dramatically. Cass suspects that Ryan is cheating on her. Then she suspects that he’s poisoning her, but poison is a tricky thing to prove. Did it occur naturally or accidentally in the food she ate? If not, how does she or the police know the exact source? Ryan? The babysitter?

Cass begins to doubt everyone. No one believes her—not the ER folks or the cops and definitely not Ryan, who repeatedly tells her and anyone else who will listen that she’s mentally ill. Even as a reader I wasn’t sure if she was delusional, if only a little.

It actually got to the point that reading the novel stressed me out. Niederhoffer does a good job of talking about how women’s testimony on rape and abuse is not considered as reliable as testimony from men.
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this novel.
For more of my reviews, please visit: http://theresaalan.net/blog/
Profile Image for ☮Karen.
1,464 reviews9 followers
November 20, 2017
Now, that's a good ending. Quick, clean, and an I told you so.

Loved the title's multiple implications, the relationship gone bad, the suspicions all around, substances with multiple uses and purposes. I read this not trusting one single character. Is Ryan trying to poison his wife Cass, or is she paranoid, delusional, and in need of psychological care?

Liked less the writing in present tense, which seemed awkward to me and at times too much in the way of explanation. But overall, an exciting and tense read.

An unsolicited comp copy from St Martin's press through NetGalley.
3.5 stars.
Profile Image for Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe).
549 reviews462 followers
November 27, 2017
Cass and Ryan Connor seem like a happy family on the outside. They have three children, two from Cass’ previous marriage and one between them. They have moved to Portland, have stable jobs, and a lovely family home. But the perfect marriage turns into a nightmare when Cass starts to discover that her husband had started to lie daily to her omissions and white lies that turn into a series of denials and threats. Soon Cass is in trouble as she goes up against her husband, who seemed like a loving father, but is now a completely different person and the people who are bent on believing a man’s word over the woman’s.

Okay, I hate giving one star reviews, but with this book I just couldn’t rate it higher.

I wanted to love it, but I quickly grew to despise it. If you are planning to read it and don’t want any spoilers, I’d stop reading the review now because the rant that follows is why I have such strong dislike for this wrong.

One, the format. It was all over the place. Sometimes the story jumped between present and past with no clear cut definitive line and it makes your head swim as you scramble to find out what just happened. One minute it’s in the past, the next minute the author is talking about the present, the switch is so sudden it felt like whiplash.

Second, I am not sure what the author was trying to do here. I get that she puts forth a lot of stuff she believes in and how she feels the world functions and it’s very feminist to the point of being overwhelming?

Like for example. Cass has this perfect family and out of no where, her husband grows another head and becomes a man that she no longer recognizes, capable of violence. There are odd scenes between Cass and Ryan when she confronts him about his cheating and he attacks her, and chokes her, and says your life is over now, you will leave me – something along those lines. It was the most random and weirdest thing, like… ever

Now here is the part that really starts to piss me off. Cass is being poisoned by her husband, but NO ONE believes her, with the exception of her best friend. She goes to the hospital and rather than checking her first for poison, they escort her to the psych ward because apparently hospitals don’t believe women if they come into the ER claiming that their husband is trying to murder them, only crazy people come into the hospital claiming to be poisoned. So rather than checking the person first to see if they are telling the truth, THAN sending them to loony bin if necessary, they do it automatically. Right…

So she goes to her lawyer, and he barely believes her.

She goes to the cops and they do not believe her…

She calls her father, who automatically accuses her of pissing her husband off. Oh, and does not believe her…

Even her mother turns on her.

So this well educated woman in her 30s? 40s? is suddenly being accused by EVERYONE that she has a mental illness, because her husband said so and no one in this country believes women and they all try to discredit them, even our own parents and mothers will testify in court and say – yup this child I raised, who has a good education, has never had a mental illness is obviously mentally ill..

Excuse me? Are you KIDDING ME?

Fine… Let’s say there are hospital in the USA that will throw you into a psych ward if you come in accusing your husband with poisoning you (I’ve been told otherwise, anyone heard differently?) but it’s not like she didn’t have symptoms, she did.

