Lies We Bury by Elle Marr – A book review

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr – A book review

Do you trust blurbs that compare book titles? Do they work for you? Lies We Bury by Elle Marr was recommended for the readers of “Room”. Read my book review of Lies We Bury to Elle Marr to know if it worked for me.

About Lies We Bury

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr Book review

Book Name: Lies We Bury

Author: Elle Marr

Genre: Fiction – Thriller

Characters: Marissa Mo (Clariss Lou), Jenessa, Lily, Rosemary, Nora, Chet, Shia Tua

Setting: PortlandOregon, The USA

Thanks to Netgalley and Megan Beatie Communications for the free e-copy.

Plot Summary of Lies We Bury

It has been twenty years since Marissa escaped the only place she had known – a basement prison. She reinvented herself a couple of times and now with a new name, a new city and a job as a freelance photographer she moves back to Portland. She decides she has moved on from the trauma, finally.

But it is all happening again.

When she has to cover a series murders in the underground tunnels of Portland, it is too close to home. And to make matters worse, she keeps finding small trinkets from her distant past all over the crime scene.

Is someone trying to frame her as the murderer? Or is it a weird copycat who is commemorating the release of her imprisoner? Read Lies We Bury by Elle Marr to know more.

Book review of Lies We Bury

I started reading Lies We Bury by Elle Marr without much expectations and was pleasantly surprised.

With two alternating timelines (present day and from twenty years ago), Lies We Bury follows Claire trying to navigate her adult life while completely ignoring her past trauma.

Claire is not particularly likeable. Her actions were not well thought through, especially when it is apparent that she is wrong. Well, that could be off putting and annoying after a while.

I am a sucker for books with psycho/serial killers, Lies We Bury seems to have it all. It made me guess and then second guess every person. Trust me, there were many out there. Though the ending may have been duller than what I had in my mind, it made sense. No complaints there.

What worked for me

  • Reading the past based on a seven year old’s version made it all the more real.
  • I liked the broken and dysfunctional relationship that Claire has with each of her sisters and the love for all the mothers.

What may have been better

  • The main lead may get on the nerves with her bad decisions and may be off putting for a few.

Content warning

Physical and sexual abuse, imprisonment,

Bottom line

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr is fast paced thriller that will keep you hooked till the end. Yes, it is similar to “Room” but with a darker future. I will definitely be on the look out for the author’s other books.

Similar book reviews

Pin me!

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr Pinterest

Let’s chat

Have you read Lies We Bury by Elle Marr? Do comparative titles work for you? What are you currently reading? Let us talk.

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr – A book review

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn – A book review

I had been putting aside Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, who is one of my favorite authors, for a while, even when I was almost sure that I will like it. I just wanted savor it but when the dreadful slump threatened, I had to bring in the big gun.

So did Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn work well for me? Was it worth the hype and will I be watching the Amy Adams starring HBO series? You will have to read my book review of Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn to know more.

About Sharp Objects

Book Name: Sharp Objects

Author: Gillian Flynn

Genre: Fiction – Psychological Thriller

Characters: Camille Preaker, Amma, Adora, Alan and Marian Crellin, Chief Bill Vickery, Frank Curry, Richard Willis, Natalie and John Keene

Setting: Wind Gap, MissouriThe USA

Plot Summary of Sharp Objects

Camille Preaker has been offered a chance to redeem her career as a journalist and her position with her chief, who has been always by her side even during her recent stint at the psych ward.

All she has to do is return to her hometown and cover the unsolved murder of a pre-teen girl and the recent disappearance of another.

While Camille is no way ready for visiting her hometown, but she does it anyway. She hasn’t spoken to her obsessive mother (Adora) in years and barely knows her half sister Amma.

With an uncooperative local Sheriff and handsom Kansas City detective on tow, Camille finds herself not just covering the story but finding the murderer who removes the teeth from his victims.

Will Camille be able to dig through the mystery, without awakening her demons from the past? What’s the deal with her family and her past? Grab a copy of Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and read it right away.

Book review of Sharp Objects

I should start with a huge disclaimer: I am a huge fan of Gillian Flynn and I have read all her books including her novella. She is one of those authors that I would recommend to anyone looking for a fast psychological thriller or a new reader.

