Review: Lies We Bury by Elle Marr

Author: Elle Marr
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Released: April 1st, 2021
Received: ARC
Warnings: Kidnapping, imprisonment, stalking, abuse, sexual assault, mental health

3 1/2 kitties

Elle Marr’s latest novel, Lies We Bury, is another thriller, one that takes family history, stalking, and the repetition of history to a whole new level.

It’s been twenty years since Marissa Mo was forced to spend her life in a basement. Twenty years of freedom. Yet the past never feels far behind, not when there are constantly people seeking her out to remind her of it.

This past feels closer than ever, as a new series of murders pop up in Marissa’s life. Worse yet, she’s meant to deal with them, being a photographer for a local newspaper. Giving her all the opportunity in the world to see how it all connects to her past.

“Four alarms have been shot.

Twenty years. Twenty beers. All named for leaders.

Find the name I most admire and you’ll find the next one first.


Lies We Bury is a dark and disturbing read. It’s perfect for a Saturday afternoon read (I say with experience on the matter). Elle Marr perfectly captured the darker sides of humanity, tucking it all into Marissa’s past and the new evil lurking in the shadows.

There were many parts of this novel that I enjoyed. I felt like the stalking and harassment elements were believable. They also reminded me a little bit of Rachel Caine’s Stillhouse Lake series – which was a little bittersweet reminder for me.

The story was split into two timelines: then and now. Marissa’s, or Claire, as she’d prefer to be known, the story unfolds, one version of her as a competent adult. The other is a traumatized child. The two are in stark contrast to each other, which is part of what made the narrative so compelling.

While some elements of Lies We Bury felt predictable (at least for somebody who reads way too many thrillers), the ending did throw me through a loop. Better yet, it didn’t strike me as being too out there, so I was content with the way things went down.

I do feel like there was something off or missing about parts of this novel. It’s a story that had so much potential, and I’m not sure that Elle Marr made full use of that. It just didn’t grab me in the way I had hoped. I think if I had taken a break while reading Lies We Bury, I might have found myself easily moving on to a different book instead. So that’s not a great sign. But otherwise, I did enjoy the experience.

Thanks to Thomas & Mercer for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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