But I never got the sense that her mother would turn on her, like what? Why? I mean, come on…

Also, why did he all the sudden turn on her? I understand she accused him of cheating, which we never got quiet the answer to that, or why he was trying to kill her.

It just did not work for me at all. I get the sense that the author had a strong dislike for the male population in general, including how this country is run in courts, in police, in hopsitals, there is a strong emphasis on male misogyny and was trying to spread the word (or hate) through a psychological thriller, but I never felt like it worked.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Judy Collins.
2,508 reviews353 followers
December 1, 2017
From the author of The Romantics, the Indie director-producer Galt Niederhoffer’s slow-burning highly anticipated and riveting high-stakes psychological domestic thriller, POISON centers around a seemingly perfect marriage that turns deadly, when journalist, Cass Connor begins to suspect her dazzling architect husband, Ryan is trying to kill her.

C H I L L I N G !

Similar to Gaslight, the popular noir film; and even more shocking— inspired by the author’s own personal nightmare (very intriguing). In 2016 a court battle over custody and accusing her own high-profile ex-boyfriend of poisoning her with arsenic, making headlines.

Presently, POISON has been optioned for a scripted TV series by Ben Silverman’s Propagate Content... Hollywood Reporter

This is one I am dying to see and look forward to the cast of stars! Predict will be hotter than Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train.

There is a lot to discuss further here:

In addition, the novel addresses some highly-charged topics ripped from today’s headlines. More importantly how violence, threats, and patterns are viewed.

However, by coming forward with knowledge of a crime, women are scrutinized. They need protection, yet get thrown to the wolves. Brutalized, while being ravaged by violence. In turn, the attacker is rewarded.

A broken legal system.

Victims are made to appear suicidal, paranoid, delusional, jealous, mentally ill, a danger to herself, her children, or simply revengeful. A simple reporting of a crime, and conspiracy to commit murder. However, the tables are turned.

A hot button question in today’s world and decades past. How many women must report a crime before the crime is believed?

“Victims have two options: to be believed or dismissed. Deemed credible or crazy. A credible or unreliable witness.”

“An outraged victim, wrongly accused, dismissed, disgraced, ripped from her children. A woman, charged and criminalized, tried without due process. No burden of proof. An innocent, a victim sentenced for reporting a crime. All of this filtered through a feminist lens. But most of all, it the story of every woman’s fight for survival, a mother on a quest for her children.”


A tactic to destroy the credibility of his victim and witness. Obscure his crime by attacking the victim.

Cassandra (Cass) and Ryan have three children (two from Cass’s former relationship). The family of five relocate cross-country from Brooklyn to a Seattle suburb, Madrona. Married three years. She is a journalist with a strong journalist instinct.

Ryan, a powerful, sexy, charming, architect. A so-called loving father and husband turn into a monster. Her father also suffered from narcissism. Her mother did not care for Ryan.

The Connor family. All goes along smoothly. The daily rotation of domestic life rolls on, as with any perfect machine, until a circuit breaks and the machine ceases to function.

Had Cass overlooked her husband’s troubled past? His sexual appetite and preferences. Eaten alive by the lies her husband?

Cass, age 40 becomes sick after confronting her husband of cheating and his constant travel. He loves to turn the tables on any argument. She was married twice before (one deceased and divorced).

At the University of Washington, she has a classroom of aspiring journalists and students. She happens to be discussing “Reporting on the Female Witness.” Destroying the female witness.

The oldest defense is “she is crazy.” They quote The Crosby case. They blame the victim. A familiar tactic in every rape case. Misogyny.

However, little does Cass know soon she will have the first-hand experience. The family appeared perfect on the outside. Quite different on the inside. Ryan has chosen the perfect crime and the perfect weapon.

When conducting an internet search, the symptoms appear to be poisoning. Heavily intoxicated against her will. Drugged without her knowledge. Who will believe her? In the meantime, Ryan is having an affair. He becomes more sinister and violent. There are more clues. Poison in her system. A pattern of abuse.

Poison used with intent to harm. Trapped in a cage of her husband’s design that extends far beyond anything she could have imagined.

