My review: What lies between us, by John Marrs

About the book:

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.

My review:

Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.

Once again John delivered an absolutely chilling and full of suspense novel about crazy, crazy, crazy people and their relationship. I try not to give away any spoilers.

This book kept me attached to my Kindle during all train rides to work, made me think about its characters and made me stay up at night, just to finish the last chapters to find out the truth.

From the start of the book I felt sympathy towards one of the characters, felt so sorry for her and completely understood her behaviour and what was happening with her. But…(of course there should be but)….John demonstrated that not everything is as it seems. Nobody’s perfect and often people’s destructive actions directed by good intentions.

I liked absolutely everything about this book. The pace, the language, all the twists, characters that were realistic and natural. It was John Marrs at his best.

One of the best topics of the novel for me was parent – child relationship, and in particular, between mother and daughter. The questions like how to protect your little girl from all the dangers of the world, how to teach her what is right and what is wrong, how to make her listen and how to try not to strangle her with your motherly love, limiting her freedom. It was absolutely horrifying to read about things that were happening in the book, but at the same time made me think about the reality of raising a teenager which I will experience in 10-13 years.

I would recommend this novel to all readers of thrillers and suspense, twist lovers and John’s fans.

My review: The Devil’s Claw, by Lara Dearman


About the book:

Following a traumatic incident in London, journalist Jennifer Dorey has returned home to Guernsey, taking a job as a local newspaper reporter. When she finds a drowned woman on a beach, Jennifer uncovers something much bigger and more sinister than she first thought.

Jennifer enlists the help of DCI Michael Gilbert, an officer on the verge of retirement, to investigate a pattern of similar deaths over the last fifty years. They follow a dark trail of island myths and folklore to the illegitimate son of a Nazi soldier, whose painstakingly executed work has so far gone undetected. But as Jennifer gets closer to the truth of the killer’s identity, she finds herself stepping deeper into his grasp.

Jennifer thinks she’s safe, but the dark hides sinister things in The Devil’s Claw, Lara Dearman’s exhilarating debut novel.

My review:

Thank you to the publisher for the opportunity to read this book through NetGalley.

This mystery thriller brings you to one of the small islands in the English Channel. The author obviously knows the place very well. Afterwards, I found out that Lara Dearman is a local of Guernsey which explains such an amazing representation of the island.

The plot is quite unusual. I found it intelligent, a mixture of mystery murder, history, a psychology of a killer, myths and storytelling. It was fascinating to read about Guernsey and life there and reminded me of life in a small town where I come from. Where everyone knows everyone and everyone knows everything, but still some things get missed which creates town legends.

The stories about Guernsey and its myths are just great. I had an urge to look them up online and read more.

I really liked the main character – journalist Jenny who had to come back to her hometown after pretty dramatic events in London. In my opinion, Jenny is extremely professional and doesn’t give up, trying to help people and find out the truth. She is driven by her profession, but also by natural curiosity. If I were a journalist, I would’ve liked to be like her.

The mystery part is good. The author keeps you guessing who the killer is and keeps throwing some twists and turns.

This is a debut novel and a first part of the series, so I look forward to reading more books by Lara Dearman.

My score is 5* out of 5*.