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The Poison Tree


London, in the sweltering summer of 1997. Karen is a strait-laced, straight-A university student. When she meets the impossibly glamorous Biba, a bohemian orphan who lives in a crumbling mansion in Highgate with her enigmatic brother Rex, she is soon drawn into their world. 


As the summer progresses, Karen becomes tangled up in their tragic family history and the idyll turns into a nightmare, culminating in murder.

A decade later, Karen collects Rex from prison. Together with their nine-year-old daughter Alice, they try to settle into family life. While Rex has served his time, Karen keeps dark secrets that mean she has her own life sentence to serve.

What happened that summer casts a terrifying shadow over her future. Will the past catch up with her?

‘A terrific suspense debut. The shadows gather until the ending looms like a threatening figure. This one gets the writer’s ultimate praise: I wish I had written it’

Stephen King

‘Brilliant! This grabs you with the first sentence and doesn’t let go, even after the last page.

The sort of thriller that stays with you for a long, long time’

Jeffery Deaver

‘A beautifully crafted, evocative psychological thriller. A dark, poetic, gripping, totally brilliant Brideshead Revisited for the 21st century’

The Times

‘Tense and menacing, filled with foreboding and a terrible sense of the inevitable, Kelly builds a feeling of claustrophobia.

A gripping psychological thrill’

The Bookseller

‘A compelling creeper that intelligently invokes the conventions of the Gothic and offers the twisted pleasures of vengeance within its eerie narrative’

Washington Post

‘The spirit of Daphne Du Maurier hangs heavily over Kelly’s debut novel. A taut chamber-piece of psychological suspense’

Financial Times

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