Warren Adler

The Serpent’s Bite Relationships/Family, Books

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

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his callous children, Courtney and Scott, accompany him only to persuade him to restore the financial support he has withdrawn.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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“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 , contributor 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, , August 30, 2012

“The Serpent’s Bite gives a dim view of human nature. 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?

As the plot unfolds, Adler shows us the worst side of human nature, and his flawed characters reveal just enough pangs of conscience so that we have a glimmer of hope that they can redeem their own situation. We as humans do have choices, after all…. We are mesmerized, and must know the outcome.” – Kathy,

“Scheming lies, evil intentions, and deep dark secrets are about to surface, and no one is safe. I was very drawn into this story because it is a thriller set in a dangerous environment with family secrets and other outside elements keeping you wondering and turning the pages. It is well written, and the characters are diverse and well developed, and the wilderness is described in realistic detail.” –

“This tense and often shocking journey through nature’s spectacular canyons and mountains will hold your attention and keep you reading long into the night. A new classic has been born from the prolific Mr. Adler!” – Aaron Lazar, Author of

“Oh. my. word. This book is full of twists and turns everywhere, and thanks to graphic descriptions and dialogue, will leave your eyes open WIDE. …There’s a touch of Shakespeare throughout that I just love too – references to King Lear and MacBeth … I found this book to be very hard to put down – it really is a page turner.” – Storm,

“It has been three decades now since ‘The War Of The Roses’, Warren Adler’s darker-than-pitch comedy about the world’s worst divorce proceedings, and time has defanged his sensibility not one whit.

…Anyone expecting a warm and fuzzy reunion with hugs and tears at the end is in for a rude shock (and has clearly not read a lot of Adler). The primary antagonist is Courtney Temple, a failed (and failing) actress, and an immediate candidate to replace Veda Pierce as the worst daughter in the history of noir (in this reader’s opinion, it isn’t even a contest; she smokes Veda in a second). Cold, calculating, and stunningly beautiful, Courtney is interested not so much in reconciliation as she is in her inheritance; her brother with whom she shares a special relationship, vacillates between naked greed, and guilt over his relationship with his father. Also thrown in the mix, are an alcoholic outfitter and his much abused, and creepily efficient Mexican aide. 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 (an early conversation between Courtney and her father is almost too painful to read). 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. It is no coincidence that the least unpleasant character in the book is the least believable. 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

“…a tense, atmospheric thriller. As with the best of the author’s work, The Serpent’s Bite is at times intentionally uncomfortable reading, with acutely drawn characters it is difficult to sympathize with, so that we turn the pages awaiting an anticipated comeuppance. 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

“Suspense seekers…this is for you.” – Freda,

“Adler delivers a satisfying plot populated by seriously flawed characters. …Strong characters, a well developed setting and a few plot twists allow Alder to maintain a nice level of tension throughout before delivering a dynamite climax to this tale of losers.”

“Every Adler novel spins out a dramatic and compelling STORY… In “The Serpent’s Bite,” Adler stirs the pot by adding a despicable (but beautiful, of course) woman who does more than get under your skin–she makes your skin CRAWL. … this one grabs you with its pointy teeth and won’t let go.” — John Emmerling,

“…held my attention to the very last word. An ending that was quite surprising.” — Cheryl,

“Even though I found their motivations distasteful, I was still fascinated by the insights the author provided. … It had all the marks of a genuine Shakespeare tragedy.” — Virginia Pickel

“The Serpent’s Bite leaves a trail of destruction that forces the reader to question just how far one will go to pursue failed dreams…. This novel draws us into the snake pit of the human soul — with little chance of survival.” – Marcie

“Through [The Serpent's Bite] Warren Adler has undoubtedly created yet another masterpiece by wonderfully exploring, from the minutest details… vices which grow as a personality of their own on individuals, to an unblemished mania of how a family can be broken apart and in the process create a deceitful Frankenstein in their midst. The powerful and vicious character of Courtney with her aggressive and brutal quest in every manner makes her the epitome of immorality…. A stormy classic, crashing down emotions of agony, anguish, deceit…. It’s impossible to keep the book down….” — ., Author

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