The Poison Bed – Elizabeth Fremantle

Screen Shot 2020-02-26 at 8.20.52 PMNice twisty Jacobean psychological thriller, based on the real case of the Overbury murder, with fun unreliable narration. I deducted a star because of the flatness of one of the characters, who’s just too cold and evil to be interesting after the deception is revealed, but the author really got me with the red herring villain. Even the sympathetic character is marred by stalkerishness and impulsivity, but you nonetheless feel bad for the situation they find themselves in. Enjoyed the character of canny King James I as well. Some of the language feels too modern (there’s a usage of “lynching,” which was named after a specific person long after the story). But I was gripped and could barely put the book down.

(I am using gender neutral language because there are two narrators, “Him” and “Her,” and revealing which one is lying would be a spoiler).

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