⭐Publisher featured review
An elderly woman is kept in the attic, chained up and tormented. Her captor is her daughter. Someone has done terrible things that neither of them talks about. It is difficult for the reader to know, too. That is the gift of this tale.
The story is told from alternate points of view, in the present and from about twenty-odd years ago. There is no doubt that this is a disturbing account of psychological and physical abuse, skillfully exposed from the distinct perspectives. There is little in the way of sentimentality or sensationalism, although there could have been given the subject matter. There are hints of very dark activities, mental illness, memory, loneliness, guilt, grief and obsession. Although the book is focused on mainly two people I wouldn't say it was a study of mother-daughter relationships, except perhaps the extent mothers will go to to justify their actions in their perception of putting their children first. Maybe.
Marrs uses a measured pace without waffle, informal language and when it seems as if I've guessed the next bit it's not like that at all. There is some dark humour: 'I have several Dusty Springfield records, that's how broad-minded I am' for example, but this is a tale of revenge and accountability above all. And a darn good thriller. Recommended.
Also by John Marrs:
All Action & Adventure American Civil Rights Anthology Bildungsroman Biography Booker Prize Children's Conspiracy Contemporary Costa Award Courtroom Crime Dark Ages Debut Detective Domestic Noir Dystopian Family Saga Fantasy Gothic Historical History Horror Japan Journey Legal Literary Maritime Medical Medieval Memoir Metaphysical Military Mystery Mythology Nonfiction Nordic Noir Philosophical Pirates Poetry Police Procedural Political Psychological Pulitzer Prize Roman Romance Romantic Comedy Satire Science Fiction & Fantasy Scotland Self-help Short Stories Stuarts Supernatural Thriller Time Travel Tudor Victorian War WW1 WW2