The Good Samaritan by John Marrs
Why I read: Thriller. Amazon Prime pick for November
Book blurb: “She’s a friendly voice on the phone. But can you trust her?
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.”
““For the more vulnerable out there, once the darkness falls, so do their barriers. Night-time is their enemy, because with fewer visible distractions there’s more opportunity to dwell on how hopeless their lives have become.”
― John Marrs,
A fast paced thriller The Good Samaritan is a tale about Laura, a help-line volunteer who encourages her callers to commit suicide. Most of the book is duel narrative between Laura and Ryan the husband of a woman who commits suicide who suspects Laura’s involvement in her death. Its a true roller coaster as they take each other on, pushing the limits to unravel each other. The main characters are complex, multi-layered and well written. Laura is a deeply unlikable character and unreliable narrator. Sections narrated as her is a glimpse into a truly disturbed mind. But it was also hard reading Ryan’s grief and the stages he goes through after loosing someone he cared about to suicide. Although some of his actions I just could not agree with I sympathised with why he was driven to them. I don’t want to give away any of the plot as its filled with many twists and turns. Its original, clever and griping, a really exciting read.
I felt the author captured the feelings of despair, the vulnerability of a depressed mind and the isolation of depression really authentically. I’ve battled with depression and suicidal thoughts for many years and although each persons battle is individual this book portrayed the downward spiral of this illness really well. I could easily relate to the people who called Laura at the End of the Line and that she got such pleasure from their pain was sickening. Being inside her head was a horrifying place to be. As many of the topics in this book are potentially triggering I’d recommend reading it only when in the right head space.
The dark nature of this book, with a killer targeting victims of depression pushed me to my limits whilst reading. But I enjoy unsettling reads and this book brought it by the bucketfuls. Its horrific and disquieting but I couldn’t stop reading. I wanted to know how it all ended. However the author didn’t tie it all up at the end but like life left speculation and possibility of what else could happen.
Overall I found the book a fast read, brutally dark and full of exciting and clever twists.
I’d recommend to anyone who likes: fast paced reads, psychological thrillers, serial killers and dark unsettling topics.