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The Poison Garden

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  4,513 ratings  ·  705 reviews
A womans idyllic life becomes a deceptive hall of mirrors in a thriller of exquisitely constructed psychological suspense by A. J. Banner, bestselling author of The Good Neighbor.

Elise Watters seems to have it alla blissful marriage, a gorgeous Victorian home surrounded by lush gardens, and a dream job running her late mothers herbal boutique.

But on the eve of her first
Kindle Edition, 203 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,513 ratings  ·  705 reviews

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Sep 16, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody really.
1 "superficial, inconsistent, painful whiplash" star !!

2019 Runner Up for Worst Read Award

Thank you to Netgalley, the author and Lake Union Publishing for an arc ebook. I will be providing a brief review in exchange.

This book was a huge let-down. The novel is billed as a psychological thriller. IMHO a psychological thriller needs to have-

-psychological congruence , psychological depth, believable twists and turns and plausible motivations for intrapersonal desicions and interpersonal actions
Jun 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley-arcs
This was not good. The writing is weak, the plot ludicrous, the characters actions are ridiculous and I'm just glad it was a quick read.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: I tried to cry out, but his fingers were crushing my neck. Spots danced in front of my eyes. Only a gurgling sound came out - I couldn't breathe. My baby! I wanted to scream.

'I had to protect you,' he said. 'I had to-'

I choked, pinpoints of light bursting through my vision as I gasped for air. This is how I'm going to die, I thought. My baby, too. The both of us.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Elise Watters seems to have it alla blissful marriage, a gorgeous Victorian home surrounded by lush
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Elise Watters is full of excitement as she returns home to celebrate her first wedding anniversary to her second husband, a successful doctor. Her life appears perfect - living on a small island off the coast of Washington, running her late mothers business, and happily married.

However, her idyllic life soon comes crashing down when she comes home early to surprise her husband. Elise begins to question her whole life. Is her husband the man she thought she knew? Was her mother trying to warn
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Have you ever walked through a hall of mirrors at a fair or haunted house? They can be pretty confusing right? The description of The Poison Garden includes that analogy, and I can see why. It keeps you guessing, and nothing is at it seems. My first book from A.J. Banner was a quick, absorbing treat.

Elise Watters is one of those women who has it all, but just before her first wedding anniversary, her life falls apart. What she thought she knew before is false (like that hall of mirrors!). Is
Aug 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I loved After Nightfall which I read last year, so I was excited to see that A.J. Banner was releasing a new title, this October. I immediately requested an ARC, and was pleased when my request was approved.

But, unfortunately, I cannot recommend this one.

The characters lacked authenticity and the plot was extremely far fetched.

At only 208 pages, I was able to read this quickly, hoping it would get better, but it just didnt.

There are some five star reviews so if your taste in this genre
The Poison Garden by A.J. Banner is the first book I've read by this author but I'm definitely interested in reading more.
The poison garden is a typical domestic thriller with the cheating husband who likes to play mind games and the lying ex-husband oh they both want to kill her too (this woman definitely knows how to pick her men 😬) but she has the most fabulous friend next door, if she wasn't there the ending would of been sooo different.
It's a short book of only 194 pages it's not rushed and
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Poison Garden, a suspense/thriller book, was a solid 4 stars.
The book centers around main character Elise-a financially independent woman who is happily married to a doctor. Elises life begins to unravel as she returns home only to find her husband in bed with a much younger woman. To make matters worse, she overhears them discussing the need to get rid of her. Elise, who is worth millions, kicks her husband out of her life and starts an investigation of her own. Elise discovers that her
Bex (Beckie Bookworm)

Returning from a trip to the city to spend her anniversary weekend with her husband of a year Elise's life is plunged into disarray.
everything Elise thought she knew about her perfect existence is brought into close scrutiny and question and as she further investigates to get to the hidden truths, her eyes are then further opened as her world crumbles around her.
Not knowing who she can trust or even believe Elise has only herself to rely on.
So this was mainly told from Elise's POV with some
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Gothic Noir.
Recommended to Bren by: Jayme
Where there is barren soil, she plants a seed. Where there is destruction, she creates hope. Where darkness has spread, she breathes light.
A.J. Banner, The Poison Garden

review to follow.

