Blog Tour: The Purgatory Poisoning – Rebecca Rogers

*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author, HarperCollins UK and Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

Blurb: How do you solve your own murder when you’re already dead?

Purgatory (noun):

  1. Where the dead are sent to atone.
  2. A place of suffering or torment.
  3. A youth hostel where the occupants play Scrabble and the mattresses are paper thin.

When Dave wakes up in his own personal purgatory (St Ives Youth Hostel circa 1992), he’s shocked
to discover he’s dead. And worse – he was murdered.
Heaven doesn’t know who did it so with the help of two rogue angels, Dave must uncover the

As divine forces from both sides start to play the game, can Dave get out of this alive? Or at the
very least, with his soul intact?

This is a fascinating concept for a story – investigating your own murder from purgatory – and I felt it worked really well, even though the actual investigation of the murder only occurred briefly and quite late in the narrative.

That is because Dave’s murder isn’t really the main mystery at all. The heart of the story lies in Dave’s decisions at key points in his life and his relationships with his close friends and family who were affected by the consequences of his actions. There is a heavy nudging towards repentance and redemption, via acceptance of your past and a second chance to put things right in the present.

I started off not really liking Dave much – a necessary side effect of any redemption novel is the main character must start off in need of said redemption! – but he did grow on me and I was rooting for him to succeed by the end. And, while there is less focus or development in the side characters like Jess, Rose, Hannah, Ian and Andrew, there was just enough to make me feel sympathy for some, deep dislike for one, and general suspicion for the whole lot.

Angels Gobe and Arial really stole the show though, character-wise, and I could see them having loads of potential for further stories in the future. For example, I would have loved to know more of the stories behind the other inhabitants of Dave’s personal Youth Hostel purgatory – we get just enough to spark interest here before moving on into Dave’s personal quest.

If you enjoy reading about the battle between good and evil within each of us, and more literally in the form of actual angels and demons, and like the sound of middle-class Satanists and celestial TV crime nerds, then this is the morality/mystery romp for you!

Imagine this: a stranger has told you that you’re dead. You’re obviously not dead, because, well – you’ve heard them say it, you can see them, your cognitive functions are good. But there is a problem. You’re inexplicably in a place, or very similar to a place, that you stayed in when you were ten. You can’t remember how you got there. You’re wearing someone else’s pyjamas and have no idea where your clothes, your phone or your wallet are. You’re being watched by three very old people, a middle-aged woman, and a youth.
You feel absolutely amazing, by the way.
So how do you respond?
You become hysterical.

– Rebecca Rogers, The Purgatory Poisoning

Purchase Link: The Purgatory Poisoning on Amazon

About the author

Rebecca Rogers grew up in Birmingham on a diet of
Blackadder and Monty Python. For a long time, she
thought Michael Palin was her uncle (he’s not). Now a
civil servant by day and writer by night, she’s a proud
mum to two grown-up boys and lives in the glorious
south west of England.

The Purgatory Poisoning is her first novel and won the
Comedy Women in Print Unpublished Prize 2021.


Don’t forget to check out the other blog stops on the tour for more great reviews and content (see the poster below for details)!


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