Saturday, May 9, 2020

Book Review: Poison Orchids by Sarah A. Denzil and Anni Taylor

Title: Poison Orchids
Authors: Sarah A. Denzil & Anni Taylor
Publication Date: May 20th 2019
Print Length: 404 pages
Genre: Psychological Thriller
An enigmatic chemist tends his prized orchid collection on a remote farm. International backpackers find their way there each season, desperate for work. The Chemist welcomes them all in with open arms. But what chilling, twisted secret is he hiding?

Young backpackers Gemma and Hayley arrive at the farm one summer. The farm's handsome owner, Tate Llewellyn, seems eccentric but kind, running his hobby farm and cultivating rare orchids in his greenhouse.

The weeks go on, a blur of fruit-picking, parties, campfires and wading beneath waterfalls in the nearby hot springs. Tate calls the girls his orchids...his pretty orchids.

Until the night the girls find themselves on a dark highway, bruised and bloodied.

How did everything go so wrong?

Senior Detective Bronwen McKay and psychologist Megan Arlotti question the terrified girls. But Hayley and Gemma are telling two very different stories of what happened to them over the past three months.

Which story is the truth and what are the girls covering up?

As soon as I read the synopsis for Poison Orchids by Sarah A. Denzil and Anni Taylor, I was hooked. This sounded like something I could really sink my teeth right into. I'm a big fan of psychological thrillers, and this one did not disappoint.

Gemma and Hayley end up working on a mango farm for the very rich and very handsome Tate LLewellyn. Everything seems perfect for them...a place to live, a steady income, fun times, and a sense of belonging. However, when Gemma and Hayley end up running out in the middle of the road away from an attacker, their memories start getting foggy. Each girl tells the detectives a different story yet both don't add up. With time running out for Gemma and Hayley, the police must figure out what the real truth is if they want to save the girls.

I found the plot for Poison Orchids to be very interesting. The whole memory thing has been done before, but I felt like Denzil and Taylor gave it an original spin that kept me glued to the book. Yes, there are some parts of the plot that are a little over the top and a bit unbelievable, but even so, the plot holds its own. Despite some of the outrageous scenes, this book held my unwavering attention with its perfect pacing. I found myself wanting to know what would happen next. I found that I couldn't trust anyone (with the exception of the police) in Poison Orchids. It was as if the thrills were never ending throughout this book! While you know almost from the beginning who the baddie is, there are plenty of plot twists throughout that will leave you thinking about them long after you finish the book. However, there are no cliff hangers, and it seemed that all loose ends were tied up by the end of the book.

The characters were well fleshed out and solid. I loved both Gemma and Hayley. Sometimes I would love one more than the other, but in the end, I realized I loved them both equally. I could somewhat relate to both of them.Tate and Rodney were both written very well although I would have liked a bit more backstory on Rodney. Megan, the psychologist, was an interesting character. I enjoyed getting to know her a bit better later on in the book. What I really admired was how much she cared about Gemma and Hayley. Bronwen, the detective on the case, was a no-nonsense type of woman, and I admired that about her. She wanted answers, and she was determined to get them. Even the secondary characters all felt very realistic. I could actually picture each and every character quite easily as I was reading Poison Orchids.

Trigger warnings for Poison Orchids include profanity, alcohol use, drug use, violence, death, murder, attempted suicide, rape, assault, brainwashing, gaslighting, and cults.

All in all, Poison Orchids makes for a thrilling read that will leave you thinking about it long after you've finished reading. It's got fantastic characters and an interesting plot for sure. I would definitely recommend Poison Orchids by Sarah A. Denzil and Anni Taylor to those aged 17+ who are after a great read!

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