This book is a little hard for me to review. It is a good story but I thought sometimes it was too higgledy piggledy. There seemed at times too much going on, storylines expanded which didn’t seem to make much difference in the end and then there were a couple of storylines I would have liked expanded more but were left a little light in content.
Helen Freyl is a physicist who is offered a position at a huge pharmaceutical company but with ulterior motives. She owns a bee colony and a patent on honeybee venom which could be used as a cure for the Chernobyl victims in Belarus. The pharmaceutical company want that patent and will do anything to get it. Meanwhile Helen is oblivious to this and the reader wonders how on earth she can’t see what’s going on. In fact she is quite frustrating at times and just a little too dim-witted to be believed.
David Marion is an ex-con recently released from gaol. At the beginning of the book he is notified there is a hitman wanting him erased and then we follow him to see how he will evade this outcome. We learn of the history between David and Helen, much of which is explained in Joan Brady’s sequel Bleedout, however it is not necessary to have read that first as ample information is given so the reader understands what the position is now. Helen and David are joined by the past and the present – each dealing with their feelings for one another and each embroiled in life threatening situations.
Helen and David learn of murders related to their respective storylines but are they able to put it all together? Will they work together or will they work alone? In the end will greed win out? How many innocent lives will be lost?
Like I say, it’s a good story but it could have been a great story. Perhaps it is because I had just finished reading The Constant Gardener, which I thought to be a great story and which also dealt with pharmaceutical mega giants and testing medication on innocent victims, I thought Venom didn’t measure up – two different writing styles with two different outcomes and two different reading experiences. I don’t know.
Thank you to publisher Simon & Schuster UK for providing this book to Book Chick City.
To read the blurb for Venom please click here