What Lies Between Us by John Marrs | Not what I expected?

It’s been a long time since I really committed to reading thrillers and mysteries. My reading taste changes all the time, and more often than not something that I would have found absolutely incredible a few years (sometimes months) ago, fails to surprise me in a way I wanted it to.

That’s how I felt about «What Lies Between Us» by John Marrs. While it had a very captivating plotline, smart twists, and characters I couldn’t trust, it just didn’t leave me dumbstruck as I thought it would.

goodreads blurb:

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.


Thank you Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own and not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way.

John Marrs first got my attention with his book «The One», which is a thriller with a little bit of Sci-Fi and I loved it so much I couldn’t think about any other book for weeks afterward. I wasn’t expecting his newest release to also have Sci-Fi elements, but I wanted it to really surprise me. And it didn’t… 


1 – The story seems simple, but don’t let yourselves be fooled! John Marrs is a master of plot twists. There was twists on twists on twists. Some I predicted and anxiously waited for, and some caught me off guard. 

When I think back on «What Lies Between Us», the first word that pops into mind is “smart”. Every detail of the story was thought through and carefully selected – some were intended to confuse the readers, make them believe something that wasn’t there, and others were little hints here and there to see if we could figure out the big reveals. 

I love that about thrillers. I love the mindboggling games that authors get to play and many traps they put for us to be caught in. 

2 – Despite this being a thriller, which are usually very plot-driven, this book had some very interesting characters and was told from two different perspectives – Maggie and Nina. In my opinion, they were the stars of the book. It wouldn’t be possible to like the story if you didn’t feel intrigued by what Nina and Maggie represent. 

John Marrs used first-person story-telling in this book, which made me feel closer to each narrator. I don’t think that the third person PoV would have had the same effect. 

3 – I was fascinated by the representation of human nature in this book. This is a thriller, so I can’t really say too much to not spoil it for you. Let’s just say that the author really explored some deep (and often scary) emotions. Although, I’d love to see more reasons behind some actions.


1 – As I mentioned, I wanted this book to really ambush me, and when that didn’t happen I felt a little bit disappointed. Yes, there were some plot twists that surprised me, but in general, after approximately 20-30% I knew where it was going. Sometimes that “knowledge” is exciting, it makes you reading faster to see your guess confirmed. But in this case, I didn’t feel particularly excited. The book reads very quickly, but mostly due to the characters and not the amazing reveals. 

My rating:

I might have ruined this experience a little bit for myself for hyping it up so much. After reading «The One», I just knew that John Marrs has all the tools and knowledge to make some incredible, mindblowing thrillers. 

Have you read any books by John Marrs? What is your favorite thriller? I really need some recommendations in that genre! 

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9 thoughts on “What Lies Between Us by John Marrs | Not what I expected?

  1. Great review! I love the layout and how you managed to explain the positives and negatives of a thriller without spoiling anything 🙂
    I have been wanting to read The One for a couple of months now, so I was interested to see the same author coming out with another book. I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t impress you as much.
    It’s great that at least some of the twists surprised you and that you still think the story was smart despite it not exciting you.
    This book is still on my radar, but I think after reading your review I will be going to The One first!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 🙂 I always find it so difficult to review thrillers 😀 «The One» was an amazing book, really loved the concept. I hope you’ll love it too, and I also recommend you to give this one a go as well. It was so smartly written and I saw many very positive reviews of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ya me too, I just loved the characters. They were written so well.
    I have not read The One so can’t comment. But I do understand how hype can kill a book, especially if it is by a favourite author.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow I’m keen to give The One a try. It’s been a while since I’ve read a really good sci-fi story and I’m adding it to my TBR. I haven’t read any books by Marrs yet but he sounds like a very detail-oriented author and I enjoy that when I’m after an impactful read that will leave me thinking about the book for days. Fab review Alex! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’ll love «The One» and it read so quickly too. If I had to compare «The One» to something similar in the genre, let’s say «Dark Matter», «The One» definitely wins 😀 (no hate on Blake Crouch, I loved «Dark Matter» too, ahah)


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