Venom – Joan Brady



Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Touchstone (August 3, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0743270118
ISBN-13: 978-0743270113 
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Helen Freyl
David Marion
Rebecca Freyl
Sir Charles Hay


David Marion and the Freyl family were first introduced in Joan Brady’s novel Bleedout. This novel is a thriller set against a backdrop of Corporate control. A cure/protection against radiation poisoning has been discovered. The secret lies in the venom of a rare breed of honey bees. These bees are grown on a farm in Alabama, a farm owned by Helen Freyl.

Two companies are competing for the rights to this venom. And one of them is willing to go to any lengths to obtain it.


I’m still not sure where things were really going with this book. It seems at times that I was reading a novel set in many different Genre’s. The romance between Sir Charles Hay and Helen Freyl made me feel like a was watching a Hepburn/Tracy film with a stronger rating. I had problems getting into the character of Helen Freyl, and even caring whether she made it through to the end. In fact, I wasn’t really sure I cared who got the venom rights. David Marion though, was an interesting character. The storyline involving him started off with a bang.

Things though just never seemed to gel. There didn’t seem to be a lot of danger for the characters until the final 1/3rd of the book. Helen was a bit irritating. For some unexplained reason, she seemed to have problems with a normal response. She’d just start yelling at a person, and cursing them. It seemed rather over-used at times, and gratuitous. A former con like David, I could have seen it being a part of his character.

I wanted to like this book. I never like reading a book and not liking it, and in particular I don’t like the idea of saying in public that I wasn’t crazy about it. But in this case I wasn’t. The problem could be that I couldn’t relate to the characters, particularly to Helen. It could be that the sense of danger was never there. It could have been that it was an advanced copy. The actual book isn’t published until August of 2010, so it’s possible there will be change made between the version I read and the final copy. A different person might read this and really enjoy it. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

If I were to give it a rating, I’d say PG-13 for use of strong language, and strong content. I don’t want to dissuade you from reading it, because you may actually enjoy it.

*Disclaimer* A review copy of this book was provided by Simon and Schuster U.K.. It didn’t affect my review in any way.

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One Response to “Venom – Joan Brady”

  1. Marce Says:

    I received this one also but have not read yet. Your the 2nd review to have similar feel though.

    This is my Feb read for the challenge