She is being poisoned. Nausea, dizziness, vomiting, pain, bleeding, hair falling out. Similar to patients who are taking chemo. Who will believe her? Toxins in the home, sheets, food, and other sinister acts. They were joint tenants on the deed to the house which means if she dies, he gets the house. Of course, if he can prove her insane or suicidal, he gets custody.

“Arsenic is unique in its dualistic nature, its capacity both to heal, to act as a cure or a killer. In small does, it has a medicinal effect. At higher levels, it transforms from helpful to fatal. It is an example, perhaps more than any other substance, of the inextricable relationship between medicine and poison, endowed with both the power to revive and to destroy, to giveth and to taketh. Like two sides of the same coin, or the cruelest lover.”


. . . “The strangest thing about arsenic is the way it flips from medicinal to toxic. It is Dr. Jekyll, then Mr. Hyde. A personality split between its capacity to do good and evil. . . from an angel of life to an angel of death in a hot minute.”

Much like her husband.

A house once her haven is now her very own crime scene. She has one friend, Nora a real estate broker. They met when she sold them their home. She needs help.

In order, to protect a child, Cass as to pull off a seamless bait and switch. When the legal, health, or law enforcement system does not protect, it forces a woman to take matters into her own hands.

Snow him, and seduce him. He does not love her. He wants to kill her. She needs more evidence. She has to risk danger in order to protect herself and her children. A man who has the power to weaken her defenses.

HE is her poison. A bed that promised restoration is now a torture chamber. A meal that offered sustenance is now a possible vessel for poison.

The only question is the dose at which he is fatal. Her lover. Her tormentor. She must overcome conflicted goals; the desire to run from him, to protect herself from his danger, the impulse to run to him, collapse into his arms and the need to destroy him.

She has to catch him in the act of her own murder. Proof of the crime. Witnesses. Physical evidence.

Will he stop? Can she trust him? A war in which losing is death and winning is safety for her children. A trusting marriage finds new stakes on the age-old issue: happiness or homicide, confidant or killer?

A fake (fraud) nanny, Marley. A neighbor, Aaron who is not as he appears. The source of the toxin. A family who turns against her. Betrays her. A husband who attempts to kill her. A system which does not support her. A fatal attack on her own credibility. A murderer supported.

Insanity? The motive for revenge. A wife reported her husband’s crime, but the wife, not the husband was sentenced.

Four ways to discredit a woman: Delusion. Fabrication. Inculpation. Criminalization. Four failproof ways to destroy the testimony of a victim— when a victim is a woman.

The contradictions. Hatred and love. Fear and desire. Loathing and yearning. Twist the facts. Shift the blame.

A two-year-old son. Still breastfeeding less than two months ago. Now both parents fighting for custody. Two other children sent to live with grandparents.

The terror of being the object of her husband’s hatred. Threats to kill her. A crime with no evidence other than hearsay. Time is not on her side. There is only one option: she must use her own devices to protect herself and her children.

She faces a throng of opposing forces on this subject: rage compels her to hurt him back, to deprive him of the thing he wants most, their most precious shared possession, and common sense tells her is not in his right mind, that he is not competent now to be around children.

And yet her pure and weakened heart wants no revenge, no malice, and like some old broken toy, years to make him happy.

Why does a woman stay a day with a man she knows is capable of violence? #WhyIStayed

To prove a crime, not unlike rape, a crime with no witnesses, the only proof that it did occur, the victim’s bruises, trauma, terror, and, if she’s lucky, her attacker’s semen. An attacker warps an act of love into an act of violence. Except here the semen is poison.

No need for a smoking gun. Cass swallowed the bullet. Will Cass find the strength to protect her children and wage this war?

“Killers forget that when they fail, they train their insurrection.”

Liars like to brag. They love attention. Love-hate relationships. . . . “Liars are storytellers first and foremost, and a story without an audience is a tree falling in a forest.”

The author’s writing is precise and flawless. Due to the premise (the author’s first-hand experience), the details are raw and full of passion and emotion.

