When the barefoot body of a girl is found in a Wirral country park, alarm bells start ringing as soon as the missing shoes are identified – they originally belonged to a girl who was murdered over forty years ago. A coincidence or has the killer surfaced again? DCI Blake identifies a connection to a local man, Victor Hunt, who lies dying in a hospice. The truth lies somewhere in his complicated family tree but as the body count rises, can the detective find the killer before they complete what they set out to do?

A Poison Tree is the first in the DCI Blake series and it is a fantastic introduction to a character that I know I am going to love. Like many fictional detectives, he has issues in his home life, but I can honestly say that this is the first book I’ve read where the source of his demons is a rather vicious cat with a mind of its own! In a story dealing with a horrible serial killer, this provided some great light relief, and was also a way of letting us know about another traumatic incident that has occurred in his past.

The story is quite a complex one due to it being about seemingly connected murders, decades apart. Although I initially had trouble keeping up with the plethora of characters, I found that as the story progressed, the plot became clearer and I started to build connections between the two sets of characters from the two time frames. This is essentially a book about family and the secrets that lie beneath the surface and, after reading, I saw how apt the book’s title was.

With several twists along the way and a plot that kept me engrossed throughout, I will definitely be continuing this series to see where the author takes Blake next.