Review: What Lies Between Us by John Marrs

8.5/10

Synopsis

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.

Review

I feel very well versed in John Marrs’ books having read them all, but each and every time they surprise me, just like this one. Marrs is one of those writers who anyone can get into, even those who are not readers of thrillers. I would also recommend him as a good entry author into this genre.

As the Aussies say “Far out brussel sprout!” This was a wild psychological roller coaster of a ride – which I would definitely describe as disturbing and intriguing. Despite taking some time to become invested in the characters, once I was, I sped through this like my life (or Maggie’s life) depended on it. The book opens up ambiguously at first and I was scratching my head at Nina and Maggie’s dysfunctional living arrangement. Why were they so off with each other? Why couldn’t Maggie use cutlery? Why did Maggie have a chain attached to her….oh wait.

So it seemed that there was a this deep seeded animosity and resentment between Nina and Maggie which began with Nina’s father up and leaving his family, causing Nina to go off the rails and blame her mother (Maggie). But surely no one keeps their mother locked up for such a reason? Or was there more?

Yes you guessed it, there were more reasons; many more reasons that kept piling up. I think my emotions swung like a pendulum from one side to another – who was to blame – who was right? Maggie seemed to be doing everything in her power to protect her daughter but was she going to far? Nina on the other hand just wanted to be normal and raise a family, but was her desperation to much? What Lies Between Us really made me think about and question each characters decisions constantly.

Both characters were strangely likeable, obviously in their own twisted, toxic and cruel way, that would probably make you look twice at your own relatives. The way Marrs’ wrote them was absolutely enthralling and their constant clashes, filled with small moments of some kind of love were very appealing. Seeing through each characters perspective provided an interesting insight into their thought process and decision making and ultimately the incidents which led to their current situation. Through this Marrs’ created a natural suspense to the story, that kept me on the edge of my seat, until the early hours of the morning.

As usual, Marrs’s writing is absolutely fantastic, fast-paced and captures you in a way that books rarely do. As mentioned, this book is written in first person, which I’m not usually the biggest fan of, but works extremely well here. I would even go as far as to say his books should not be in any other POV, as it provides a much more vivid and revealing insight into the characters. His writing is also extremely easy to get into, making it one of those perfect novels to get over a treading slump.

Addictive. Enthralling. Twisted.

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