POISON by Galt Niederhoffer / Thriller / Released Nov 2017 by St. Martin’s Press
Review by Heather Haven
Cass, a widow from New York City with two children, meets architect Ryan Connor, who sweeps her off her feet. They end up marrying, moving to Portland, Maine, having a son, and buying a Victorian fixer upper. They are totally and completely happy. Or are they? The house seems to be in constant need of something, as suddenly does the rest of her life. Cass is unable to cope.
Ryan begins to stay late at work more and more. Is it another woman? Is it her inability to be who she once was? Or is she going mad? Why is everyone turning against her? Even her own mother testifies against Cass at a competency hearing in her ability to take care of her two older children. Where is her once idyllic, storybook life? And her life only tumbles down from there.
The author, Galt Niederhoffer, is a master at creating a world in which this woman is being psychologically tortured, either by herself or others. The reader sees the minutest details of her in the throes of losing her mind. In a very close and personal third person point of view, it’s almost as if the author has experienced a situation akin to the one she writes. But that is often the mark of a fine writer, to wear the skin of others. Poison is a sometimes difficult book to read, but the writing is beautiful, intense, and believable.