I read this quickly and while I did not dislike it, it is just so much like many books I have read this year. They sort of all read the same for me. I think I am a bit burnt out on the genre so that doesn't help.

Elise finds her husband cheating. This is not a spoiler. It happens in the first few pages. It is
Jamie Rosenblit
Jul 31, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
3 stars for AJ Banner's latest psychological thriller, The Poison Garden.

I absolutely LOVED Banner's previous book, After Nightfall, but unfortunately, the paranoia of the main character was so frustrating it ruined my enjoyment of the book. This book started out all over the place but started to come together a bit more around the midpoint, which is when my interest level really picked up and continued to build to an ending that I thought was entertaining.

This book is under 300 pages which
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Complex, twisty, and unpredictable!

The Poison Garden is an unnerving, menacing, domestic thriller that delves into all the deep, dark secrets people keep even from those closest to them and highlights just how easily people can be psychologically and emotionally manipulated.

The prose is tight and intense. The characters are secretive, unstable, and troubled. And the plot, told through an unreliable narrator, builds and unravels briskly into a story filled with unexpected twists, suspicious
Elise is heading back to Chinook Island, preparing to celebrate her first wedding anniversary with her husband, Dr. Kieran Lund. They seem to have an ideal, loving marriage, living in Elise's childhood home. Once a pharmacist, she now runs her late mother's herbal boutique. But upon her arrival to the island, Elise makes a shocking discovery, causing her to doubt all she thought about Kieran and their marriage. Soon she finds herself doubting everyone--even her own memories.

"On the ferry ride
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free e-copy of The Poison Garden by A.J. Banner from NetGalley for my honest review.

An suspenseful read full of twists and turns. A wonderfully driven book with fantastic characters. There were time I thought I had things figured out in this book, but found out I did not.
Judy D Collins
Check out my fascinating QA Elevator Interview with the amazing A.J. Banner You are in for a rare treat as she shares the "story behind the story" and learn about her traveling writing studio and vintage typewriters!

Master storyteller and talented author, A. J. Banner returns following, After Nightfall My Top Books of 2018, with her latest captivating thriller THE POISON GARDEN and once again, Top Books of 2019.

Richly Atmospheric. Spellbinding. Absorbing. Twisty. Compellingly
Alayne Emmett
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a good book to read, I read it so quickly because I just couldnt put it down. It had all the elements I love in a thriller, twisty and exciting and sometimes creepy.
It was a little bit different to a lot of the thrillers Ive read in the past but it kept me guessing right down to the end.
I would certainly read this author again and recommend this book to my friends.
My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
I really loved A. J. Banners last book, so I was excited to hear about her newest novel The Poison Garden. She has a way of writing about that niggle of doubt in a relationship that can tear it wide open.

Elise runs an herbal boutique she inherited from her late mother. Elises mom died a few years earlier, and in the wake of her grief her mothers physician is there for her. And soon the handsome doctor becomes more than just a confidant, he becomes her husband.

On the eve of her wedding
Sherri Thacker
This is a fast paced thriller and it keeps you guessing until the VERY LAST PAGE!! So many twists and turns - I thought I had it figured out then I would turn the page ... nope, it wasnt that at all!! Its a quick read! P.S. Theres an actual Dr. Thacker in the book (which is my last name) lol ...more
AJ Banner can always deliver the perfect domestic thriller with just the right amount of suspense. I've read the last three novels written by AJ Banner and each have always hit the mark perfectly with me. If you are picking up one of Banner's novels, you know that it'll involve a married couple being thrown tribulations that many would not be able to handle and The Poison Garden is no exception.

