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A Poison Tree (Time, Blood and Karma Book 3) by [Dolan, John]
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A Poison Tree (Time, Blood and Karma Book 3) Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 316 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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“You kill my wife and I’ll kill yours.” You must admit, as a proposition, it has an alluring symmetry to it.

It is 1999, and as the Millennium approaches, old certainties wither. For family man, David Braddock, his hitherto predictable world is undergoing a slow collapse. The people closest to him seem suddenly different. As desires and aspirations tangle around each other like parasite stems, betrayal is in the air.
And so is murder.

Fans of Braddock will finally learn the sequence of events that drove him into exile in Asia, while for new readers, ‘A Poison Tree’ is the perfect introduction to the ‘Time, Blood and Karma’ series.

The 'Time, Blood and Karma' series will appeal to lovers of the following book categories: mystery, thriller, suspense, crime, psychological suspense, private investigators, British detectives, and amateur sleuths.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1028 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Tention Publishing Limited (28 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K0CRX8A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,132 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition
A Poison Tree, the third book in the Time, Blood and Karma series for author John Dolan is actually a prequel. It tells the story of how the main character, David Braddock came to be in Thailand.

It is also my favourite of the three books so far. I know I'm giving away a lot here. It's akin to choosing a favourite child--you're not supposed to do it, but ...

Everyone Burns (Time, Blood and Karma) kicked off the series and captivated me based on a strong protagonist in an exotic land. Hungry Ghosts (Time, Blood and Karma) continued the trend with more shenanigans and provided further insight into David Braddock's mind.

In A Poison Tree, the setting has moved from Thailand to England. We are taken back in time (1999 - 2001) to where David Braddock grew up, got married, and led a `normal' life before something happened to him, causing him to flee to Southeast Asia. That something is revealed in this book. The tale is fascinating, twisted, and unpredictable.

The intricate story of David and his wife Claire drew me in from the start. It was a complex relationship of secrets and lies, but in the end, it was a love story. I'm a sucker for a love story. I challenge anyone not to be when it's written with poignant detail, yet never spirals into over-sentimentality. If you don't feel your throat clenching or your heart sinking while reading some of the passages, I'd suggest checking to make sure you still have a pulse.

With colourful characters and a criminal element dished out in subtle narrative, A Poison Tree is an angst-filled journey guided by cunning misdirection. For lovers of mystery and thriller novels, there is plenty of intrigue and moments of "I DID NOT see that coming.
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‘A Poison Tree’ is billed as the third book of the ‘Time, Blood and Karma’ series yet, in a sense, it’s also both the fourth and the second. That may sound odd to any reader who’s not read John Dolan’s previous works, so I’ll explain my reasoning. The author’s first tale, a short humorous romp featuring Jim Fosse and an interchange of communication over an expense claim that ends in a highly unexpected fashion, introduces the reader to a strong character whose presence is a driving force in this novel. Fosse possesses the despicable intelligence of the psychopath and is a master puppeteer who manipulates people and situations at whim. Here his spider web lands the protagonist, David Braddock in his third outing, in an almost untenable position. So in that sense the Fosse-centric book becomes part of the series, making this the fourth.

Then there’s the foundation stone that cements Braddock’s current existence in Thailand, which is the essence of this novel. It’s almost as if the author had a need to explain the why’s and how’s of his protagonist’s Asian sojourn through this peek into his backstory, before continuing with the chronicle of Braddock’s life in future novels. Chronologically, this novel takes place before Braddock leaves the UK for Samui Island and the more exotic adventures related in the ‘Everyone Burns’ and ‘Hungry Ghosts’ novels. That would make this book the second in the series.

Irrelevant mathematics aside, author John Dolan’s tale of infidelity and frustration is an intricate interweaving of relationships that seems to become more complicated with every new chapter as the reader discover matters are never quite what they seem.
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Book number 3 in the time, blood and karma series picks up right where the other two left off in terms content. This book takes the reader back in time to 1999 (some 5 years before the last 2 books were set in) where we meet a David Braddock that has yet to take the leap across to the more exotic side of the world. This book clarifies a lot of events that the author had already mentioned and the story more than exceeded my expectations.

It's written in the same style as the other 2 books and has all the action, sex, crime and suspense that we've come to expect. It's great how John Dolan was able to take series out of chronological sequence and produce a book that is just as good, if not better.

Do yourself a favor and get a copy of this book ASAP, you won't regret it.
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For me, this is the best of the three John Dolan books I've had the pleasure of reading. Although his principal character, David Braddock, is in all three novels, this one really gives insight into what makes him tick. I'll now go back and re-read "Everyone Burns" from a whole new perspective.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.1 out of 5 stars 126 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Was Going to be Mighty Upset if There Wasn't More to This Series! 25 September 2015
By Don Kidwell - Published on
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"I guess a hit man would be my last resort, but if you do change your mind about wanting your wife knocked off you will let me know, David, won't you?" Rather than a continuance of books 1 & 2 in the series, "Poison Tree" takes a step back in time to how it all began and for me it was superbly done! Loved the humor including passages like "She had managed to convince herself that he would calm down; that the act of eating wedding cake would somehow alter his brain chemistry and convert him into a loving, faithful partner" and this exchange ' "Since when do you play golf?" "I could learn. It can't be that difficult if a man can do it?" ' Yet deep down this is a dark crime book with unfaithful spouses and the plotting of their murders with memorable lines like "There's a problem with the foundations...Monique isn't under them" and "Desire is a tireless hunter. He plants seeds...that germinate, take root and put out branches of madness to infect and torment us. He is a poison tree." Great characters, fine read and definitely looking forward to book 4 'Runni ng on Emptiness' as well!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything we do affects somebody 1 May 2017
By Jim Cummings - Published on
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As I started reading A Poison Tree I thought it should have been the first in the series. As I continued reading it became clear that this book would not have the same impact if it were first in the series. The first 2 left a lot of unanswered questions or hinted at ambiguous insights into the characters relationships with each other. A Poison Tree is full of twists and interactions that had me talking out loud to myself. Here is a quote from the book that sums it up....."Everything we do affects somebody.”" Don't confuse this with the "Butterfly Effect" it is much more complex than that. John Dolan is a master at leading you down the path of many possibilities, only to realize that there is only one outcome.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let down by a tendency to pontificate 30 November 2015
By Shadeburst - Published on
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Murder and police dramas are not my thing at all but once I started reading Poison Tree I couldn't put this down.

