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A Poison Tree

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Would you forgive your child anything? The murder of a young girl found barefoot in a country park and the re-emergence of shoes from the victims of a serial killer from over forty years ago. A coincidence or a connection? Will Blake is determined to find out, but as he unearths the past, questions are raised about the original investigations and it becomes clear that The Wi Would you forgive your child anything? The murder of a young girl found barefoot in a country park and the re-emergence of shoes from the victims of a serial killer from over forty years ago. A coincidence or a connection? Will Blake is determined to find out, but as he unearths the past, questions are raised about the original investigations and it becomes clear that The Wirral has a killer on the loose once again. Victor Hunt, the father of the last dead girl from the original case, lies in a hospice with weeks to live. The truth lies hidden in Hunt’s tangled family tree, and the actions of his wayward daughter. Time is against Blake and his fractious team. If they don’t get to the root of past crimes, then innocent blood will flow again. A Poison Tree is the first thrilling mystery in the Will Blake crime series. A great read for fans of Luca Veste's and JD Kirk’s Jack Logan series.


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Would you forgive your child anything? The murder of a young girl found barefoot in a country park and the re-emergence of shoes from the victims of a serial killer from over forty years ago. A coincidence or a connection? Will Blake is determined to find out, but as he unearths the past, questions are raised about the original investigations and it becomes clear that The Wi Would you forgive your child anything? The murder of a young girl found barefoot in a country park and the re-emergence of shoes from the victims of a serial killer from over forty years ago. A coincidence or a connection? Will Blake is determined to find out, but as he unearths the past, questions are raised about the original investigations and it becomes clear that The Wirral has a killer on the loose once again. Victor Hunt, the father of the last dead girl from the original case, lies in a hospice with weeks to live. The truth lies hidden in Hunt’s tangled family tree, and the actions of his wayward daughter. Time is against Blake and his fractious team. If they don’t get to the root of past crimes, then innocent blood will flow again. A Poison Tree is the first thrilling mystery in the Will Blake crime series. A great read for fans of Luca Veste's and JD Kirk’s Jack Logan series.

30 review for A Poison Tree

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lee Alexander

    The storyline is fairly good, but far too many characters for my senior brain to keep track of. Also, the author needs to return to school and learn how to use commas. I don't think I'll be reading another in the series. The storyline is fairly good, but far too many characters for my senior brain to keep track of. Also, the author needs to return to school and learn how to use commas. I don't think I'll be reading another in the series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steven R. McEvoy

    This is the third DCI William Blake story I have read and the fourth book by J.E. Mayhew. I have been jumping around a bit. I started with book 2 in this series, then the prequel, and then back to this story. There was some information I knew that if this was your first story, you would not be privy to. But even so each of the stories is strong enough to be read on its own. But I am jumping around again here in the review. Let us ask ‘where to begin’. I am sure that is a question many authors st This is the third DCI William Blake story I have read and the fourth book by J.E. Mayhew. I have been jumping around a bit. I started with book 2 in this series, then the prequel, and then back to this story. There was some information I knew that if this was your first story, you would not be privy to. But even so each of the stories is strong enough to be read on its own. But I am jumping around again here in the review. Let us ask ‘where to begin’. I am sure that is a question many authors start with, but it is seldom one I start with when reviewing a book. But in this case, I find I must. This series was recommended to me by Alex Smith, author of the DCI Kett books. I had read all the Kett books and was awaiting the next Softley Softley book when Smith mentioned book two in this series, Fearful Symmetry, and gave it a plug. After reading that volume I discovered that the author publishes under two names, much like Smith. One for Adult crime novels, J.E. Mayhew and another for Young Adult and younger readers, Jon Mayhew. And I have now read books under both names. I was glad I gave it a try and after reading 3 of the 5 stories know I will read this series as long as new books are published in it. These books are not as gritty and do not pack as much punch as the Kett novels, but they are still great British crime procedural stories. When I reviewed a Kett story I stated I could see Jamie Bamber as DCI Kett, and while reading this I could not help but picture Karl Urban as DCI Will Blake. Let’s now return our focus to this specific book. This is book 1 in a series that currently consists of 4 novels and a prequel novella. These stories are tightly packed. This one begins on Wednesday October 23rd and concludes on Thursday October 31st. Or at least that is the last date given in the story. The final chapter is 3 days later after Blake has a hospital stay. In this story events from the past come back to haunt. They haunt not only the man who first realizes, but the whole area. DCI Will Blake is on a case. And he is exploring options for his missing mothers’ cat. He is tired and drawn out. But he is also determined to get to the bottom of a case. A dark tale of family and deception. Blake does not have a lot of time, and the events race towards events you will never see coming. As the first book in this series and the first crime lit from J.E. Mayhew it is an impressive story. It really draws you in and keeps your attention. The pace is excellent. And the story well crafted. If you like crime procedural novels I am certain you will like enjoy this book and series! Another great read from J.E Mahew! Read the review on my blog Book Reviews and More and reviews of other books by J.E. Mayhew.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Lewis

