Toxic People

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Pub Date 04 May 2023 | Archive Date 05 May 2023

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An unputdownable psychological thriller with a killer twist.


Jenny’s been married to Shane for fifteen years. They live in one of Dublin’s most idyllic neighbourhoods and share a seemingly perfect life.

But someone wants to destroy them.

Returning home one evening, Jenny immediately knows something is wrong. The front door is ajar. Then she hears a loud crash behind the house. 

She races towards the sound to find Shane’s crumpled Land Rover. A masked, lifeless figure is sprawled across the bonnet.

Jenny peels away the attacker’s balaclava — it’s a young woman.

Behind the wheel, Shane slips in and out of consciousness. A figure emerges from the shadows and creeps into the car. He whispers in Shane’s ear: You have no idea what's coming.

This is just the beginning. Shane and Jenny have been keeping toxic secrets from one another. Secrets that will unravel their so-called perfect life . . . 

An exhilarating blend of domestic suspense with a shattering final twist.

Perfect for fans of Patricia MacDonald, Louise Candlish and Claire McGowen.

An unputdownable psychological thriller with a killer twist.


Jenny’s been married to Shane for fifteen years. They live in one of Dublin’s...

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ISBN 9781839015168
PRICE £3.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 59 members

Featured Reviews

A superb fast paced thriller. I absolutely loved the story and couldn’t stop reading it. It’s perfect for all readers, especially thriller lovers.

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Thanks very much to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book.

I was absolutely gripped by this book! A really enjoyable domestic thriller that is much more character oriented (which in my opinion is how a domestic thriller should be) than it is driven by events. I felt incredibly invested in the characters and needed to know what happened. Definitely recommend!

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If you liked novels by Louise Candlish and Gillian Flynn you’ll LOVE this too.

Ticked every box for me !.

It’s a don’t call me, don’t text me, have-to-cancel-that-meet up, enormously satisfying, one-sitting meal of a novel. (I literally did make excuses and cancel a scheduled coffee with a buddy, to read it in one go).

The “Narcissist Personality Disorder mother” and a “marriage in tumultuous times” was a big draw. That’s in context of a significant threat to the central characters, of what the reader finds out are a True Crime documenting author and his design media wife.

If you like psychological depth, high quality writing and a fast, super compelling narrative - well frankly this just delivers. Feel like it would make an excellent T.V adaptation too.

The interpersonal stratas are very authentic between the early 40’s married couple and the caustic wife’s family envelope.

I really liked the device of a home outright ownership issue, just tenuously hanging on the humours of the parent, who is just one of the titular “Toxic People” in the book.

The “Golden Chid” sister is a serious piece of work too.

There’s the veritable roller coaster of plot twisty, O.M.G-ish story turns that are too complicated to allude to, without giving things away, but suffice to say, the tall dark menacing stranger who’s come to town, isn’t of the cliched variety.

Another stand out feature of Toxic Ppple was that it had of THE most original and clever style and deivery of ending I’ve read in years.

In one regard it asks an uncomfortable question of people on all sides of a polarising contentious social issue, whilst being just exceptionally satisfying and unpredictable as a psychological thriller FIN.

Toxic People is simply one of those 1st class, 5 Star, #MustReads.

HIGHLY recommended !!

( Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. )

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I really enjoyed this one! It was a very well done domestic thriller, and I found myself glued to my seat.

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I enjoyed this book a lot. The story was interesting, I often read later than I should have hoping the next chapter would reveal what happened 25 years ago. I was not expecting the plot twist. The only negative I have is that at times it was a bit hard to follow. With each new chapter it took me a few minutes to get into which character we were hearing from. I really appreciate the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. I’m looking forward to more from this author!

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Great writing and enjoyable. I enjoyed the storyline and characters. The twists were a bit predictable but I it was a great read and I highly recommend.

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A wild ride! I really enjoyed all of the twists and turns in this book. I will definitely recommend!

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Great book! Loved it from beginning to end! Well worth the read. Characters were very interesting and engaging. Definitely recommend to readers.

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This for me was an exciting read. It started off slow but quickly built pace and momentum. It had a great domestic thrilling plot to keep you on the edge of your chair. It’s very well written

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A slow burn but well worth the smoldering.

TOXIC PEOPLE by S.D. Monaghan is one of those books that will completely block out the world as you quickly turn the pages to find out what happens next. Jenny and her husband, Shane live in her dream home from childhood, which was supposed to be left to her by her father. Her mother, Vera, an affluent society lady holds all the pursestrings regarding the house and the puppet strings for Jenny‘s sister, Joan. Joan acts as her mother’s minion and constantly causes disruption to Jenny and Shane lives at Vera‘s behest.

After Shane is almost killed chasing a robbery suspect, threatening warnings begin to appear to both Jenny and Shane but neither shares the information with the other. We follow along as the day progresses and each tries in their own way to solve the riddle before time runs out at sunset. Passed truths and secrets come to light as Jenny and Shane each look back over incidents in their lives that have shaped who they have become

Just when you think you have it all figured out, a shattering confrontation leads to all of their past secrets being revealed. Or not? Will Jenny and Shane survive the explosive reveal?

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This was a fast paced read that gripped me right from the start and I read it in a couple of hours, I couldn't put it down.

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I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Oooo this book was good. So many petty bitter people. It would have been nice if Shane and Jenny werent so perfect but the rest of the characters make up for them.

More from S.D. Monaghan please!

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Toxic People
My thanks to #NetGalley and #LumeBooks for the advance copy ebook of #ToxicPeople by S.D. Monaghan. A gripping domestic thriller that was hard to put down, #ToxicPeople is the kind of book that grabs you from the beginning and dares you to put it down. It is well written with a few good twists to keep the reader guessing, but the actual toxicity of the characters is wearing. It was very hard to like anybody in the book, but maybe that was the point.