And I am glad to announce that Flynn didn’t disappoint me at all with Sharp Objects. Yes, it is apparent that it is not as nuanced as her later works, but it is still as dark as her books are usually. Fans of dark pasts and dysfunctional families, you won’t be disappointed.

I guessed the killer at about 70% of the book but I think Sharp Objects was more than just finding the murderer. It has always been about the characters themselves for me, which were fully developed and intriguing in their own ways.

If you have read Gone girl and/or Dark places, you know what you are in for and you will love it.

What worked for me

  • No one writes dark and damaged characters like Flynn and I have come to expect them in all her novels.
  • I love how motherhood was a subtle theme all through the book. Even the last article that Camille was working on before returning home was about a mother who abandons her kids for some drugs to her own mother who hugged her “ferociously”.
  • Sharp Objects is set in a small town (I am a huge fan of those) that is creepy and closed in equal parts.

What may have been better

  • You may not like the protagonist at all. And Camille just makes it hard to root for her and her actions gets only desperate and irrational after a while. (I like such characters, but just a warning for those of you who don’t like books with unlikeable protagonists.)
  • The whodunnit part can be figured out or at least guessed before it happens. So if you are in just for the mystery part of it, Sharp Objects might seem predictable.

Content warningy

Self harm (cutting), parental neglect and abuse, mentions of underage sex and rape, recreational drugs.

Bottom line

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn is an engrossing thriller that will stay with you for a long time if you like twisted and dark characters and dysfunctional families. Flynn doesn’t disappoint her fans with Sharp Objects at all.

Similar book reviews

Pin me!

Let’s chat

Have you Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn? What other books of Flynn have you enjoyed? Have you watched the adaptation of the book? Let us talk.

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr – A book review

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite – A book review

I had been meaning to pick up My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite for a long time now, having seen the countless reviews and posts on bookstagram. But after hearing Ms Braithwaite speak (virtually) at the Emirates Litfest this year, I grabbed it immediately. Read my book review of My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite to know more.

About My Sister, the Serial Killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite book review

Book Name: My Sister, the Serial Killer

Author: Oyinkan Braithwaite

Genre: Fiction – Thriller, Drama

Characters: Korede, Ayoola, Tade, Muhtar Yautai

Setting: Lagos, Nigeria

Plot Summary of My Sister, the Serial Killer

Set in the modern day Lagos, Nigeria, My Sister, the Serial Killer opens with Korede helping her younger sister Ayoola get rid of her latest victim’s body. Ayoola tells her it was a self defense, but Korede is not convinced entirely.

Korede, a sincere nurse with a crush on her coworker, the handsome doctor Tade. Her only “friend” is a patient in comatose, to whom she confides about her suspicions about her self absorbed sister, who might be a serial killer.

What happens when Ayoola and Tade fall for each other, and her friend who knows all her deep and dark secrets, is no longer in a comatose? You have to read My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite to know more.

Book review of My Sister, the Serial Killer

I loved the plot and while not being original, I wanted to know more about the sisters and what happens to them. There are some flashbacks that talk about their childhood and their late father.

The chapters are quite short and you can race through the book in a sitting, like I did. But the short chapters made it seem like it was rushed and underdeveloped at places.

The small snippets about their abusive tyrannical father, which offer some glimpse into why Ayoola might be doing whatever she does. And the fact that we may never know the full story made it more interesting for me.

I wanted to like Korede, but unfortunately she seemed too passive about her situation and life in general. On the other hand, I loved reading the social commentary about the modern day Lagos and their inept and corrupt police force.

[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”cl9hemzmnn” question=”Please leave a feedback on this” opened=”0″]My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is my first book set in Nigeria, is there any other Nigerian books that I should be reading?[/wpdiscuz-feedback]

What worked for me

  • I loved the premise and it had me hooked from the first sentence.
  • The short chapters with cliffhangers got me reading the entire book in a single sitting. My Sister, the Serial Killer is a perfect popcorn fun read!
  • I loved reading about Lagos and Nigerian lifestyle and I will definitely watch out for the author as well.

What may have been better

  • The short chapters made it seem like there was more to the story and it was rushed through.
  • I wanted to like characters but sadly none of them had any character development to start with.

