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Joan Brady was born in California and danced with the New York City Ballet in her twenties. She is the author a highly-acclaimed autobiograpy THE UNMAKING OF A DANCER and of the novels DEATH COMES FOR PETER PAN, longlisted for the ORANGE PRIZE, THEORY OF WAR, winner of the WHITBREAD and EMIGRE. She now lives in Oxford.
Recently released from prison, David Marion doesn't expect to find a hitman at his door. Their meeting is lethal - for the hitman. Warned that a powerful secret organisation is after him, David disappears until the moment comes for him to strike back. Physicist Helen Freyl owns a colony of bees with unique venom. When her lover dies, she accepts a job offer from a giant pharmaceutical company who are close to finding a cure for radiation poisoning. But when the mysteriously sudden death of a colleague is followed by another, Helen begins to doubt her employers' motives and realises that her own life is in danger, too. Venom brings David and Helen together as they fight for their lives against a backdrop of industrial espionage, corporate greed and human tragedy.
A spellbinding psychological thriller set in a small American town in Illinois. This is very special indeed. It concerns the relationship between a 15-year old committed murderer, David Marion, and his lawyer, Hugh Freyl. After 15 years in jail, Freyl orchestrates Marion’s release. When Freyl dies the finger points at Marion and the book really takes off. So badly do you want Marion to be cleared, so uncertain are you as to the outcome, and so intriguing is the writing that you really cannot put it down. It is the author’s first crime novel. She won the Whitbread prize for Theory of War (1993) and I think she is terrific.Similar this month: Henning Mankell, Jodi Compton.Comparison: Barbara Vine, Scott Turow, John Grisham.
A brilliant thriller, narrated by the now dead central character. Just as you think you have the plot sussed it cleverly shifts under you and all you can do is read on. Our only clue is to accept nothing at face value.