Warning: This review contains mild spoilers
The Good Samaritan by John Marrs is a well-written, dark and disturbing thriller.
While most suspense novels reveal little from the beginning and build up the story up to a surprise ending, Marrs sets the game from the beginning of the novel by introducing anti-heroine Laura and her deadly motives.
Laura works for End of the Line, a charity organisation where people ring in their moments of despair. She is pretty much like a nocturnal animal on hunt, looking out for suicidal people and offering them a keen support to end their lives. One day, she convinces a pregnant woman with prenatal depression to commit suicide together with a stranger. Then this woman’s husband, Ryan starts investigating his wife’s death. Would he be able to find answers? Will he be able to find what Laura did?
Laura is an anti-heroine, a mean, emotionless woman with a heart of stone- and we are supposed to dislike. her but especially in the beginning of the novel I couldn’t avoid grinning to her witty but mean inner thoughts.
Here is an example:
‘No thank you, I’m gluten intolerant.’
‘Is that really a thing? Do you just wake up one morning and realise that after fifty-odd years you can’t eat cake?’
She glared at me and I made an imaginary chalk mark on a board.
I didn’t find the plot particularly interesting in the beginning, however Laura’s brutal and sarcastic inner thoughts kept me reading as she was a very promising character. It doesn’t take long before other characters start entering into the game and the story develops into a very interesting cat and mouse game between the them. I was hooked until the end to find out what was going to happen next, and found the ending really pleasing.
There were two things I didn’t like in the story (mild spoilers): first, the coincidences in the plot that bumped characters into each other (Tony-Janine, Ryan-Effie) and second the parts about Laura’s life with Sylvia. I would have preferred less details, leaving gaps for imagination rather than agitating the reader as the subject was quite sensitive and upsetting.
This book is perfect read for fans of Peter Swanson as he also masters writing strategic battling/hunt between the characters, like ‘The Kind worth Killing’ or ‘Her Every Fear’. If you liked this book, you will love these.
Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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