St. Martin's, Oct 2003, 14.95, 278 pp.
When was ten years old, her father received a package from the estate of his recently deceased stepfather. The bundle contained items from her dad's estranged biological father including a medicine case. Inside the case were vials that apparently were filled with poison. When Gail went to open one of the bottles, her father ripped it and the case away. He buried the case and its contents.
Years later, Gail investigated that case and why her father reacted so abruptly. In 1927, Gail's grandfather Dr. William MacBeth was accused of killing two of his sons using poison. No trial ever occurred as the caring healer evaded justice. Gail investigated the crimes, the motives of her grandfather, and the use of poison as a killing device.
THE POISONER is a shocking biographical tale. Ms. Bell engages the reader from the start, as she makes no alibis or rationalizations that excuse her grandfather's so-called abominable behavior. Readers of true crime will be fascinated with the powerful tale with a shocking twist that reads like fiction for only a novel could prove as strange as the ultimate findings uncovered by Ms. Bell.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner