If Mud Vein signaled Fisher’s departure from the romance genre, Marrow reinforces it. A psychological thriller, narrated through the first person point of view of Margo Moon, one of the more fascinating characters in contemporary works.
Margo Moon: an empathetic serial killer stands in contrast to fundamental tenets in the popular, sociological imagination. Her motivation is not primal cruelty, but empathy for the victims.
Born and raised in a place called “The Bone”, a section of society where there is both a dearth of hope and justice, the only living daughter of a broken prostitute, and an absent, disinterested father, Margo is all too familiar with what is wrong in the world.
When a young girl goes missing, Margo embarks on an investigation with her one and only friend, Judah, to get justice for a child that is otherwise disposable. Facing the age old dilemma of human laws versus moral ones, Margo dispenses an Old Testament form of punishment to the guilty.
Written in Fisher’s trademark sparse, multi-layered, and poetic prose, Marrow is an uncomfortable, but riveting read. One of Fisher’s greatest strengths is her observations on the darker impulses of human nature where she makes the broken understandable. You might not relate to them, nor agree with their actions, but she makes you understand why they do the things that they do.
The few criticisms I have of this book are plot, pacing, and character consistency. It plateaus somewhat in the middle and the connection with Fisher’s earlier work, Mud Vein, diverts Margo’s story. At this point, I questioned character consistency and thought it skirted with deus ex machina.
If you like psychological thrillers, complex characters, and being outside your comfort zone, I highly recommend Marrow. Margo Moon will live long in the memory and is one of my favorite characters of Tarryn Fisher’s works.