Elise Watters is married to the neighborhood doctor, Kieran Lund, and the two have been together
Aug 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
I loved After Nightfall which I read last year, so I was excited to see that A.J. Banner was releasing a new title, this October. I immediately requested an ARC, and was pleased when my request was approved.

But, unfortunately, I cannot recommend this one.

The characters lacked authenticity and the plot was extremely far fetched.

At only 208 pages, I was able to read this quickly, hoping it would get better, but it just didnt.

There are some 5 star reviews, so if your tastes in this genre differ
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first time reading this author. This was a dark and intense twisted story. It kept me on edge and I was totally glued to it. I loved all the twists and suspense. I'll be reading all her books! This was a fabulous thriller. Well written. One of the best I've read this year.
I was given a copy from the publisher for my honest review.
Novels N Latte
Hudson Valley NY
Oct 11, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 stars
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: release-2019
On the eve of her first wedding anniversary, happily married Elise arrives at her home on Chinook Island early to find her doctor husband in bed with another woman. She overhears their conversation leading her to believe theyre plotting to get rid of her. Shes thinking to possibly collect her five million dollars, who knows.. as Elise has doubts about what shes overhead. Taking it a step further she begins snooping through his things, and now feels that he may have murdered her mother.
Literary Soirée
Ive been bitten by the A.J. Banner bug! Started her latest addictive thriller and could not stop reading. I mean COULD NOT STOP til the very end. And whatta end! Sheesh, a girls gotta have a life, A. J. But all I wanted to do was read. And read. And READ! I bet you will too when you pick up THE POISON GARDEN and meet Elise, she of the perfect life on the cusp of her first wedding anniversary, who learns the most shocking thing. Is what she thinks true? Is her very life in danger? OMG! 5/5

Christina McDonald
Dazzling and at times frighteningly real, this eloquently written domestic suspense is a deceptive hall of mirrors experience.

After beginning with a bang, the tension continues to ramp up until the reader, like Elise, is questioning everything. Elise Watters has the perfect life. She returns to her perfect home to celebrate her first wedding anniversary with her perfect husband, only to have her world come crashing down. And then she finds something from her deceased mother that makes her
Tracy Frenette
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great mystery
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thrilling book.
I really enjoyed this one, the characters were stuck with me even when I had to tear myself away from its pages .
I found myself going over and over this book in my head trying to work out the plot, the twist and turns.
Unlike some mystery or thrillers I nevere felt I had missed something, or skipped some text, it flowed so well and kept my attention completely until the final pages and beyond.

Banner is a gifted writer and this is not the first book I've enjoyed by her.

Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Pageturner alert!
This book is so good I finished it in two sittings.

Elise abruptly breaks up from her husband after he has done the unthinkable. But he won't let her go. Protected by another ex and a seemingly goodhearted neighbour, she stuggles to find her feet. But soon the husband mysteriously disappears and the ex becomes a creepy stalker. And where does the neighbour fit in?
Meanwhile Elise suffers from sleepwalking. What's the dream, what's real?
And how does her mother's diary explain what
Jun 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really struggled through this book. It just did not work for me. The story was all over the place and the characters were unlikeable and annoying. The twists and turns in the book seemed a little too convenient. I wish I could say nice things about the book but I just can't. It wasn't for me.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a digital ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 star read on this amazing Suspense Thriller from @ajbanner1. From the first chapter on, I was hooked to this amazing book! I silenced my phone, made myself a cuppa, grabbed my favorite blanket and kissed everyone an early goodnight and plopped myself in my favorite reading nook and got comfortable. I knew this was going to be one of those reads you cannot stop once you start! And did I enjoy it immensely!!

The story begins with Elise who seems to have it all - married to a handsome, romantic
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A. J. Banner grew up reading Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, and other masters of love and mystery. She enjoyed sneaking thrillers from her parents' library, which gave her excellent fodder for her novels of psychological suspense, The Good Neighbor, The Twilight Wife, After Nightfall, and her upcoming release, The Poison Garden. The Good Neighbor was a #1 Kindle bestseller for 34 days in a ...more

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