The Poisoner Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Poisoner

St. Martin's, Oct 2003, 14.95, 278 pp.
ISBN: 0312320132

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.
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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.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Poisoner

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Plot & Themes

job/profession:    -   criminal (killer) Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   doctor Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Century:    -   1980's-Present

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   depressed How much dialogue in bio?    -   significantly more descript than dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   26-50% of book

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