    I was excited to start a new series, especially when the detective is named William Blake, a genius idea. Within the first few sentences I was intrigued. The action starts straight away and doesn't let up until the final word. The story is quite complicated with a number of people involved, and a few times I struggled with who was whom and where they fit in. However, that never impacted on my enjoyment of the book, as all the cards in the deck were displayed clearly at the end. We learn that Bla I was excited to start a new series, especially when the detective is named William Blake, a genius idea. Within the first few sentences I was intrigued. The action starts straight away and doesn't let up until the final word. The story is quite complicated with a number of people involved, and a few times I struggled with who was whom and where they fit in. However, that never impacted on my enjoyment of the book, as all the cards in the deck were displayed clearly at the end. We learn that Blake has an interesting back story but we will have to be patient as dark secrets were alluded to but not revealed. Serafina provided us with some light relief so the darkness of the book was never overwhelming. Owen Welsh narrates well although I'm not expert enough to distinguish between different Liverpudlian accents so they all felt spot on to me. An action packed book with credible police officers who I hope I'll have a long relationship with as this series should run and run. Get in at the ground level - I have a feeling this is going to be BIG.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Leivesley

    I really enjoyed this first book in the DCI William Blake (genius name!) series set on the Wirral. It is well written with quite a complicated plot with enough twists and turns to keep me interested right till the end. I liked the character of DCI Blake, who I feel has a very interesting backstory which so far we have only scratched the surface of. Loved Seraphina the cat and hope she features in the rest of the series! I enjoyed the narration by Owen Welsh. The authentic Wirral/Scouse accent of t I really enjoyed this first book in the DCI William Blake (genius name!) series set on the Wirral. It is well written with quite a complicated plot with enough twists and turns to keep me interested right till the end. I liked the character of DCI Blake, who I feel has a very interesting backstory which so far we have only scratched the surface of. Loved Seraphina the cat and hope she features in the rest of the series! I enjoyed the narration by Owen Welsh. The authentic Wirral/Scouse accent of the narrator helped me immerse myself in the story. Looking forward to the next in the series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Audiobook review A new series to get hooked on. Yes please. Fab characters & ive a feeling as the books develop they will expand & become addictive. The story was full on and really interesting. I listened until it ended in 2 days. Rewinding if I was interrupted. Narrator was great. A nice voice to get lost in.

  6. 5 out of 5

    george a strachan

    Excellent Good start to what looks like a promising long series dci will blame novels. From I started reading it I never literally put it down till I finished it

  7. 4 out of 5

    Biff meechan

    A Poison Tree⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was a really easy good read ,I love the atmosphere. of the stories & I am enjoying the characters& as this is the first then I think it's going to be a fab series with good storylines & characters who I will enjoy finding more about them,if you like police dramas then you should definitely like this book& the rest of the series too .J.E.Mayhew is an author who can write a good story with plenty of twists ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A Poison Tree⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This was a really easy good read ,I love the atmosphere. of the stories & I am enjoying the characters& as this is the first then I think it's going to be a fab series with good storylines & characters who I will enjoy finding more about them,if you like police dramas then you should definitely like this book& the rest of the series too .J.E.Mayhew is an author who can write a good story with plenty of twists ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  8. 5 out of 5

    Niamh bonner

    This is one of those detective series that I'm going to have on preoreder. I really enjoyed this book and have any follow ups in my tblt list. The narration brought each carachter to life and it was a great listen. This is one of those detective series that I'm going to have on preoreder. I really enjoyed this book and have any follow ups in my tblt list. The narration brought each carachter to life and it was a great listen.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Genevieve Paquette

    I listened to this one and enjoyed it. The mystery had a lot going on. Lots of messed up people dealing with the consequences of their messed up relationships. Some of the characters I just wanted to backhand, they were so twisted, and I actually really liked the protagonist, and appreciated the subplot with his angry cat. The blurb describes the police team as fractious, and it was (and that always makes me anxious) but there was real character development, which is nice. It was a good one, and I listened to this one and enjoyed it. The mystery had a lot going on. Lots of messed up people dealing with the consequences of their messed up relationships. Some of the characters I just wanted to backhand, they were so twisted, and I actually really liked the protagonist, and appreciated the subplot with his angry cat. The blurb describes the police team as fractious, and it was (and that always makes me anxious) but there was real character development, which is nice. It was a good one, and I'd definitely be up for reading more.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Linda-Mary Sigley

