Monday, October 04, 2021

What Lies Between Us - John Marrs


I want to tell you all about John Marrs’s What Lies Between Us. I really do…seriously, I do. But that is not an easy thing to do without ruining some of the surprises that Marrs sprinkles throughout the entirety of this 363-page crime novel. So I’m going to have to be very careful with what follows. First, though, you should know that the International Thrillers Writers group called this one Best Paperback Original when announcing its 2021 awards. As someone who has never been sure why some books are paperback originals and others are not (marketing department decisions, I assume), I too often tend to downgrade paperback originals in my mind when looking for new reading material. And then a novel like What Lies Between Us comes along and blows my prejudice right out of the water. Now maybe, I’ve finally learned my lesson.


The safest way for me to describe the novel’s plot is to quote directly from its back cover:


“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.”


The hook described in this cover blurb is enough to make readers curious, but, really, it does not do the complicated plot full justice. Marrs has written a story about two women in a very strange relationship that will have the reader questioning over and over which of them is really the victim in that relationship. And every time they think they finally have it all figured out, along comes another revelation or hint that begins the process all over again. The twists and turns, in fact, keep coming right up until the book’s final couple of pages when readers reach the novel’s stunning conclusion. 


Bottom Line: I wish I could tell you more, but if you read this one, you’ll understand why I can’t. Let ’s just say that I had more fun with What Lies Between Us than I’ve had with almost any other book I’ve read this year. 


John Marrs is a former UK television interviewer who is now a full-time novelist. What Lies Between Us is his seventh book. 


John Marrs

12 comments:

  1. Well, that is intriguing. I guess if I want to know what the hell is going on, I'll just have to read it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What makes it so much fun, Dorothy, is that you are not even sure what is really going on until you get to the last few pages...your perception of the truth keeps changing.

      Delete
  2. If that blurb does not get someone going,I dont know what will!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. If you are at all a curious person, that blurb will eat at you until you find out what it's all about.

      Delete
  3. This man knows how to put together a plot that grabs readers. His The Passengers involved self-driving cars, and it really had me going. Now it's obvious that he's written another one that I have to get my hands on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's my first experience with his books, Cathy, but it makes me want to try something else of his. His experience in television may influence his plots, because I can easily imagine this one being made into a movie or TV series at some point.

      Delete
  4. Can I just say --you know how to hook made your readers want to read a book the never thought they'd want to. For example, I've added both of the SA Cosby books because of you --others as well I know, and, now - this one is going on the list as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I probably say too little sometimes, Diane, but my main goal is to alert folks to worthy books without ruining it for them in the process of doing that. When I first started writing reviews about 20 years ago, I got some valid criticism that I was revealing too much. I've never forgotten that.

      I'm tickled that you are finding some things here that interest you enough to want to read and enjoy them for yourself. Thanks...for the kind words.

      Delete
  5. That blurb does certainly make me curious. But the situation sounds a little creepy, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very creepy right from the beginning, and it gets creepier and creepier with every chapter you read.

      Delete
  6. The description was too creepy for me when it was offered on NetGalley, but now I may reconsider.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jen, it's creepy, but it has so many layers that are revealed one-at-a-time that I am not going to forget it any time soon. I wouldn't want a steady diet of this kind of plotting, but this made for a nice change.

      Delete