Were it not for two plot holes each large enough to fit the Queen Elizabeth, and John Dolan's habit of punctuating the text with pretentious little pseudophilosophical essays, I would gladly have given this a five star rating. Fortunately the essays are easily recognisable and you can skip over them until the next piece of dialogue starts and not miss a thing.

They are a huge, huge pity because Dolan's brief, economical style, although slightly formal, charmed the socks off me. He starts at a leisurely pace that speeds up to a breakneck gallop. The boy can write, all right.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impossible to put down! 18 October 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
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I can honestly say that A Poison Tree is one of the best mystery books I've ever read. The characters are so real and well-developed that you can't help but root for them. The whole film noir atmosphere set in dark and rainy England contributes perfectly to the plot, keeping you at the edge of your seat all the time.
Jim Fosse, the ultimate villain of the book, whose psychological portrait is depicted so vividly, makes you wonder who's going to be his next victim and in some weird way fascinates the readers with his twisted but so well-thought evil plans. But even here David Braddock, who at the beginning of the story seemed a pretty innocent person, just a perfect husband and a father, outsmarts him and reveals his own dark side throughout the course of events, which I found really interesting.
What also makes the story so engaging is that all the characters evolve as the story develops, some for the better, some for the worse, and a lot of things turned out to not be what they seemed at first, like Claire's affair or the relationship between David and his sister-in-law Anna. Also, the author's ability to link the different pieces of the puzzle to each other and transform them into the one big picture, revealing the relations between the characters, which you never expected to be connected, is truly amazing!
Overall, this book is a true kaleidoscope of mysteries and twisting of the plot, which makes it impossible to put down. Five starts!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Prequel Worthy of the Series 19 May 2014
By Robert A. Cohen - Published on
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A Poison Tree is a prequel to John Dolan’s previous two suspense/detective novels. A prequel is supposed to clear up all the earlier questions. In A Poison Tree, John Dolan introduces a half dozen new characters that will surely appear in future novels of the series (I have a couple of favorites. I look forward to encountering them again). He also performs the daredevil feat of creating a prequel that leaves more questions than answers. This, of course, assures that his readers will be eager to read his fourth outing, Running on Emptiness (due in 2015). Clever man, that Dolan.

Digression: I’ve decided to go public with the book reviewer’s dirty little secret: sometimes a book review is just a book review, but sometimes it is an opportunity for the reviewer to show off. The following paragraph was written after reading only 4 pages of A Poison Tree. I debated leaving it out, but I’m a bit of an exhibitionist. Let this be a lesson to you.

Three pages into A Poison Tree, I read the word “uxoricide”. Surely this was a harbinger of lagniappes to come. I rushed for my Tilley hat. I knew that my imminent immersion in Mr. Dolan’s smart-alecky tintinnabulacious perspicuity, like a diaphanous angiosperm in a fugacious rain, would best coruscate for me while in a galericulate state. Now get off your fat lassitude, and retrieve your OED. I’ll wait.

Now back to the actual review. Yes, this book contains words such as wastrel, refulgent and mephitic, and enough abstruse allusions to keep me happy. But along the way, a curious thing happened to Mr. Dolan. He has to date fathered 3 works of fiction. With this 3rd child, he seems to be taking the responsibility of parenthood more seriously. He is less the smarty-pants and more the literary philosopher who plumbs the depths of the human soul. If you dig beneath the surface of a smart-aleck, you will often find a deeply serious temperament well suited to elucidating the human condition. Mr. Dolan proves my point. His earlier books made me feel a lot of different emotions, but they did not make me cry. This one did (don’t misinterpret me. I felt all of the other emotions triggered by good suspense, but there is also a depth in A Poison Tree that resonated with me).

As to the suspense component, A Poison Tree has more twists and turns than San Francisco’s Lombard Street. A good suspense writer throws surprises at the reader. A great suspense writer hurls them at the reader like a 98 mph fastball. Warning: wear a protective helmet while reading A Poison Tree.

I tend to eschew plot summary in my reviews. That is well covered by other reviewers. I will only mention that the main character, David Braddock, is as deeply developed a fictional protagonist as I have ever encountered in modern suspense fiction. Learning about Braddock, little by little, makes the series worthwhile, even if he were not surrounded by great suspense plots, which he is.

The last time you and I spoke, dear reader, about Mr. Dolan was in Oct. of 2013, at which point I was bemoaning the fact that I would have to wait for the 3rd novel in the series. I now realize that one cannot demand great story writing on schedule. A Poison Tree was well worth the wait. I expect nothing less than greatness from Mr. Dolan, and I would urge him to take as long as he needs to complete Running on Emptiness.