Content warning

Parental abuse

Bottom line

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is a short fun read that may have not lived up to the hype for me. Nevertheless, it is still a good thrilling read that you can breeze through in an afternoon.

Similar book reviews

Pin me!

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite feature

Let’s chat

Have you read My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite? How did you like it? Do share me your book review if you have written one. Also recommend other African literature that I should be reading.

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr – A book review

Silent Patient, The by Alex Michaelides – A book review

How often do you agree with hype and award winning titles? I had heard so much about The Silent Patient and I was reluctant to pick it up, because I didn’t want another disappointment. But how did it fare on my scale? Read my book of The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides to know more.

About the book

Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Book review

Book Name: The Silent Patient

Author: Alex Michaelides

Genre: Fiction – Mystery, Thriller

Characters:  Alicia Berenson, Theo and Kathy Faber, Christian, Professor Lazarus Diomedes, Gabriel and Max Berenson, Elif, Yuri

Setting: London, England, The UK

Plot Summary

Theo Faber, a psychotherapist can’t wait for this chance to prove himself by helping Alicia, the famed silent patient. And to do that, he has begun to work at The Grove where the artist is being treated for a while now.

About six years ago Alicia Berenson, a well known painter was arrested for murdering her husband, Gabriel. Since then she has not uttered a single word. She is suicidal and unresponsive to any sort of communication.

Theo is also fighting his own demons and for his marriage. Will he be able to save Alicia or himself for that matter? Read The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides to find out more.

Book review

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides is a fast paced murder mystery/thriller. And it is definitely worth its hype. I definitely should be more open to picking hyped books hereon.

While the explosive climax is not novel, I didn’t see it coming. I had several other theories (a few more ingenious than the others ..cough.. cough) of course, but the red herrings worked perfectly. And that says a lot about the author’s ability to weave a web of tangles around it.

I had a few issues with how the “hospital was run” and that Theo’s approach to help Alicia was pretty much unprofessional. There are a few comments about therapy that misleading and harmful, and definitely reduced the credibility factor for me.

What worked for me

  • I didn’t see the classic twist coming at all. And that’s because I was so engrossed in the narration.
  • The short chapters worked well enough to make The Silent Patient a page turner and I couldn’t just stop reading.
  • The red herrings will keep you second guessing and hooked till the end.

What may have been better

  • Theo’s breakthrough treatment was totally unprofessional and kinda lowkey annoying for me. I hated that there were misleading and harmful comments about therapy and therapists.
  • The twist has been done and tested many a times. One of the well known example is The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie.

Bottom line

If you are quite new to the murder mystery genre and you liked books like Girl on the train or The Woman In The Window by Finn A J, you will love this book. If you’ve read as many whodunnits as I have, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides may not surprise you. But it is still worth a read.

Content warning:

Depression, multiple suicide attempts, Drug abuse, Misleading concepts about therapy, extramarital affair,

Similar book reviews

Pin me!

Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Pinterest

Let’s chat

Have you read The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides? Were you able to find the culprit? What is your favorite whodunnit murder mystery book? Let us talk.

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr – A book review

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – A book review

I can’t believe I had not read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie before, given that it is such an acclaimed book. As someone who loves Christie and lists, this is pretty frustrating. Anyway, shall we get on to the book review, then?

About the book

Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie Book cover

Book Name: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Series: Hercule Poirot #4

Author: Agatha Christie

Genre: Fiction – Thriller, Mystery

Characters: Mrs. Ferrars, Roger Ackroyd, Flora Ackroyd, Ralph Paton, Hercule Poirot, Dr James Sheppard, Caroline Sheppard, Mrs. Ackroyd, Hector Blunt, , Geoffrey Raymond, Parker, Elizabeth Russell, Charles Kent, Inspector Raglan, Mr. Hammond

Setting: England, The UK

Plot Summary

In King’s Abbot, a wealthy widow Mrs Ferrars overdoses on veronal and dies. Within a span of twenty four hours, her fiancé Roger Ackroyd, a another wealthy widower is stabbed to death.

