Title: What Lies Between Us
Author: John Marrs
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication date: 15th May 2020
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“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.“
What Lies Between Us is a riveting thriller filled with deceit, riddles and secrecy and built on the most twisted mother-daughter relationship one could possibly imagine. If you thought you have experienced dysfunctional relationships in other thrillers then brace yourselves because John Marrs brings out the anarchic and twisted side of Maggie and Nina’s bond and leaves the reader questioning all their actions and thoughts.
The storytelling in What Lies Between Us is flawless. The plot is divided in chapters with alternating POVs between Nina and Maggie and the first person narrative works extremely well in establishing a connection between the reader and the characters to help understand their actions. It has the perfect balance between character development and plot and keeps the reader guessing as both characters’ motives are slowly revealed through the multiple unanticipated twists.
I find relating to unlikable and unreliable characters extremely difficult in thrillers yet I was surprised to find that there were parts of both characters that I could connect with. They both make some difficult choices but with the intention to protect and help their loved ones. I was constantly undecided on which character was evil and unbalanced and with each twist I became more convinced that I had figured out their backstory until the shocking turn of events at the end which left me speechless. Looking back, I realise that it would have been impossible to guess the reasons behind their actions and figure out the ending as it is so twisted and unexpected.
After reading The Passengers by John Marrs, I was convinced that I had discovered a possible new favourite author and this book confirmed my suspicions. I was thrilled to hear that it has already sold TV rights and can already imagine some of the dark scenes from this book reproduced on the big screen. I highly recommend this book to all fans of the genre and cannot wait to read John Marrs’ previous books.
What Lies Between Us is now out to buy!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing a free advanced reader’s copy in exchange for my honest review.