Some reviewers state there is more telling and narrative than dialogue. Being that this book could have been written as a memoir or non-fiction (however, due to any whistleblower story, that cannot be done) legally; and must be fictional, while paralleling close to the real truth.

In doing so, possibly the author is very close to the topic at hand, so the humor and additional fictional dialogue are not present i.e. husband’s POV.

Say for example, books such as: Best Day Ever (Kaira Ruba) – also a psychopathic husband poisoning his wife, and Behind Closed Doors (B.A. Paris), Emma In the Night (Wendy Walker), and Big Little Lies (Liane Moriarty) there comes more banter and dialogue between the two and crosses over to the sarcastic witty side, or includes secondary sideline stories and other characters.

Whereas, in POISON (a more serious tone). More of a "telling" from a woman’s point of view how a perfect life unraveling by someone close to her, and at the same time there is no support when attempting to attain justice from the system. In-depth feelings and emotions. Broken trust. A story for women, about women. The author shines here.

Cass' role as wife, and mother is the focus. This is a strong and intelligent woman. How it all unravels from perfection to hell. Demonstrates this happens to women from all social classes. There is not a husband’s POV. Whereas other psychological thrillers may go into more detail of the deranged husband and his background. (however, highlighted here).

Thought-provoking! Why so many women do not come forward until there are others to support the actions, lest to be shut down and demoralized. An ideal book club choice.

In our society today, this rings true. Similar to rape or domestic abuse. There is a twisting of the truth by the opposition and therefore discourages women from coming forward. The proof.

You have to be almost dead or the killer caught in the act. The witness? In this case, there is another burden of truth, who is actually putting the toxins in the food, which further complicates the motive.

Like so many women (and whistleblowers), you are forced to stay in the relationship or job, in order to attain more evidence or proof due to the way our court system is unfairly designed.

POISON is realistic, gripping, and haunting. A cautionary tale. (The book reminded me of my psycho-ex husband and our nightmare trip to Bermuda). Ironic, it was Bermuda here as well.

"I wanted to write a book where the suspense is fueled both by the peril of the protagonist and by the judgment of the community," Niederhoffer said. "It's a story about a whistleblower, and the ways a community can discount, dismiss and demonize — shoot the messenger — when she reports violence before believing a woman's word."


Masterfully done! Great passages, and superb writing; bookmarked many pages. Loved: The friend, the drying cleaning clue, the second phone ("Robinhood" for jilted housewives) – an edgy and crafty twist.

Highly Recommend for those who enjoy intelligent and entertaining domestic suspense (literary fiction) focused on women. For fans of Big Little Lies, would love to see Nichole Kidman or Shailene Woodley cast as Cass, and evil, Alexander Skarsgård as Ryan. Oh, and please sneak in Iain Armitage as one of the children.

JDCMustReadBooks

A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy.

Also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Hillary Huber for an entertaining and engrossing performance.

Other:
Niederhoffer is the author of four novels, including Taxonomy of Barnacles and The Romantics, which she adapted and directed for the screen with Katie Holmes and Anna Paquin starring. She has produced more than 20 films, including Infinitely Polar Bear, Robot and Frank and the Oscar-nominated The Kids Are All Right.

Silverman, former co-chairman of NBC Entertainment from 2007-2009 and Universal Media Studios, is an Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning show creator and executive producer of The Office, Jane the Virgin, Ugly Betty and The Tudors. Silverman's Propagate Content is currently in production on a number of series including The CW’s Charmed and Apple's first TV show, Planet of the Apps.
Profile Image for Mary.
622 reviews
August 23, 2017
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my review.

Wow. This book had me hooked. When Cass' husband Ryan tells her he is going to kill her, he means it. And the journey is completely terrifying. Very well written, if a bit too wordy in spots. I couldn't put it down til I got to the ending. I really enjoyed it!
Profile Image for Patrice Hoffman.
552 reviews256 followers
November 15, 2017
Where to begin with my review of Galt Niederhoffer's Poison? I guess the beginning. After reading the blurb on the back I decided to ask the Netgalley gods for a review copy. Once approved, I kinda shelved it for a while because work and classes just really take so much out of me that reading is the last thing I want to do after waking at 6 then going nonstop until 12 midnight. Any who... I picked this poison and was surprisingly happy with it.