Roger Ackroyd recently had come to the knowledge that the rumors were true and Mrs Ferrars had indeed murdered her violent first husband. He also had suspected that someone was blackmailing her. But before he could act on it, he was murdered too.

With a house of servants, friends and family who had motives and means to do it, it becomes overwhelming for the local cops. When Roger’s niece Flora commissions the now retired detective, Hercule Poirot, to find out the murderer.

Of course he solves it! How he does that forms the rest of the story in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie.

Book review

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd has been named as one the “1001 books to read before you die” list and its twist is said to have changed the detective fiction genre for ever.

I know it seems like a tall praise, but I completely agree with the statement. And I never saw the twist coming (and you know that has been happening often these days, if you have been reading my Christie’s reviews).

I have read quite a number of Poirot cases, and I have never been a fan of his eccentricities. But The Murder of Roger Ackroyd changed my mind. He is hilarious!

Above all, I love the way author had given subtle clues all through the book and until the detective explains it during his dramatic reveal, I never realized them. I had to re-read those parts to check! I think that is the hallmark of detective novels and there is a reason why Christie is the best selling author of all times.

What worked for me

  • The twist blew my mind off.
  • This is one of those rare Agatha Christie’s books that made me laugh out loud at places. Who knew Christie was this funny!
  • I love the subtle hints and clues buried under the nose all through the book, and they become apparent only during the big reveal.

What may have been better

  • NOTHING!

Bottom line

If you are fan of Agatha Christie, you have to pick The Murder of Roger Ackroyd because it is almost as good as And then there were none. And if you are not a fan of the detective/mystery novel genre, this book might change your mind!

Similar book reviews

Pin me!

Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie Pinterest

Let’s chat

Have you read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie? What is your favorite murder case by Agatha Christie? Do you like watching Christie on screen adaptations? Let us talk.

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr – A book review

The Guest List by Lucy Foley – A book review

It is not so common that a book that takes “a modern twist on Agatha Christie” gets rated so high and raved by bloggers I admire. So let’s review The Guest List by Lucy Foley, a book that has been on the Amazon best sellers for more than ten weeks now.

About the book

Guest List by Lucy Foley Book Cover

Book Name: The Guest List

Author: Lucy Foley

Genre: Fiction – Thriller

Characters: Will Slater, Julia Keegan, Hannah and Charlie, Olivia, Johnno, Aiofe and Freddy

Setting: Inis an Amplóra, or Cormorant Island, Ireland

Summary

In a secluded island in the coastal regions of Ireland, the modern day power couple Jules and Will Slater are tying their knots. A couple of close friends and the wedding party choose to stay in the island the night before the wedding. The weather is not helping and storm seems to be approaching as well.

But just as the celebrations begin, a distraught waitress stumbles in and announces that she saw a body. The ushers walk into the deadly night to check it and the cops from the mainland are called as well.

Will the ‘happily ever after’ and the ‘death do apart work’ for this couple? And who kills whom forms the rest of the story in The Guest List by Lucy Foley.

My initial thoughts

This closed room murder mystery follows the usual whodunnit pattern and it works well. Despite having multiple POVs (six of them), the narration is quite simple and doesn’t confuse much.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley has a number of suspects and motives, as any good murder mystery should.

In spite of all the numerous red herrings, I guessed the murder much earlier and I am sure so would other regular mystery lovers.

What worked for me

  • The closed space murder mystery stretched over a 48 hours is fast paced and entertaining.
  • The red herrings keep the reader focused on the wrong things and would work very well if you are not a regular mystery reader.
  • The reader is unaware of the murderer is as well as the victim until almost the end making it more fun.

What may have been better

  • Except for one or two, I found all the characters annoying and/or horrible. But I don’t think these characters slowed down the whodunnit part.
  • I would have loved a bit more loose/open ending. I guessed the murderer from miles away.

Bottom line

If you are an Agatha Christie fan, The Guest List by Lucy Foley is a good read for you. But be warned that this contemporary murder mystery might prove to be a bit easily solvable, if you read whodunnits regularly.

Pin me!

Guest List by Lucy Foley Pinterest

Let’s chat

Have you read The Guest List by Lucy Foley? What other contemporary murder mysteries worked well for you? Is there any author who might come close to Agatha Christie? Let us talk.