Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for providing a copy for review.
I think the best way to start a new book is when you have no expectations whatsoever. This way you won’t get disappointed when the book doesn’t live up to them. On the other hand you will be even more excited when the book turns out to be surprisingly great. Just like John Marrs’ The One. I didn’t have any expectations and I absolutely loved what I read. This brilliant thriller was the reason why my expectations for John Marrs’ The Good Samaritan were probably too high. The story was not what I was hoping for and left me a little disappointed.
The people who call End of the Line need hope. They need reassurance that life is worth living. But some are unlucky enough to get through to Laura. Laura doesn’t want them to hope. She wants them to die.
Laura hasn’t had it easy: she’s survived sickness and a difficult marriage only to find herself heading for forty, unsettled and angry. She doesn’t love talking to people worse off than she is. She craves it.
But now someone’s on to her—Ryan, whose world falls apart when his pregnant wife ends her life, hand in hand with a stranger. Who was this man, and why did they choose to die together?
The sinister truth is within Ryan’s grasp, but he has no idea of the desperate lengths Laura will go to…
Because the best thing about being a Good Samaritan is that you can get away with murder.
First let me tell you about how much I enjoyed the initial storyline of this thriller. Using a crisis-hotline as plot was something new and interesting. Especially because Laura, the main character, was not the typical employee at End of the Line. Laura was kind, helping, and understanding but she was also cold-hearted, ruthless, and sociopathic. I hated Laura but funnily enough I was also fascinated by her.
I hated her because she was playing God. Instead of listening to the people on the phone sharing their life altering problems and buoying them up, she actually encourages the suicidal ones to end their life. But she doesn’t stop there. Laura even tells them the best and quickets and less hurtful way to die. Who does that? How sick do you have to be to do such things?
I was fascinated by her because she got away with everything she did. You need to be an incalculably person, a great actor and and even better lier to pull off something like that.
Whether it’s a chemical imbalance in your head, a past that haunts you or other people making your world unmanageable, everyone can reach a point where it all becomes too much.
I know I have only read two novels by John Marrs so far but what I love about his books are the short chapters. Those add to a fast-paced and thrilling reading experience and make you want to turn the pages even quicker, especially in thrillers.
What also impresses me are the main characters he creates for his novels, which are crazy and totally insane. I don’t know how he does it but I think that you have to be a little insane yourself when creating characters like Laura or Christopher from The One.
Although I liked the idea of the story, I had a really hard time getting into it. The story dragged to a point in which I didn’t even want to pick it up again, I literally dreaded it. The story contained quite a few plot twist but those didn’t impress me too much because I kind of saw them coming. I also think that Laura’s MO got old toward the end because it was too much of the same.
I don’t think that The Good Samaritan is a bad book, because it got a lot of pretty great reviews. The story was unique and interesting but I think that the novel was just not my cup of tea. It was not was I was hoping for. I’m not giving up on John Marrs either, I’m looking forward to reading his other novels too.
Although I can only give the book 2.5 stars, please remember that this is my personal opinion only. If you like thrillers, then please pick this one up because you may really enjoy it. The paperback of The Good Samaritan releases on April 12th!