A twisted and evocative read. This is my first book by John Marrs and I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve heard nothing but glowing reviews about his books and decided to give this one a try. I’m very glad I did!
Book description: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.
- Print Length: 371 pages
- Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (May 15, 2020)
- Publication Date: May 15, 2020
- ASIN: B07XDVHDH4
To say this is the worst thing that could ever happen between two people in a house is an understatement. It’s a sheer nightmare. It tested my perspective and interpretation to the max. Both women wreak havoc in each other’s lives, and both have a price to pay.
Maggie and Nina take crazy to a whole new level, harbouring secrets of the worst kind that unfurl meticulously with each page. You’ll be thrown back and forth sympathising and hating them both at the same time and you may think you’ve figured it all out. Think again.
I empathise with Maggie the most. With all her sacrifices – be they tragic and gruesome – I can’t help rooting for her. Locked in a room with a cuff and chain, she is a prisoner in her own home. Ironically, you could say this is the price she must pay for her choices, and an ingenuity that goes well beyond sanity. As a mother, I know I couldn’t have done half of what she did, nor would I have had the physical or emotional strength to go to such lengths.
Love is the driver, and to some this love might seem a little extreme. If you think baby wipes, a bucket and a plate of food is all she needs to sustain her, you’d be wrong. There is no way out of her attic room, and for nearly three years she has been held captive with no one to call for help. If scratching away at a tiny hole is the only hope she has, then freedom is her biggest stumbling block.
Nina is a conundrum from page one. You know there’s something sinister lurking beneath the surface, not only because of the part she plays, but the psychological unravelling of past and present. Nina allows her mother downstairs for dinner where Maggie is taunted no end, depending on Nina’s mood. I couldn’t help screaming inside for Maggie to tell her side of the story, but how much does Nina really remember? And if she remembers, how dangerous could that be for Maggie?
When you think help is on its way, it is very quickly dashed. To me, this book was like a house of mirrors – a puzzle with so many obstacles there seemed to be no way out. Just when you thought there was an escape, another challenge presented itself. Told in two perspectives, both Nina and Maggie are sensitively and beautifully drawn, bouncing from present day to 25 years ago. Their lives and their secrets are woven into this well-plotted novel, so much so, I wasn’t sure what to believe.
Toxic co-dependency and a serious case of DID, made my skin itch. There is so much to unpack, you’ll love every twist and turn this clever author has to offer. You could say it is a game of wits – a gaoler and a hostage each with their own agenda. But are both their stories reliable? Are they both prisoners in mind and spirit? I guess you’ll have to read it to find out.
What people are saying:
“Dark and disturbing.” —Crime Monthly
“[Marrs’] most sinister novel to date.” —Daily Express
“A modern-day Whatever Happened to Baby Jane that is dark, twisted, and full of surprises.” —Mark Edwards, bestselling author of Here to Stay and The Retreat
“An excellent psychological thriller. A one-sitting read about a daughter who keeps her mother locked in the attic. Twisty, moving, and chilling.” —Sarah Pinborough, bestselling author of Behind Her Eyes
“Great premise and masterful use of twists.” —Claire McGowan, bestselling author of What You Did
About the author
John Marrs is an author and former journalist based in London and Northamptonshire. After spending his career interviewing celebrities from the worlds of television, film and music for numerous national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time author. What Lies Between Us is his seventh book. Follow him at http://www.johnmarrsauthor.co.uk, on Twitter @johnmarrs1, on Instagram @johnmarrs.author and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/johnmarrsauthor.
Other books by John Marrs