Monday, October 21, 2019

Review: The Poison Garden by A.J. Banner (audio)

Title: The Poison Garden
Author: A.J. Banner
Narrator: Sarah Mollo-Christensen
Published: October 2019, Brilliance Audio
Length: 6 hours 43 minutes
Source: Publisher

A woman’s 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 all—a blissful marriage, a gorgeous Victorian home surrounded by lush gardens, and a dream job running her late mother’s herbal boutique.

But on the eve of her first wedding anniversary, Elise makes a shocking discovery that turns her life upside down and casts doubt on everything she thought she knew—about her marriage, her friends, and even herself. As she treads into dangerous territory, Elise is forced to wonder: Is her whole future at stake? Or is paranoia getting the best of her?

If she is to believe what she sees, Elise has every reason to fear for her life…

My thoughts:  This is the second book I've picked up by A.J. Banner and she definitely has a knack for delivering a domestic thriller that keeps you guessing right up to the very end. While this is a short book, it certainly packs lot in, keeping you engaged and entertained all the way through. 

I loved that this book plays on memory. I have such a fascination with that topic. Is Elise losing her mind or is she just paranoid? Finding her husband in bed with another woman and then finding her mother's journals and uncovering secrets she had no idea about along with an ex-husband that just won't go away just add to the tension and suspense of the story. I had no idea where things were heading and definitely did not guess the ultimate outcome, though I did make my fair share of guesses!

This book will certainly keep you on your toes as you meet all the characters involved and try to determine what their motivations might be. The paranoia does get a bit much at times, but it was warranted nonetheless. And the plants and garden were interesting. Not having a green thumb, I'm always fascinated by the many uses of different plants. 

This was definitely a thrilling and twisty read that will keep you entertained and guessing until the end. I've enjoyed these last two books by A.J. Banner and while I wait for her next book, I think I'll be picking up her earlier books.

Audio thoughts: This was a fun book to listen to on audio and Sarah Mollo-Christensen did a great job with all the voices. She gave each character their own unique voice and personality and her intonation and pacing was spot on. I really enjoyed this audio production.


  1. Thank you for the lovely, thoughtful review!

  2. This book sounds intense. Terrific review, Kristin! I will keep an eye out for this author's work. I'm not sure I've read (or listened to) any domestic thrillers, but this genre seems perfect for the shorter days of fall somehow.

  3. I love gardening, so this one immediately caught my attention! Haven't read it yet, but it sounds great.


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