REVIEW | A Taste for Poison | Neil Bradbury

I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but there was something about the cover to A TASTE FOR POISON that really called to me. I requested it on that whim and ended up reading it in a few sittings, picking it up over some of my fiction books – which I really didn’t expect. It’s left me with a hankering for more non-fiction, and lot of that is down to Neil Bradbury’s very accessible writing.

Rating: 4.5 stars!

Thanks to HarperNorth for the eARC of this book. It has not affected my honest review.

About the book:

As any reader of murder mysteries can tell you, poison is one of the most enduring — and popular — weapons of choice for a scheming murderer. It can be slipped into a drink, smeared onto the tip of an arrow or the handle of a door, even filtered through the air we breathe. But how exactly do these poisons work to break our bodies down, and what can we learn from the damage they inflict?

In a fascinating blend of popular science, medical history, and narrative crime nonfiction, Dr Neil Bradbury explores this most morbidly captivating method of murder from a cellular level. Alongside real-life accounts of murderers and their crimes —some notorious, some forgotten, some still unsolved — are the equally compelling stories of the poisons involved: eleven molecules of death that work their way through the human body and, paradoxically, illuminate the way in which our bodies function.

What did I think?

The way the book is set out is very interesting. It covers case studies both historical and recent, the way that the poisons chemically interact with the body, and the history of the poisons – including, interestingly, positive uses for some of the substances. I know extremely little about chemistry, so at first I was a little worried that it would be too complicated for me to get properly interested in, but it was incredibly accessible and easy to read. Considering that it’s been a while since I last read anything digitally, I’ve been struggling with physical reading, I was surprised to find myself so immediately invested. The chapters are broken down in an interesting way, and it all ties together cohesively for a fascinating true-crime and natural science read.

I hope that Neil Bradbury writes more non-fiction, because I will definitely be picking it up, and I’m going to be reading more non-fiction in 2022 largely because of this book.


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Release Date: 20th January 2022


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