Dark, twisty, suspense tale about obsession and murder.
Comparisons to Hitchcock are on point, but this is much more the territory of Edgar Allan Poe with its blend of elements from the classic gothic, dark romanticism, science and pseudoscience, and the macabre with its inherent emphasis on psychological depth and emotional disconnections. Add to this the fact that Poe was, many scholars suggest, a man fond of absinthe...
At the same time, however, Moore proves himself a superb storyteller as well as skilled writer with an eye for subtlety and detail, a strong sense of atmosphere, and a master's touch with the rhythm of narrative. Was the ending a surprise? No. Did it matter at all? No. Moore makes the journey from beginning to end one well worth the effort.
The comparisons to Alfred Hitchcock and Thomas Harris aren't far off the mark. I might also add Kathy Reichs because of the forensic aspects, but you won't know right away which characters to trust in this thriller. The author does a nice job revealing details a little at a time...just enough information to keep you guessing, and the ending is fantastic.
Seven drowned men have been found in the San Francisco Bay in recent months, and while most people think they're accidental deaths, the M.E. thinks it's murder. Meanwhile, his friend Caleb, a toxicologist, is nursing literal and emotional wounds in a bar when he notices a mysterious woman who quickly captures his imagination. His search for her borders on obsession, but both of them are hiding poisonous secrets that only slowly come to light as the investigation into the drownings continues. A dark, creepy, twisting novel, The Poison Artist is "Hitchcock-esque" (Publishers Weekly).
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