Cass and Ryan have a seemingly happy life together, raising their blended family in Seattle after moving from New York. Things are good. Life is good. Kids are good. Wife is good. Husband is good... until he goes bad.

Almost out of nowhere, Ryan changes for the worse and life as Cass knew it seemed like a very distant memory. Their picture perfect life begins to unravel and becomes poisonous. Listen booksnobs, there are a lot of ways the theme and the title go hand in hand so just give me a break on my wordplay here. I have so few joys and I'm not that clever... ok!

So, I'll try not to give too much away but there's a lot of poison even in the symbolic realm of this book's theme. Poison chronicles how abusive relationships take their toll on the average family as well as the victims of abuse. There's a sort of posion that has crept it's way into the fabric of our society where we tend to blame the victim. Why'd she dress like that? What did she do to cause her husband to break? Could she just be imagining things? The reader is faced with trying to make sense of all that's happening with only Cass' fragile mindset as the guide which gets a little murky.

For me, Poison was actually a really good read. Niederhoffer's writing is succinct and impeccable. I was drawn into Cass' world and felt the tension she felt when her pleas for help seemed to fall on deaf ears. Cheering and rooting for Cass is why I kept reading...

But...

Cass was utterly exhausting at times. I don't know why exactly. Maybe it was the amount of careless mistakes she made as well as her neediness in the beginning. I couldn't understand a lot of her actions (especially with the nanny thing... no way in hell someone that suspect would be near my children) and I almost wanted to shake her. But, as I reflect and look back, she must have been scared all the time. She really had very few refuges and that's gotta suck.

Essentially, I get it. We live in a world where victims don't are quieted from fear of their abuser as well as the lack of confidence in those who are supposed to protect us. There's a poison that has permeated into our society that some women would rather continue with these dangerous dependency relationships than let someone know that they need help. Poison is definitely a worthwhile read as it treads between literary and thriller with ease. Galt Niederhoffer is definitely one I'll be on the lookout for.

Copy provided by St. Martin's Press via Netgalley
Profile Image for Lisa.
610 reviews232 followers
October 12, 2017
POISON is a compelling story of one woman's maddening struggle to be believed.

SUMMARY
Cass and Ryan Conner have a happy marriage and lovely family. They have three wonderful kids, a nice home and both have successful careers. But in the blink of an eye something changes. The betrayal and lies begin, the defenses go up, accusations are levied. The disagreements start small and then they mushroom. The happy marriage falls apart and suddenly it becomes a matter of life or death.

“She feels the power of desire, the power of attraction. He is her poison. The only question is the dose at which he is fatal.”


REVIEW
I struggled with the writing in the beginning of this book, but never one to give up, I thankfully stuck with it. The story was gut-wrenchingly good. It is a frustrating and frightening psychological thriller. It's the story of a perfect crime that leaves no fingerprints and flips the suspicion from the attacker to the victim. Overall, I liked the premise of the story, but found several essential part of the story unbelievable. I appreciated the strength of Cass’s character, but found it incongruent with many of the decisions she made. I highlighted several thought-provoking passages in the book, but found the book heavy on narrative and light on dialogue. Overall, despite its issues. I enjoyed the book

Thanks to Netgalley, St Martin’s Press and Galt Niederhoffer for an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“His outrage fuels her outrage, his anger her indignation…Is it possible this is all her fault, that she has created the problem, that her mistrust is the root of their ills, as opposed to his indiscretions?”
Profile Image for Irene Well Worth A Read.
832 reviews67 followers
September 28, 2017
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
Profile Image for Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows).
1,537 reviews317 followers
November 21, 2017
Are you the type of woman that looks the other way when something seems amiss? Is your husband or boyfriend cheating but the consequences of confronting him are worse than the gains you get from staying? What if that confrontation leads to something more sinister? How far do you go to protect yourself and your children?

