Warren Adler
The Serpent’s Bite

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The Serpent’s Bite

A Novel by Warren Adler

A taut thriller of family dysfunction. Available now in hardback and e-book formats everywhere!


“Warren Adler’s latest novel “The Serpent’s Bite’’ is a slam-bang thriller with a couple of jaw-dropping plot twists you won’t see coming now matter how well you think you know this genre. George Temple is a highly successful businessman whose wealth can’t make up for the fact that his family is highly dysfunctional and maybe forever fractured. In a bid to repair years of bitterness, he convinces his two adult kids Scott and Courtney to accompany him on a wilderness trip into the wilds of Yellowstone Park. After the family hits the trail, a handful of jolting family secrets are revealed that pump the story into maximum overdrive. Adler is an old pro at producing fast-paced page-turners and his latest shows that he remains at the top of his game. A yarn that will hook you here and now just a few pages in, it’s a rip-roaring thrill-ride.” Bill Hoffmann co-author of Palm Beach Babyloncontributor to The Mail on Sundays and BBC Radio

“…fast-paced, easy to read, and a great way to spend an afternoon. [The Serpent's Bite] has some fairly dark themes… like the infamous Roses, the Temples are a dysfunctional family whose story readers won’t soon forget.” Lawrence Kane, Foreword Reviews

“From the psychological perspective Adler has written a fairly accurate novel…. In the larger perspective of the society Adler playfully upholds values and questions them at the same time. His characters are bad people but their rebel views sometimes make sense and carry weight. The philosopher Michel Foucault pointed out that a great deal of society is a power system which manipulates us and in this novel much of what manipulates us is delved into and questioned. …Nature features prominently in the book and Adler plays with it as he plays with the notion of society. George Temple’s idea is to get his children away from things in order to work their life together out, but can we ever get away from life and is life really what we think. The ambivalence of nature provides an interesting, symbolic backdrop to the book as a whole. Adler has written an exciting, very readable book…. Be prepared to be shocked.” Raymond Mathiesen, Amazon.com

“…  Adler does a remarkable job with evoking intense claustrophobia in the great wide expanses of the old West and ratchets up the discomfort level right off the bat…. The overt themes are familiar yet still resonant: the corrosive effect of wealth and the dissolution of the family unit, but there’s more there: the disappointment of growing up, the difference between expectations and reality, the point in your life when you realize that your life has not turned out the way it was supposed to, regardless of talent, hard-work and ambition…. The cynicism that runs through the book is severe, but not unearned. Adler has fashioned a noir western that manages to be both old-fashioned, and entirely appropriate for our time.”  C. J. Fernandes

It does not disappoint… Adler has created a female character as manipulative as Becky Sharp, as vindictive as Nurse Ratchet and, ultimately, as destructively wicked as Mrs Danvers.” – Kevin Cowdall, author of Paper Gods and Iron Men 

“Suspense seekers…this is for you.” — Freda’s Voice Blog

Much like its predecessor, War of the Roses, the main characters are for the most part selfish, materialistic, and unable to compromise. In both cases, a central question that emerges is whether or not the leopard is able to change its spots. Once a character has embarked upon an intended course of actions, will they be able to pull themselves back from a course that will bring about disaster, or will intransigent stubbornness be fatal?… We are mesmerized, and must know the outcome.” – Kathy, Goodreads.com

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About the Book

“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child”
- King Lear, William Shakespeare

This famed quote finds its modern meaning in a taut thriller of family dysfunction. In an attempt to reconnect with his two alienated adult children, George Temple replicates the memorable horse trek through the forbidding Yellowstone wilderness they had enjoyed twenty years earlier. But his callous children, Courtney and Scott, accompany him only to persuade him to restore the financial support he has withdrawn. As they are led by a drunken guide and a venal horse wrangler over potentially lethal terrain, their bonding experience quickly disintegrates.

Nostalgia is corrupted into a nightmare of lust, betrayal, and entrapment as the children’s disturbing motives are revealed and dark family secrets are exposed. Courtney’s appetite for selfish and violent pursuits establishes her as one of the most evil women in fiction, alongside the likes of Lady Macbeth. Through her, Warren Adler explores how an obsession for celebrity and blind ambition can distort familial love and turn a beloved child into a grotesque monster. As he did in the iconic The War of the Roses, Adler paints a frightening picture of the American family, only more sinister.


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