Make that call

The Good Samaritan by John Marrs (out December 1st).

John Marrs proves he is the go to author for intelligent and thought provoking books.  If you know someone who loves a good thriller put this in their Christmas stocking, they’ll be very happy. Five stars!!

Most readers will find this an easy page turner, something to keep them warm at night.  After all, the characterisation is genius, especially Laura’s.  As the villain you should (and do) hate her.  Yet I also wanted to know her, to understand her this kept me absorbed in the story, despite myself.

Because for me personally this wasn’t an easy read.  In fact some passages were so graphic and real to me that I needed a breather.  All encompassing depression and suicide are the backdrop to Laura’s story.  For most readers it simply enriches the story.

But sadly, for some of us the pain of suicide is something that even years later comes up and whacks you in the face.  It’s the number one killer of young men under 45.  That’s partly because under 45 natural causes are far less likely.  Only partly because there is a true crisis in our young men who opt to take this most drastic option.

I can honestly say that I’d prefer a heart attack every day.  How completely selfish am I?  Natural causes don’t have loved ones hating the victim or becoming ill with guilt.  They dont have young children growing up as unloveable.  Natural causes give a focus to anger and loss – kicking cancer’s butt and all that.  Suicide leaves everyone adrift, including the victim.

So, what’s the answer?  Here I head back to Mr Marrs’ book.  It’s support in that absolute moment of crisis that escalates so rapidly you cannot imagine it.  That’s why despite the pain that the theme causes me, reminding people that services like the Samaritans exist is so important.  Given that most men under 45 have young families, this is a tragedy with dreadful repercussions.  We need greater awareness and more support.

I feel the need to end this post on a more lighter note – so I’ll say I’m hoping that Laura isn’t answering the phone tonight at the Samaritans or any other helpline!

Thank you to netgalley and the author for an ARC in return for an honest review.

Genetic love

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A Thousand Small Explosions John Marrs out July 15th

Emotive, imaginative and with a heathy dose of morality, that pretty much sums up the premise of John Marrs’ third book.  Add in Mr Marrs’ trademark ability to turn multiple characters and storylines into a gripping tale and you have an absolutely brilliant book.

Clearly, the author is a fan of the slow burn. He lets the characters seep into your consciousness and before you know it, you’re lost to a can’t put it down book!  And I do mean can’t put it down!

So, the question is if you could take a simple DNA test to find your perfect match, your true soul mate, would you?  If you were happily married would you take the risk?  Once you take the test are you forever sitting and waiting for your DNA match? What if you’ve no interest in taking the test, are you robbing someone of their match?  What if yours is a same sex match, are you gay and not aware? Oh, the permeations are endless.

Yes, there’s a bit of a sci-fi dystopian feel, but it’s the powerful exploration of human nature that makes this book. Who knew that a DNA matched pair would have such social cache?  Equally, how can social prejudice exist if your match is just as likely to be a black man when you expected a white woman? Interesting isn’t it?

I loved how the author combined the minutiae of the human drama with the big story that hurtles towards you at light speed.  The combination of light and dark, soft and harsh had me gasping.

The only downside of this book is that for whatever reason John Marrs remains an independent author, so you’ll only hear about it via word of mouth or social media. So, if you’re now a fan it’s down to you to spread the message!

 

Thank you to the author and TBConFB (probably the world’s best book club) for an ARC, in return for an honest review.