I'm a bit confused why the Kindle Edition blurb says Abigail and Benjamin when the wife and husband's names are Cass and Ryan... In any case, this is a slow burn thriller where again we have to see if the wife is crazy and imagining things or if her husband is actually psychotic and messing with her head. The pace starts out slow but slowly builds up steam. I did lose some interest in the middle as things seemed a bit repetitive and lulled... but the last few chapters had me glued to see where it was going to go.

I loved the characterization of both Cass and Ryan. Told strictly through Cass's POV, we go through the crazy with her. Is she actually just paranoid and causing this rift between her and her husband? How complicit is she in what is happening? These are the things Ryan's character starts to make you think. And he is definitely written as a smooth operator type where at times you feel for him and other times you want to drop kick him.

A solid slow burn of a domestic thriller. It didn't quite grab me as much as I wanted it to but it's a good look inside the mind of a wife fighting for her life and her children.
Profile Image for AnisaAnne.
115 reviews466 followers
July 14, 2017
What happens when for "better or for worse" becomes deadly?

The portrait of a perfect family. Man, wife, three kids and a cat in the yard. Now nestled in Seattle, it is a family's second chance at domestic bliss. Cass and Ryan have three children between them, Pete, Alice and baby Sam. Ryan is an architect, busy at the office and Cass is a teacher and domestic juggler. Although their days separate, Cass and Ryan share sweet rituals which reaffirm their affections when they come together. Until one day, something small is off. A lie of omission made. And slowly Cass fears for her life.

I rated this book 3.5-stars but rounded it to 4 because of a great premise, character detail, and timely issues.

The story is 320 pages and in 2 parts. The tale, set in the suburb of Seattle Washington is told from Cass's point of view. Interspersed in the narrative, are snippets of Cass and Ryan's past, a glimpse into their temperament and behaviors.

Cass is a perfect portrayal of middle age mother feeling that she has lost her sexual currency. She has held her University tenure at bay to create a home for her children, two from another marriage. Cass struggles each day through the frenzy of balancing the needs of her husband and children with her work obligations. In her class, she is an engaging professor, hooking her class into legal theory. Bill Cosby's story, a subject in Cass's class, offers an education. The four ways to discredit women-delusion, fabrication, inculpation, and criminalization. Was this topic brought up early in the book for a foreshadowing for her marriage?

Niederhoffer gets inside the mind of women and a working mother and makes it feel universal. The daily descriptions of a happy family household routines are fresh air, beautiful and chaotic. When Cass becomes a woman in grave danger, we receive her reflexive and innermost thoughts. With each accusation deflected by her husband, she becomes more feral. Cass starts to doubt her credibility while he almost flaunts it in her face. When Cass discovers that the people around her might slowly poison her, she has few places to turn.

The drama is well paced and unfolds naturally. Ryans past is a good barometer for his present. Ryan's manipulation wrapped in a neat package of undermining gives us a glimpse into a sadistic opportunist. When Cass becomes a worthy opponent, the relationship turns deadly. The character of Ryan is cringeworthy, and the pace of the story manipulates and terrorizes the reader alongside Cass.

The narrative has several themes of current social issues including domestic violence, abuse against women, and the discrediting of the female victim in a skewed justice system . "...girls who report assaults, even when they have bruises. These women get taken down...." by the "press, cops, by the lawyers, and the courtroom." It's even worse when it is a crime with no physical evidence - hearsay. Accusations of mental illness or paranoia are often in the lurch, especially if the accuser is female.

One negative critique of this novel is that it would not seem highly likely that a well-educated mother and lawyer would put her children and herself into the line of fire. So with a suspension of disbelief, I rallied alongside a mother and her children. However, she justifies her action well to make it somewhat plausible. Another issue I had was the actual physical effects of the poison on the main character -violent symptoms would come and suddenly be gone, making the narrative a bit choppy and confusing. Finally, why would Ryan go to deadly measures? Is he just a psychopath? All this may be about a sad commentary on our legal and law enforcement systems.