    A Merry Chase There isn't much "merry" in this tale of 40 years of psychosis and betrayal. But it is a chase for Will Blake and his team. And of course there's Serafina the naughty cat who makes Will's life a bit miserable but brings a new lady into his life. Then there's the various shoes with names of murder victims on them, all found at a charity shop (thrift store). The shoes figure largely in the story. This story engaged me from the beginning and held my attention to the satisfying ending. A Merry Chase There isn't much "merry" in this tale of 40 years of psychosis and betrayal. But it is a chase for Will Blake and his team. And of course there's Serafina the naughty cat who makes Will's life a bit miserable but brings a new lady into his life. Then there's the various shoes with names of murder victims on them, all found at a charity shop (thrift store). The shoes figure largely in the story. This story engaged me from the beginning and held my attention to the satisfying ending. Yes, there is quite a bit of action 3/4 of the way through. And takes place in a locale I'd never heard of before, The Wirral. It's a rectangular peninsula just south of Liverpool, England, where my father was from. If you want an interesting and offbeat take this is it. Enjoy!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Louise Dixon

    A good read, with room to improve I very much enjoyed the storyline in this book, and appreciated the clues that pointed me towards the killer but didn't give anything away too soon. Sadly, my enjoyment of the story was ruined by some truly awful editing (was it even proof-read?). I am in no way a 'Grammar Nazi ', but grammar and punctuation issues took my attention away from the flow of the story far too often for me to be able to forgive. Other than that, I will certainly read more in this seri A good read, with room to improve I very much enjoyed the storyline in this book, and appreciated the clues that pointed me towards the killer but didn't give anything away too soon. Sadly, my enjoyment of the story was ruined by some truly awful editing (was it even proof-read?). I am in no way a 'Grammar Nazi ', but grammar and punctuation issues took my attention away from the flow of the story far too often for me to be able to forgive. Other than that, I will certainly read more in this series and look forward to the characters (and hopefully, editing) developing. Don't let my review put you off reading this book; it's a great story and the lead characters have potential for the future!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Burton

    Catching up! Book 1 - I read the 3rd book of this series first, not realising it was a series at the time, not a problem though as I soon realised they are equally enjoyable as standalone. This one I was completely thrown by the plot and storyline, cleverly leading you one way to a dead end only to realise it wasn't really a dead end. Hidden secrets keep you guessing all the way to the end as DCI Blake and his team chip away to get to the truth and those responsible for hiding it and covering it Catching up! Book 1 - I read the 3rd book of this series first, not realising it was a series at the time, not a problem though as I soon realised they are equally enjoyable as standalone. This one I was completely thrown by the plot and storyline, cleverly leading you one way to a dead end only to realise it wasn't really a dead end. Hidden secrets keep you guessing all the way to the end as DCI Blake and his team chip away to get to the truth and those responsible for hiding it and covering it by murder! Highly recommend this series, I'm now off to buy book 2 then I'll be up to date!!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    Very Well Written British Police Case I very much enjoyed the protagonist SCI Blake and the story was so intricately woven it just pulled me in. A well defined plot that wasn't too intricate with characters that you could be weighed down by or just get lost in the fog of story telling. Brilliant writing skills. I look forward to reading more in this series. If this is genre you enjoy, then you won't be disappointed. I highly recommend as an excellent book that is a great escape from the muddle of Very Well Written British Police Case I very much enjoyed the protagonist SCI Blake and the story was so intricately woven it just pulled me in. A well defined plot that wasn't too intricate with characters that you could be weighed down by or just get lost in the fog of story telling. Brilliant writing skills. I look forward to reading more in this series. If this is genre you enjoy, then you won't be disappointed. I highly recommend as an excellent book that is a great escape from the muddle of covid times.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jillian

    An enjoyable detective crime thriller This book is really good. It follows in the footsteps of other crime detectives. I would recommend this one to readers that enjoy a good book without the hire that some authors out in their book. The description of Liverpool and it's environs really sets the scene. Detective Blake has his demons like many a good detective and that makes the book more relatable. An enjoyable detective crime thriller This book is really good. It follows in the footsteps of other crime detectives. I would recommend this one to readers that enjoy a good book without the hire that some authors out in their book. The description of Liverpool and it's environs really sets the scene. Detective Blake has his demons like many a good detective and that makes the book more relatable.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Doreen

    Very Good New Mystery Series! This first book in, hopefully, a new police procedural mystery series was very well written, involved and unusual plot, and interesting, and engaging police team. Story revolves around murders spanning 40 years and all eventually narrow in on a prominent local family. Extremely well done!

