This book is a wonderful work of fiction and set in two time periods and basically you get two stories. The Poisoned Island settings are exotic.
These stories are intelligent and stylishly written, being part historical thriller, part detective fiction, and part fantasy horror both include actual historical figures in fictional plots.
First off it begins in Tahiti (Otaheite) in 1769, an Englishman is pursuing a royal native princess. This is an island that is just like Eden. The problem being it may soon be infested with diseases that were never known before.
The European disease was sitting calmly in the air.
They are bound for the troubling South Sea Island of Otaheite where ancient rites are still practiced, magical, perhaps? Meanwhile the island’s most valuable tropical plants are harvested and transported to England. The place is full of exotic species that are to be taken to the Royal Gardens at Kew. This travel was paid for primarily by Joseph Banks, who was the president of the Royal Society.
Then we jump to England, 1812. This is when the SOLANDER arrives in port.
During all the uproar on the ship's arrival, six of the seamen, in a hurry to reach land and they were in a secrecy pact. They disappear into London.
The author wrote a complex murder plot that held many secrets. During this time, the Age of Enlightenment evolves. This is falling apart.
Murder is on the horizon, just beyond the enterprise. This murder plan started on the voyage and as soon as the Solander (ship) arrives at homeport, the plant takes hold. Terror strikes, the sailors are found, their throats slashed with smiles on their faces. The murders happen one after another.
John Harriott, a magistrate of the River Police Office and his detective Thames River Police Chief Charles Hortona were in charge of solving these murders. The author takes you from the highest parts of government to the crowded poor sections. The author shows the dreams of an empire and the opposite which is the greed that will haunt the age for a long time.
If you like a little magic, murder, voyages, greed and all that goes with it, you will definitely like this book The author combined a good deal of characters that gave a little spice to the novel and yet weren't all that important. I was so fascinated with the plants that were of such value. This story is well written with good descriptions. It left me wanting more. There is still the secret of the plants that is to be discovered. Will you figure it out?
Tahiti 1769. English sailors arrive on the shores of the Polynesian paradise— a place of staggering beauty where magic and ancient myths still hold sway. But they soon devastate the island with disease, war, and death, planting deadly seeds that will be carried back to England forty years later.
London 1812. On a gray June morning, the Solander docks, her hold containing hundreds of exotic plants from Tahiti for the King’s Gardens at Kew. The apparently successful expedition soon takes a horrifying— and inexplicable—turn: The crew of the Solander starts dying one by one. Thames River Police Chief Charles Horton can find no signs of murder or suicide to explain the deaths, and the ship’s surviving crew seems intent on hampering his investigation. When one of the plants begins to show frightening changes, it is up to Charles Horton to determine how it might be stopped.