The ending of the story is impactful and contrary, leaving you with a sense of wanting more. Not because the story is not finished, but to see how Cass moves into her next chapter. The narrative is well developed and paced, with the right details in character development. The setting of Seattle was, of course, one of my favorite attributes of the novel. I enjoyed this suspenseful tale and would recommend Poison.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lisa.
750 reviews133 followers
January 25, 2018
I have no idea what to rate this book so I'll just give it a 3.

This book was maddening. I had to listen to it cranked up to warp speed because it made me so uncomfortable that I just had to get through it as fast as I could. I was yelling at my blue tooth speaker. This main character, Cass, was infuriating. Everything she did made me lose it. And the ending!!! AAAAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!! I was a complete hostage to this book. I never cleaned my house with such speed or aggression before. It probably deserves more stars because it was well written and obviously the author is able to elicit very strong emotions from her readers, but I can't say I enjoyed it. It made me nuts!!!!
Profile Image for debbicat *made of stardust*.
723 reviews107 followers
November 2, 2019
This was an entertaining audiobook listen to me. I have had the netgalley ARC for a while but never got to it. I saw the audio version available on my library app and downloaded it. The narrator is good and it moves at a good pace. I do recommend it.

Cass and Ryan are recently married. They seem to have an idyllic life and are crazy for each other..lots of hot sex and I love yous, sappy, romantic. But, it all kinda turns sour when Cass starts to suspect that Ryan is cheating on her. She needs to know the truth. They won't sit very well with Ryan. He is having none of these accusations. It gets pretty nasty. Cass comes to believe that Ryan is poisoning her to get rid of her. I had to suspend disbelief to move forward with parts of the story.
I'll leave the rest for you to find out. It's a well-written story but became a bit long with some repetition in my opinion. It is a story that needs to be told. How women are disregarded and not believed when it comes to domestic abuse.

I received a digital copy for review from the publisher and Netgalley. While I read some of the book, I also listened to the library audiobook. The narrator was good and I recommend it. I didn't love this book, but it was entertaining on my walks in the afternoon. Very suspenseful and anxiety-producing. I wanted to know what happened, so it did accomplish what I wanted from it...kept me walking longer. That is a good thing!
Profile Image for Judy.
1,059 reviews
October 29, 2017
Great psychological thriller! Carrie, a single mother with two children, marries Ryan and thinks life is perfect. Everything is perfect for this family - and then, Carrie suspects she may be being poisoned. Things get scary; she is really sick. She is suspicous of her husband, but she loves him. What is happening?

This book keeps your attention, but some of it is hard to swallow. Why would a mother, who suspects she is being poisoned at home, not get her children out of that environment? The book raises awareness of how women who are victims are suspected of causing or contributing to their victimization. It is seem many times with abuse or rape victims where reporting the crime can be as psychologically damaging to them as the crime itself. They can be suspected of being psychologically unstable or of contributing / causing their attack. This is done many times by police, medical professionals, or the justice system - all of which should be there to help.

Thanks to Galt Niederhoffer and St. Martin's Press through Netgalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Cindy.
1,437 reviews21 followers
October 29, 2017
I'm giving 3.5 stars to this Goodreads won. This story was definitely poisonous and toxic. A perfect family, perfect children, beautiful wife and handsome husband. All this comes tumbling down when Cass questions her marriage and sanity. The story may be a little far fetched but maybe not. Lies take over truth and a male's perspective overpowers a woman's pleas for help. A very aggravating but enticing plot. Might have been 4 stars but I thought the ending was a bit rushed. This is the 3rd psychological thriller that I have read this week. Best I take a break!
Profile Image for Leslie.
1,124 reviews227 followers
Read
October 1, 2017
I was sent this from Netgalley. I'm not finishing. I don't know if it was the book or me but I really couldn't keep going with it. It was taking far too long for any developments. I have a feeling that it's one of those slow burn type suspense books and that, had I stuck with it, I may have ended up enjoying. I suppose I'm just not in the right mood.
Profile Image for Dianne.
6,765 reviews583 followers
October 19, 2017
They had the “perfect” life. Cass and Ryan were successful, had three beautiful children, two incomes and a home that had the potential to hold all of their dreams. Like a house built on shifting sand, their lives together began to crumble and their bond of marriage, fidelity, trust and honesty was being shattered. Far worse, one of them was wielding the deadly sledgehammer and doing so without anyone being the wiser.

