The Poison Tree

Series 1 - Episode 2

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Radio Times
Review by:
Alison Graham

The main problem with condensing slow, subtle novels into two short parts is that they end up feeling peremptory. Such is the case with this adaptation of Erin Kelly’s The Poison Tree. After a nice sinuous start last week, we belt through the final episode so that by the very end you might wish there’d been more time to let the story spin out.

But there you have it: Karen (MyAnna Buring) is obsessively protecting her family in that lovely clapboard cottage by the sea. Someone’s watching them, and leaving Karen cryptic messages.

Meanwhile, we flash back to the events of London 12 years before, when murder visited the big, rambling house in Highgate, home to irritating free spirit Biba and brother Rex.

About this programme

2/2. Conclusion. Psychological thriller based on the novel by Erin Kelly, starring MyAnna Buring as a woman haunted by tragic events that took place 12 years ago. Flashbacks reveal Karen Clarke's story from the moment she entered the extraordinary world of Biba and Rex to reveal the secrets she is hiding. Now living on the Kent coast with Rex, following his release from prison, and their daughter Alice, Karen is stalked by a mysterious stranger and desperate to protect her family. With Matthew Goode, Ophelia Lovibond, Hebe Johnson and Patrick Baladi.

Cast and crew


Karen Clarke
MyAnna Buring
Biba Capel
Ophelia Lovibond
Rex Clarke
Matthew Goode
Alice Clarke
Hebe Johnson
Patrick Baladi
Max Capel
Ralph Brown
Sean Hennessy
Neil McKinven
Lex Shrapnel
Naomi Bentley
Alison Larch
Matilda Ziegler
Helena Pardey-Yaralli
Karen's mother
Sandra Maitland
DC Eva Kirkwood
Syreeta Kumar
Detective constable
Rick Bacon
Jo Hole


Marek Losey
Executive Producer
Margaret Enefer
Madonna Baptiste
Emilia di Girolamo