Review: What Lies Between Us by John Marrs

Rating: 9.5/10


Nina can never forgive Maggie for what she did. And she can never let her leave.

They say every house has its secrets, and the house that Maggie and Nina have shared for so long is no different. Except that these secrets are not buried in the past.

Every other night, Maggie and Nina have dinner together. When they are finished, Nina helps Maggie back to her room in the attic, and into the heavy chain that keeps her there. Because Maggie has done things to Nina that can’t ever be forgiven, and now she is paying the price.

But there are many things about the past that Nina doesn’t know, and Maggie is going to keep it that way—even if it kills her.

Because in this house, the truth is more dangerous than lies.


Thanks to the publisher and author for an eARC of What Lies Between Us for review consideration. Receiving a copy of the novel did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

What Lies Between Us is a no holds barred, emotionally jarring, and addictive thrill ride that will have you never looking at your relatives the same way again. Marrs produces an engrossing read that is sure to make tons of ‘Best of’ lists this year.

On a side note: this is actually my first time reading a novel by the author. I didn’t have the opportunity to read The Passengers when it came out last year but had heard nothing but glowing reviews about it. Turns out that John and I were both blurbed for C.J. Tudor’s The Other People and had a chance to chat on Twitter, leading me to pick up WLBU as quickly as possible.

With this being my first stab at the author’s works, I truly had no idea what to expect going in. You can only glean so much from reviews and others’ opinions, but seeing a few in my circle give him such high praise, I knew that I had to give his newest a shot.

Suffice to say, I now want ALL of John Marrs’ books, I want them now, and I want to go read in my cave until the last page is turned.

If the synopsis alone doesn’t entice, you will become enamored within the first few pages. The relationship between Maggie and her daughter, Nina, is one of the most toxic I have ever seen. No matter what my mother has done, I’m pretty sure I’d never lock her in the attic, shackled and alone. Pretty sure I’d just ignore all of her calls and phone the police. Unfortunately for Nina, she takes her grudges to the extreme and her mother pays dearly. But at least she leaves her some food, a waste bucket, and some baby wipes to get her through the week, right?

This read threw me against the wall, onto the floor, and beat me senseless only to pick me up and embrace me like nothing had ever happened. It is the definition of an intense, adrenaline-fueled thriller that takes crazy to another level. The twists alone throughout the story aren’t exactly “mind-blowing” even though you can never say for sure where they are going to hit, but I can, in the affirmative, state that I did NOT see the ending coming from a mile away.

All in all, if you are looking for another Top Notch thriller to read in 2020, look no further. Marrs has you covered.

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