The Poison Artist by Jonathan Moore

29139202Genre:Mystery, Fiction, Thriller

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Dr Caleb Maddox is an expert on pain. A leading San Francisco toxicologist, he is mapping the chemical traces that show how much agony a human body can endure. But now a different kind of pain is distracting him from his life’s work – the violent break-up of his relationship with his artist girlfriend, Bridget.

Seeking solace in a secluded bar, he meets a beautiful woman who shares an absinthe with him, then disappears into the night. Instantly obsessed, he starts trawling the hidden byways of the city to try and find her. And when he does, she insists on a bizarre set of rules before he can meet her alone.

But even as he tries to lose himself in Emmeline’s darkly erotic world, Caleb finds himself inexorably drawn back to the study of pain and death. For weeks the police have been fishing corpses out of the bay, with no clue as to how they died, and Caleb’s old friend, medical examiner Henry Newcomb, asks him to decipher the chemical puzzles left in the bloated remains. Soon Caleb discovers evidence of an unspeakable horror connecting all the victims, suggesting that the city is prey to a deranged killer.

And then he discovers that one of the dead men was last seen at the same bar the night he met Emmeline. Suddenly Caleb is plunged into a nightmare where love, madness and murder are clasped in a lethal embrace – and untangling the truth could be the last thing he wants to do.

*Received as an ARC from Netgalley*

The premise of this book is amazing, I love the idea of a scientist getting involved in a murder case! However the more I read this book the more I saw it as a romance, it became less about the murders and more about the romance between the main character (Caleb) and his mystery woman (Emmeline). For me the book didn’t have enough suspense and although I was curious about who the killer was it seemed like a bit of a cop out at the end.

I do think it was an ok book though, I thought it was interesting and I went through the book 100% certain I knew who the killer was…and was totally wrong, this is what I think the author expects as you read the book however when they actually reveal who the killer is I thought it was a little ridiculous and the story didn’t fit right with me. Most crime novels do tend to have a logical story behind who the killer is and why they are killing people however this to me didn’t really fit together and I couldn’t see why this person would kill people.

Personally I probably wouldn’t read this again because now I know who the killer is the little suspense that was there will be completely gone and I will be left with the romantic storyline which is attempted to fit into the crime novel…not something that is usually done and I think this book explains why.

I would recommend this book to people who perhaps don’t want a deep storyline, they just want a crime novel with a bit of romance thrown in. The plot was good however it was just a little too slow for me and not enough to keep me entertained.

Rating: 2/5

Summing up: Slow crime novel with some romance


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