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I really enjoyed this story and loved how it played out. A slow starter but it hooks you in. Highly recommended xx

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An immersive domestic thriller with interesting and well developed characters. Set within a complicated family relationship in Ireland, the tension builds gradually with unexpected twists and turns.

Many thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley UK for the ARC.

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I was able to read this because of NetGalley so thank you for the opportunity to review. The drama! We are dealing with a toxic family. If you like thrillers this is for you! I wasn't able to put it down!

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If you're looking for a good psychological thriller with a toxic family theme, you've come to the right place. In "Toxic People" we are dealing with a toxic family from which the youngest daughter wants to escape. There are two main characters in this story. The first is Shane. He is forty-four years old. He is married and unfortunately childless. He would love to have children, but his wife has a different opinion on this subject. Shane is a very smart man. He writes books. By getting to know this hero, you will get to know his earlier life. What awaits him, will not be pleasant. The other character is Jenny. She is currently married to the first hero. She does not want to have children. Why? By learning her whole story, you will know the answer to this question. She has a very toxic mother, Vera and a sister, Joan, who is just like her mother. Vera is a narcissist. Everything she does, she does for herself. That's why Jenny wanted to run away from her family. Someone in this book is threatening her. This scares her and her husband, why? Who cares about revealing the truth? Who hates Jenny so much? The truth shocked me deeply. I didn't expect this turn of events. The ending was shocking. Interesting plot. The action was mediocre in places, but I wanted to get to the end of the story at all costs because I wanted to know the truth. I didn't like Vera. I don't understand how she could act like this. If you want to find out what the narcissistic Vera looks like and how her relationship with the environment is going, be sure to read this story.

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Truly toxic people indeed. Most of the characters had no redeeming features. An interesting storyline. Thanks for the opportunity to read

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I did enjoy this story and a few twists and turns. It sort of sucked me in and I desperately wanted to find out what Jenny had done and why she hadn’t told Shane, unfortunately it frustrated me a bit so only 3.5 stars but then the ending upped the score!
Thank you Netgalley for a preview of this book.

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This was an enjoyable book by an author new to me. I was hooked throughout, and really liked the writer’s style.

Well worth a read.

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Well written, addictive and unpredictable. This is a book I have really enjoyed and devoured. i definitely want to read more from this author. Full Review to follow.

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This book is a show stopper - one I would give to my friends. I would buy multiple copies of this book for people! After reading plenty of thrillers it takes a lot these days for me to not work out the ending but this one totally got me. Overall really clever, well written and one I will be recommending. I am now going to purchase the rest of the authors books that I haven’t read yet. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this early copy.

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Amazing thriller, I couldn't put it down!

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the advanced copy of the book.

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A gripping domestic thriller! Setting is in ireland and revolves around a married couple. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and finding out all the twists in this book! Immersive, edgy book. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book

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Jennifer and Shane fell in love in college and are still in love. They live in one of the most storied neighborhoods she is an interior designer and Instagram or and he is a true crime writer when he arrived home early one day it was the find someone had broken in his house when he decides to chase the culprit in an attempt to get away they ran the car into Shane’s in the driver a young girl wild up dead. He insists there was another guy at the scene but the police and Jennifer act as if they don’t believe him and even when he gets flowers and a note that says the same thing the guy at the scene said the police said you have to be careful when things like this happen there’s screwballs that come out of the woodwork and essentially blow him off once again. Shane also start seeing a bearded guy in a leather coat once staring at his house and begin when he goes to retrieve a check that Jennifer gave to his nemesis Auto this isn’t his only problem though Jennifer is keeping a secret from him and when her sister Joan shows up alluding to it, Shane insist Jennifer tell him but the secret she divulges although bad isn’t even close to the one her mom and sister want her to tell him. They have never liked Shane but that’s something he’s never let bother him. who is the guy in the leather jacket and what is the secret Jennifer has to tell and will her and Shane be together when it’s over? Trust me when I say this isn’t even half the story this was such a great story and one you would definitely not want to put down. I know a lot of reviewers say that and they put it in the summary so often but in this case it is absolutely true this is a great book the cat the beach or interest and hold it until the finale. I wish all books were as good as Toxic People by SD Monahan because if they were everyone would love reading. I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.

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This was a great book and a first time author. I really liked this book. It grabbed me at the start and I was let go at the end. It was very Interesting and I think that was why I liked it.

Thank you netgalley for this opportunity to read this book

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Toxic People S D Monaghan

4 stars

This was a book about a couple’s marriage and in fact their whole life being dominated by the main toxic person in this book. Shane, an author is married to Jenny, an interior designer and they are very happy together. However their whole lives have been dominated by Jenny’s mother, Vera. She has ruled the family her whole life and her daughter, Joan, is almost like a servant to her. Joan’s own marriage has been unsuccessful and her children do not want to know her. Her life now consists of following her mother around, and doing whatever she is told.

Jenny and Shane have never had children even though Shane has always wanted them but are happy enough living in their beautiful house in Dublin. However it has only been rented to them by Vera and their lives are shattered when she gives them notice. Jenny’s father had always promised the house to her but it turns out that Vera has another person in mind and it is this person which is the basic hub of the book.

I enjoyed the way Shane and Jenny’s story is built up over the course of the book. We learn about how they met, were driven apart and finally came together again. But it is soon clear that what happened during their separation defines the whole story.

Although I did guess some of the story the ending was totally unexpected and shocked me, which, for me, is always a plus in this sort of book. Unfortunately I do know someone who has been like Vera all her life and the character is very well-written and believable. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story although I dropped a star because I found some of the story slightly unbelievable.

Karen Deborah
Reviewer for Net galley

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