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I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for The Good Samaritan by John Marrs, not only because I’ve enjoyed a lot of his books, but because I am joining some of the best book reviewers and bloggers on this tour, especially my tour buddy Sharon Bairden who blogs over at Chapterinmylife she’s also my go to person when I need recommendations for Scottish Crime Fiction – seriously, head over there and check out her blog if you’ve not done so already…but perhaps after you’ve read my review.

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** My thanks to Tracy Fenton and Thomas & Mercer for my copy of this and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

She’s a friendly voice on the phone. But can you trust her?

The people who call End of the Line need hope. They need reassurance that life is worth living. But some are unlucky enough to get through to Laura. Laura doesn’t want them to hope. She wants them to die.

Laura hasn’t had it easy: she’s survived sickness and a difficult marriage only to find herself heading for forty, unsettled and angry. She doesn’t love talking to people worse off than she is. She craves it.

But now someone’s on to her—Ryan, whose world falls apart when his pregnant wife ends her life, hand in hand with a stranger. Who was this man, and why did they choose to die together?

The sinister truth is within Ryan’s grasp, but he has no idea of the desperate lengths Laura will go to…

Because the best thing about being a Good Samaritan is that you can get away with murder.

My Thoughts & Review:

After I read and enjoyed The One by John Marrs earlier this year I was delighted to hear that he had written another book and was ecstatic to be offered an early copy to read for the blog tour (the perks of being a complete book nerd!).
I do love the creeping unease that builds throughout John’s books, there’s a danger that lurks just out of sight in the narrative that you can’t quite put your finger on, but you know that it’s coming and you know that it will catch you completely unawares but you can’t help but devour the book waiting for it to jump out at you.

In The Good Samaritan we meet Laura who is the epitome of the perfect character written by John Marrs, you can’t quite work her out.  To others, she seems perfect.  She’s caring, helpful, bakes cakes to bring into her co-workers, offers to sew clothing that’s lost a button or needs hemming, and on top of all of this, she has survived cancer so she stands out as someone who is noticeable.  But underneath it all, there’s something sinister about her, she gets a kick out of helping people end their lives and working in  a call centre where suicidal people call is the perfect setting for her to cherry pick her victims.

With some impressive plotting, readers are taken on a journey through Laura’s twisted and fiendishly devious mind as she recounts moments from her past that shock and alarm at times, she’s tortured by her earlier life and wants to escape the memories by helping others who truly want to die.  And I admit, I did feel incredibly saddened for her at times, but like a yo-yo my sympathies lessened when I learned more about her, she seemed ruthless and cruel, before sneakily John Marrs changed tact and had me feeling empathy towards her again.  This is offset perfectly with the character of Ryan.  Where Laura evokes horror and shock, Ryan elicits emotions of sadness, pity and sympathy, but as the plot moves on at a rate of knots the emotions switch around as each of the lead characters assume the position of power.

The way that the story hooks readers in is absolutely key, and for those out there who love an unreliable narrator then you’re in for a treat with The Good Samaritan.  There are moments where you think you can preempt where the plot is heading only for John Marrs to swiftly pull the carpet from underneath you and leave you reeling.  The plot twists are clever and downright brilliant in places.
This is the sort of book that you can’t read whilst cooking supper or you may well end up cremating it all, or end up reading into the wee hours of the morning because you’ve been so wrapped in what happens.  And if you do manage to put the book down, you may well find that it plays out in your head, taunting you to get back to reading, making you wonder what might happen next, or make you ask what you might do in that situation.

A gripping thriller that really gets into your head!

You can buy a copy of The Good Samaritan via:

Amazon UK
Wordery
Book Depository

Tour Poster 1

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Copy provided by Ebury Publishing in return for an honest review

 

Description:

How far would you go to find THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes.

One tiny DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love.

Now, five more people take the test. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

My Thoughts & Review:

Ashamedly, this is the first book that I have read by John Marrs, quite how I’ve managed to miss his books previously is beyond me, perhaps it’s because there are so many good books out there at the moment that as a reader I am spoiled for choice?  Yes, that’s why, we shall use that as my excuse, but thanks to a very interesting description and some recommendations from wonderful fellow bloggers in TBC I thought I would check this one out.

The idea that there is a genetically perfect match out there for each of us is an intriguing one, but I can’t help but feel it’s a little scary too.  How many people if faced with the chance would take the test?  And of those who took the test, who would open the results?  Would you still take the test if you were in a committed relationship?  What would you do if the person you are with turns out not to be your perfect match (genetically)?
The concept of this is explored so fully by Marrs in this novel, cleverly he writes from the perspective of more than one character allowing the reader to experience the quandary at hand.

At first I had my reservations when I saw that there were numerous different characters all narrating, each telling their story about how this genetic test plays a part in their life and how it’s far reaching repercussions impact on those around them.  But I quickly changed my mind as I was hypnotised by the enchanting charm of the writing.  The pace of this is relentless in the sense that you cannot stop reading, you don’t want to stop reading.  You want to know what each character will do about the situation they have found themselves in.  The revelations that are unveiled are wholeheartedly shocking in places, and each is bigger than the previous one.  The twists that are cleverly woven into this are the work of sheer genius – not once did I suspect what lay ahead and found myself staring at the book in awe but also slightly terrified at what I was reading.  I should add “terrified” was more in the sense of how intricately well the plot worked, how characters played out certain scenes etc.

There are so many things I would love to say about this book, but that would really be doing you a disservice.  This is definitely a book that deserves to be read and enjoyed, it’s evocative, it’s clever, it’s heart wrenchingly oppressive in places and takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride of human behaviour.

I shall be hunting out other books by this author, his style of writing was a joy to read and even when the subject was of a more sensitive nature he handled it carefully and respectfully.

You can buy a copy of The One here.

 

About the Author:

John Marrs is a freelance journalist based in London, England, who has spent the last 20 years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines.
He has written for publications including The Guardian’s Guide and Guardian Online; OK! Magazine; Total Film; Empire; Q; GT; The Independent; Star; Reveal; Company; Daily Star and News of the World’s Sunday Magazine.
His debut novel The Wronged Sons, was released in 2013 and in May 2015, he released his second book, Welcome To Wherever You Are.
In July 2016 came his third novel A Thousand Small Explosions.

For more information about John’s books follow him on Twitter @johnmarrs1

 

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