The Poison Garden

Alex Marwood. Penguin, $16 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-14-311052-1
Romy, the 21-year-old protagonist of this creepy psychological thriller from Edgar-winner Marwood (The Darkest Secret), is the only adult survivor found at the site of the mass death of more than a hundred people at the messianic doomsday cult, the Ark, in North Wales. She tries to keep her pregnancy secret as she transitions to the outside world, where she seeks out her teenage half-siblings, Ilo and Eden, the latter a child of the cult’s patriarch, Lucien Blake, and thus possibly destined to become the One. The narrative alternates between Romy’s sinister efforts to reconnect with family and provide for her unborn child’s future, and the experiences of her mother, Somer, who joined the Ark when Romy was a child. Marwood makes life inside the controlling and Spartan survivalist compound appear simultaneously appalling and idyllic, leaving the reader feeling revolted, but just a bit complicit. The dangling plot line at the end leaves the story feeling less complete than it should. Hopefully, a sequel will provide some resolution. Agent: Laetitia Rutherford, Watson, Little (U.K.). (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/08/2019
Release date: 01/14/2020
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Book - 978-1-101-99269-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-977301-88-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-977351-88-3
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