Lies We Bury by: Elle Marr

Background Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

I was born in captivity…

Two decades ago Marissa Mo escaped a basement prison–the only home she’d ever known. At twenty-seven, Marissa’s moved beyond the trauma and is working under a new name as a freelance photographer. But when she accepts a job covering a string of macabre murders in Portland, it’s impossible for Marissa not to remember.

Everything is eerily familiar. The same underground lairs. Sad trinkets and toys left behind, identical to those Marissa had as a child. And then there is the note meant just for her that freezes Marissa’s blood: See you soon, Missy.

To determine the killer’s next move, Marissa must retrieve her long-forgotten memories and return to a past she’s hidden away. But she won’t be facing her fears alone. Someone is waiting for her in the dark. “

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Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Trigger Warnings:
-Captivity
-Childhood trauma
-Self-harm
-Death during childbirth
-Rape
-Murder (humans and animals)
-Apartment being broken into
-Stalking


Photo by Liz Lauren from Pexels

It’s been a while since I picked up a thriller/mystery, mostly because I didn’t know if I was in the right mental space to be able to handle triggers and the stress that can come with the genre. This thriller has actually been sitting in my Kindle for about a year, I bought it during a sale and then kind of forgot about it. After a few fantasy reads and countless contemporaries, I figure it was time to give a good old thriller book a go.

This book is set mostly in Portland Oregon, where I actually lived for about a year and a half back in 2016-2018, roughly. It was easy to picture the Pearl district and Old Town China Town and though I’m not sure if the locations (coffee shops, bars, etc) the author used are real it was easy to imagine them possibly sitting in all those neighborhoods.

About halfway through the book, I thought for sure I knew who the murderer was, and was already formulating the motivation and history behind the murders…only to find out I was wrong. I was left feeling a little disappointed as I’d already constructed an entire life history on who I thought was the murder just based on the little bit of detail we were given on them.

Overcoming trauma, and the past is just as big a part, if not bigger, than the murder mystery in this story which I really enjoyed. As someone who still hasn’t faced, or overcome, all of my childhood trauma, it seems therapeutic to see others overcome their pasts and look towards a brighter future. I’m currently still in the “gonna keep it all in a box until I feel I can really handle unpacking it all” part of my life. Sometimes we just need to live in the moment and continue pushing forward.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. Did I think it was the most thought-provoking, “hand to mouth gasp at the reveal”, story…no but it was a great book to curl up on a cold winter day with. Most thrillers/mysteries lose all their mystery once I finish reading and I usually don’t connect to any of the characters so the idea of a re-read never crosses my mind. In this story, however, I could see myself re-reading. Trying to see if I could pick up anything I missed during the first read as well as pay closer attention to all the different relationships that are shown throughout this story.

What have been the thrillers/mysteries that have stayed with you long after you finished reading?

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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