  16. 5 out of 5

    William Cameron

    Fab As an avid reader of crime books, I was looking for my next read and a recommendation from JD Kirk piques my interest. I am so glad I took the chance and downloaded this. It gripped fro the start. DCI Blake is an interesting character. Definitely lots of potential for further books in this series.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Elissa

    Good quick read Good book and quick read. A few times I felt like it drew on or was a little flat. Nothing overwhelming though. I recommend the book as it's a great who done it mystery. I plan on reading the next in the series. The author does good at building up the characters, making you want to know more of their story while also focusing on the case at hand. Good quick read Good book and quick read. A few times I felt like it drew on or was a little flat. Nothing overwhelming though. I recommend the book as it's a great who done it mystery. I plan on reading the next in the series. The author does good at building up the characters, making you want to know more of their story while also focusing on the case at hand.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Donna Ann Sutcliffe

    I did not read the first book in the series but I did not find this a problem. I liked Will Blake and his team. This was a very good crime book. So many crimes so many people involved. I liked the home setting that Will had with his mum's cat and his helper to keep that cat calm. I would definitely read another book by this author. I did not read the first book in the series but I did not find this a problem. I liked Will Blake and his team. This was a very good crime book. So many crimes so many people involved. I liked the home setting that Will had with his mum's cat and his helper to keep that cat calm. I would definitely read another book by this author.

  19. 4 out of 5

    johnanimalantics.net, Margaret G Conlan

    Super Good solid plot in which I thought all the characters played their parts extremely well. However the swearing and profanity were an unnecessary addition which could have stood on its own easily why spoil it with bad language? Saying that I’m sure readers will have enjoyed turning the pages to see what would unfold next. Four stars awarded in light of this.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emma L.J

    A slow burn book I must admit I struggled reading this book up to about 50% I wasn’t connecting with the characters I could see a good storyline was under way but it just wasn’t happening for me. I did finish the book and I enjoyed it , Blake’s mother’s disappearance has me intrigued so I’m about-to start book 2

  21. 5 out of 5

    Clifford Nutley

    Really enjoyed this book, the main character Will Blake is portrayed in a manner that makes him believable and the plot is suitably diverse so although it’s possible to guess some of the latter stages of the book it keeps you engrossed till the end. Will definitely read all the others in the series.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ellie Thomas

    I was completely drawn in by the writer's engaging style and very well-drawn characters and thoroughly enjoyed this book. The darkness of the plot was nicely offset by touches of humour and characterisation (like Seraphina the cat with behavioural problems) and the sense of place was very well drawn. Great to find an excellent new (for me) detective series! I was completely drawn in by the writer's engaging style and very well-drawn characters and thoroughly enjoyed this book. The darkness of the plot was nicely offset by touches of humour and characterisation (like Seraphina the cat with behavioural problems) and the sense of place was very well drawn. Great to find an excellent new (for me) detective series!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melinda

    Promising start, hopefully to a series featuring DCI Blake. Intriguing plot that features a string of forty year old murders and a present day murder. Could they possibly be related? Will definitely read the next book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pauline Margaret Dean

    A Poison Tree Thought the storyline was excellent kept my interest throughout.Not quite sure what to make of the main character havent really worked him out but I look forward to getting to know him better.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Will Templeton

    Great introduction to a new series. Interesting characters with fascinating relationships, a twisty turny plot to keep a reader gripped, and a fair amount of humour, but not so much that it detracted from the tense atmosphere of the story.

  26. 5 out of 5

    JAMES MORRIS

    A very good read A very good book and as a Wirral resident I not only recognised many places but some of those. Living here.Thank you for a book that kept me reading till the small hours

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alton Adkins

    A book I didn't want to put down. Enjoyed the personal interest, the cat being a large part, and the surprise ending (at least I was surprised). I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mix of characters. A book I didn't want to put down. Enjoyed the personal interest, the cat being a large part, and the surprise ending (at least I was surprised). I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mix of characters.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Linda Joan Booth

    Rattling good read This kept me reading into the night. My favourite form of fiction. Really enjoyed the pieces coming together. I had sort of worked out who it was, but the why took me completely by surprise!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mrs J A Williams

    Great story! This book kept me glued to turning the page. So much to focus on to keep up with the story. I did have to go back sometimes to remind myself who some characters were as so many police and suspects but I did thoroughly enjoy the book

  30. 5 out of 5

    louise barnes

    Dci will blake Brilliant read, kept you hooked all the way though. Was just by chance I came across this book, now going to read the other books in this series. Recommended read 100%

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