Lies We Bury by Elle Marr Book Review Read it later

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Contributor Kelsey H
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When I first saw the cover of Lies We Bury by Elle Marr, I thought it was breathtaking. Then the synopsis broke my heart, but immediately sparked my interest. I love all things true crime related. When not reading, I keep up with podcasts, documentaries, and television series based on true crime events. Needless to say, I went into this book with high expectations and wasn’t disappointed! 


Twenty years ago, Marissa Mo, her two sisters, and Mama Rosemary escaped the captivity Marissa was born into. Marissa now attempts to live unrecognized as a freelance photographer in Portland, OR. 

She takes a job photographing the crime scenes of multiple murders. Every murder has identical items from her childhood that bring forth the memories she’s fought hard to leave behind. 

When the killer starts leaving Marissa notes, she works to understand the meaning behind them and to figure out the murderer’s next moves. Feeling responsible for the killings, Marissa forces herself to remember her time in captivity in order to solve the murders. 

Lies We Bury by Elle Marr

Genre: Fiction/ Thriller

Trying to live a normal life after captivity, Marissa Mo takes a job as a photographer for a series of murders. Each crime scene has an identical item from her past that brings forth memories she’s tried to forget. 

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While reading this book I kept comparing it to real-life crime stories and movies, but it also felt completely authentic on its own. Elle Marr did an amazing job of mixing drama, suspense, and trauma to form a multi-level story.

Contributor Kelsey with Lies We Bury
Contributor Kelsey with Lies We Bury!

What I liked most was that the story follows the main character after her captivity. But I was pleased when I discovered that the book was told from the past and present. The “then” chapters about the time the sisters spent in an underground room were some of my favorites. This writing style helped with the character development and established the unique bond these girls faced due to their start in life. 

We get to know Marissa the most throughout this story. While some of her decisions were questionable, I liked her character. Marissa was able to navigate her life a little better than her sisters and mom, but these women were all so strong to be able to preserve after what they went through. Each woman deals with the trauma they faced differently. I appreciated that the author chose to write their characters in this way. It’s an important message to the reader that we heal, process, and overcome in our own ways. 

I liked the additional characters as well. Marissa was contacted by a man who wants to write a book about what she went through. I felt this area added depth to the story, because it gave Marissa the opportunity to talk about her past as a form of therapy. 

The murder-mystery plot and the pacing were enjoyable. There was never a moment when I felt bored or wanted to put the book down. The multiple murders throughout, along with the chapters in the past, made for a captivating page-turner.

The ending was unexpected! The last hundred pages of this book were remarkable. The suspense had me on the edge of my seat and late to pick up my children from school. While there were twists and turns throughout the whole book, the last few twists had me gasping. 

After an emotional read, I appreciated the author completing this story on a happy note. The last chapter ends the story with much-needed closure. 

I love being introduced to new authors. Lies We Bury was my first by Elle Marr and I am excited to pick up more from her. If you are looking for a book that keeps you gripped page after page, this one is for you. I recommend this to all crime junkies, as well as thriller and mystery lovers. 

What is the last book that surprised you and left you reflecting for days? 

Popular books by the author

The Missing Sister by Elle Marr

Genre: Fiction/Thriller

Shayna Darby heads to Paris after the body of her sister is found. Once there, she finds a note that points to her sister still being alive.

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Buy this Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-million | Audible

Strangers We Know by Elle Marr

Genre: Fiction/Thriller

Ivy Hon was adopted as a baby and knows little about her ancestry. When her DNA matches to that of a serial killer, Ivy is the FBI’s only hope to solve the murders. 

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Lies We Bury by Ellie Marr book
Lies We Bury by Elle Marr
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