Thursday, April 01, 2021

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr

 
First Line: Secrets never stay buried for long.
 
Now, she's working under a new name as a freelance photographer, but twenty years ago, Marissa Mo escaped a basement prison-- the only home she'd ever known. Still working through the trauma and trying to fly beneath the radar of those who stalk people like her, Marissa accepts a job that focuses on a series of murders in Portland, Oregon. 

Marissa's blood runs cold when she sees eerie similarities between the murders she's covering and what she lived through all those years ago. Soon she's playing a cat and mouse game with a killer who forces her to relive the past she's worked so hard to bury. But how many of her memories are true... and how many are lies?

~

I think the most important thing I carried away from Lies We Bury is the impact a traumatic experience like Marissa's can have on a person's entire life and the monumental effort it takes to overcome it all. As Marissa investigates the crime scenes she's been hired to photograph, readers see a true amateur sleuth. She has no real clue how to investigate, she's easily distracted and prone to run off on tangents. 

The author has created a layered portrait of Marissa's life, including a few interesting tidbits of Portland history as well as the memories of the people who survived that basement prison with her. When readers finally get to meet the man who kept these women and children locked in his basement for years, his beliefs as to what he can achieve if he's released from prison are mind-boggling.

Lies We Bury is well-paced and engrossing, but it's not the type of book readers can easily fall in love with. It's edgy and unsettling with uncomfortable subject matter. For me, it boiled down to my uneven track record with unreliable narrators. Marissa is a sympathetic character whom readers learn cannot be entirely trusted. How well you relate to her will have a great deal to do with how much you like the book.

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr
eISBN: 9781542026192
Thomas & Mercer © 2021
eBook, 291 pages
 
Thriller, Standalone
Rating B+
Source: Purchased from Amazon.

8 comments:

  1. Hmm...it does sound interesting, Cathy, in its portrayal of what it's like to deal with trauma. Still, I'm not sure this one is for me (although your review is great, as ever). Perhaps it's because I'm just not in a frame of mind to read about real trauma at the moment. Still, I'm glad you found things to like about it.

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    1. I know exactly what you mean about not being in the right frame of mind for the subject matter. Fortunately, the author doesn't bash us over the head with that traumatic experience.

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  2. I looked at this one, but gave it a pass. Maybe like Margot, I'm not in the mood for this kind of trauma at the moment. It really is uncomfortable subject matter.

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    1. Yes, it is. Whenever the man responsible for it all was being dealt with, it reminded me of doing volunteer work with the mentally ill when I was a teenager, which was one of the most valuable experiences of my entire life.

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  3. I don't think I can read about this trauma. I saw news about women held in a Cleveland house as prisoners for years, a woman held in her father's basement for years in (I think) Austria and other such stories. I can't deal with this trauma.

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    1. Isn't it nice to know that I reviewed a book that is not going on your Need To Read list?

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  4. Yes. There is that. But I am going to read some of the non-mysteries on the Women's Prize for Fiction nomination long list.

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