Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT POISON BAY by Belinda Pollard NZ #Mystery

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Terry has been reading Poison Bay by Belinda Pollard


Poison Bay by Belinda Pollard

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

Poison Bay is a mystery/thriller set in a New Zealand wilderness setting. Eight old friends meet up ten years later to go on a ten day hike masterminded by one of the group, Bryan. Bryan has hidden motives in getting them all together, though, and the story gains in sinister overtones as the hike turns into a survival situation.

I love reading and watching anything about survival in adverse circumstances, and when I started this book I found the writing very clear and easy-readable. I could tell that the author has done her practical research very well. Alas, for me, the novel was lacking in depth and atmosphere. The eight hikers remained one dimensional throughout, their conversation being unrealistic and information heavy, with no difference in language used, speech patterns or style of communication, all those aspects that make a character work. I didn’t connect with any of them; the girls seemed to just cry and hug each other, mostly. I thought it seemed like a teen read, very clean, with women thinking badly of the one who sleeps with a man in the group, and the worst word anyone says is ‘hell’. It was all a bit ‘jolly hockey sticks’.

The narrative was exposition heavy, with lots of ‘telling not showing’, and no real sense of place.

It’s a fairly good plot, I did find myself wanting to know the outcome, I can’t fault the English or the presentation, and I appreciated the knowledge that had been used to make it feasible, but with little characterisation, or portrayal of how dark the situation really would have been, it didn’t really work for me, I’m afraid.

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