POISON is the story of a marriage and a family’s demise, the mental games and the physical threats something that no one should ever have to face. Galt Niederhoffer tells a brutal tale of one woman’s fight for her sanity, her family and her very life as we live this nightmare through the eyes and mind of Cass, the only character truly developed while all others are almost blurry, like shadows.

Without a doubt, this psychological thriller is the ultimate nightmare on steroids. The author has created an atmosphere of terror, doubt and futility as Cass finds herself isolated in her own hellacious world. What was difficult for me wasn’t the subject matter or the razor-taut tension, it was how Cass’s world seemed so insular, so cut-off from everything and everyone around her. There were times I felt like I was standing in a blank room with millions of ping pong balls coming at me from every direction. I really didn’t care for Cass, she allowed-no she AIDED in creating her victim persona. For every step she took to save herself, she stepped back almost as far. From medical personnel to the police to neighbors, she was supposedly waved off or blindly naïve. And, my goodness, what about her children? We hire caregivers for our most precious possessions without vetting them?

In the end, POISON may have gotten a rise out of me, but it wasn’t in a positive way.

I received an ARC edition from St. Martin's Press.

Publisher: St. Martin's Press (November 21, 2017)
Publication Date: November 21, 2017
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Print Length: 304 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
For Reviews & More: http://tometender.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Linda Richardson.
377 reviews9 followers
May 4, 2019
Chilling story of psychological suspense. The author’s writing had me submersed in Cass’ emotions; I fould myself feeling her panic & paranoia.
Profile Image for Carrie.
Author 16 books66 followers
August 10, 2017
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

The premise of this intrigued me, but ultimately, I didn't feel the execution lived up to it. What my confusion boils down to, I think, is that I was never sure what this was supposed to be. The blurb cites it as a thriller, but it was never fast-enough paced for me to consider it one. I never quite believed in Cassandra as a character because of her stilted speeches, bizarre trains of thought, and sometimes irrational behavior. Because of that, when I got into the meat of the story, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to believe her. And that got me thinking about whether the author WANTS the reader to be complicit in Cass's condemnation. But in light of the (non)ending, that theory doesn't hold up. So I'm left with a very muddled idea of what Niederhoffer was trying to do.

I suppose I'm fairly picky about writing styles, and I wasn't a fan of Niederhoffer's. It was sparse and fairly plain, which works for some people, I'm sure. Although I love the present tense, it didn't work for me here. Especially in a thriller, I expected it to induce a sense of urgency, but it felt like we were just meandering from scene to scene and that Niederhoffer didn't really feel like expending the energy on setting those scenes.

I do admire the author's attempt at shed a light on the realities of being a (white, fairly wealthy) woman in a misogynistic world, but a lot of the instances felt shoe-horned in rather than organic, which is odd since the entire book is about the experience of a woman who isn't believed.

Overall, this didn't thrill me, and I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone.
Profile Image for Patty.
1,601 reviews84 followers
November 28, 2017
Poison
By
Halt Niederhoffer


What it's all about...

Wow...this book started out like a meek little lamb and then halfway through began roaring like a lion. Ryan and Cass...married...in love...building a strong family unit with her two children and the one they made together. Then Cass started doubting Ryan...but...Ryan behaved bizarrely...meanly...again...mid way through the book I doubted everyone...even Nora the Neighbor!

Why I wanted to read it...

This book was truly compelling. The writing...the way the author speaks to the reader...is vivid. Cass is in a fight for her family...for her life...and she seems to always turn into walls...there is no help for her anywhere...there is no one that she can trust.

What made me truly enjoy this book...

Again...I loved the writing...I loved Cass and her relationship with her children. I loved her story. This is not a calm laid back reading experience...it was tense...fast paced...even brutal at times. I could not tear myself away from this story.

Why you should read it, too...

Readers who love a gritty compelling thriller will love this book.

I received an advance reader’s ebook from NetGalley and the publisher for my Kindle Oasis in exchange for an honest review.
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