Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing me a digital copy of this book for review - all opinions are my own.
A Beautiful Poison by Lydia Kang is a potent mixture of history, chemistry and mystery.
Let’s begin with the history lessons woven beautifully throughout the pages of this novel. The story is set in Manhattan and begins in August 1918 and ends in December of 1918. The entire book takes place over only 5 months of time, yet it is bursting with details. The author expertly weaves the realities of WWII and the deadly Spanish influenza epidemic into this rich historically driven tale. Kang also intricately delves into the world of science. Chemistry and pathology are depicted with such great detail. In the early to middle 1900’s science was greatly evolving, just as it is today, but back then forensics and medicine were emerging fields of study. In addition to the beautifully articulated historical and scientific elements there are also multiple mysteries happening in A Beautiful Poison. Friends and family members are dying, but why? At who’s hands are their deaths to blame? Will they be stopped?
There are many twists and revelations in this novel, I suspected every character in the book at some point. The book ends with a bang, that I for one didn’t see coming. I do find that for me personally, poison is one of those slow burn, progressive methods of murder that tends to not be as edge-of-your-seat with anticipation. Having said that, A Beautiful Poison is extremely well written and continues to draw you in with new revelations. I urge you, do not skip the ‘Author’s Note’ at the end of the book. She wraps up the entire tale with a nice bow and believe it or not even more historical explanations.
If you enjoy slow burns, history lessons and a heavy dose of poison I highly recommend you read this book.