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The Minders

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Everyone has secrets. They know yours...

In the 21st century information is king. But computers can be hacked, files can be broken into. So a unique government initiative has been borne. Five ordinary people have been selected to become the latest weapon in thwarting cyber terrorism. A revolutionary medical procedure has turned them into the ultimate secret keepers - the country's most secretive information has been taken offline and turned into genetic code implanted inside their heads.

Together, the five know every secret – the truth behind every Government lie, conspiracy theory and cover up. Only somebody has discovered who the secret keepers are. And one by one, they are being hunted down...

'One of the most exciting, original thriller writers out there. I never miss one of his book' – SIMON KERNICK

433 pages, ebook

First published July 23, 2020

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About the author

John Marrs

18 books6,070 followers
John Marrs is the author of #1 Best Sellers The One, The Good Samaritan, When You Disappeared, The Vacation, Her Last Move, The Passengers, The Minders and What Lies Between Us. Keep It In The Family and The Marriage Act are released soon.
What Lies won the International Thriller Writers' Best Paperback of 2021 award.
The One has been translated into 30 different languages and is to be turned into an eight-part Netflix series starting in autumn 2020.
After working as a journalist for 25-years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines, he is now a full-time writer.
Follow him on Twitter @johnmarrs1 Facebook: @johnmarrsauthor Instagram: @johnmarrs.author website: johnmarrsauthor.co.uk

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,009 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,130 reviews39.3k followers
October 22, 2021
Do you see the smoke cloud above my head following me everywhere? Nope, I’m smoking weeds to calm my nerves. I don’t smoke! I create smoke when I’m regularly cooking and burning the ingredients. But this time: the reason of the smoke is not my lack of culinary skills! After reading incredible mind numbing, extremely intelligent but also horrifying, captivating story, my brain cells find themselves into deep dish literature fryer.

My advise: Don’t try to put it down! I tried. It doesn’t work that way!I felt like not only hands but also my mind was hooked by the intriguing, exciting, action packed story.

Did you love “One”? Of course, you did. I don’t accept “no” for an answer.

How about “Passenger”? Well, I personally gave it five gazillion stars.

But what if this book is better than those two books? Yes, It is definitely better and it is so far at my top ten best reads of 2020 and my all time favorite books list! The book takes place as same universe with “One” and “Passengers” and there are so many connections and references with those books. So reading them first will help you get a better understanding about “Minders” universe.

I’m telling you my friends: reading this book made my felt like binge watching best episodes of Black Mirror and Dr. Who at the same time frame while sipping my favorite Chardonnay. Euphoria may be the exact word can define my feelings!

Let’s give you some clues about grey cell destroyer, IQ terminator story:

“Knowledge is the power”: When the international hackers are so adamant to dig out the governments’ dirty secrets which have been meticulously swept under the rug, UK’s brilliant politicians, secret service agents, scientists gather around for a secret government initiative. They select 5 people for this secret project: the 5 people who have unique capabilities.

They called them MINDERS: a coded name someone like them with exceptional perception. Their brains are capable to store massive amounts of data because of their neurological trait or let’s say their condition called “SYNESTHESIA” (help them hear colors or see sounds): only %4.4 of the global adult population has. ( I know your brain cells are already boiling right now! Please keep on reading)

The government will store important limitless amount of datas by coding then onto a single strand of DNA. And that DNA will be stored inside a plastic bead which will be used to inject to the minders’ lesser used sections of their brains.

See: that’s the formula will help Great Britain’s security to be permanently unhackable!

Let’s meet with the minders: actually we have four of them and a woman who doesn’t know who she’s ( but there’s a hint she might be one of them)

Flick Kennedy, 36,OUAT a restaurateur and now a bartender. Fast learner, smart, but emotionally broken after her disastrous DNA match experiment: her soulmate is dangerous serial killer which made her question her own mental health.

She joined the program by solving a puzzle which is designed to choose extraordinary people like her and moved to Aldeburgh, Suffolk for five years as a carrier of DNA Bead. Her life seems peaceful at this small town till she meets Elijah, a famous and wealthy artist returned back to his native land. Her mission doesn’t let any emotional involvement but... yes you may fill the blanks and sense what will happen.

Charlie Manchester, 25, OUAT a graphic designer starts his new life in Manchester, moving into a luxurious hotel room, forming a new friendship bounds but he feels like empty shell of his old self. Of course ultra depressed, isolated old self was suffering from anxiety attacks but at least he was feeling pain and sorrow but after program’s medical procedure about somatosensory cortex and thalamus parts of his brain, he cannot recognize the pain even they cut his leg without anesthesia.

Sinead Kelly, 33, OUAT office worker, leaves her mental abused husband to start fresh in Sunderland, fraternizing with women of the town. She seems like adapting well till she realizes one of the newborn mother of her group has abusive relationship with her husband.

Bruno York, 39, OUAT stay at home parent, taking care of his son suffering from autism, loyal, passionate and emotional man who isn’t handling the DNA bed injection so well because he coincidentally cheated when he was solving the puzzle ( his son was holding his phone and he was the one who solved it.) now he’s dealing with inner voices and hallucinative images of echoes who turn him into a madman and serial killer.

During the driverless car crash, his wife died with her lover and now he wants to avenge to each person who made him lose everything in his life and destroyed his family.

The key to the four minders is Emilia who suffers from amnesia and is taken home by a man who tells her he is her husband but she isn’t sure he’s telling her the truth. To find who she is, connected with finding four minders’ identities.

And....I already talked, wrote too much. I have to shut my mouth and open another chilled Chardonnay but I have to warn you about last chapters:

Wear helmet to protect yourself ear bleeding or brain concussion: because there are so many fast, harsh, jaw dropping, WTF moments of the book. All those ultra smart twists will spin your head and crush your soul.

And the conclusion of the story turned me into Chazz Palminteri’s detective character at the end scene of Usual Suspects. I didn’t drop my mug but I was so close to drop my whole wine case! Now I know : the greatest trick the devil ever pulled!

Special thanks to John Marrs for sharing this NetGalley widget of incredible ARC with me in exchange my honest opinions and creating this masterpiece. I also have to thank to publisher Random House UK, Cornerstone, Del Rey.
Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,068 reviews2,664 followers
April 8, 2021
The Minders by John Marrs (Author), Katherine Press (Narrator), Oliver Hembrough (Narrator)

Although The Minders doesn't seem to be advertised as part of a series, I think it's more interesting to read The One and The Passengers before you read this book because both of those books are heavily referenced in The Minders and reading The Minders will spoil the earlier books. I enjoyed all three books but I do think this one was my favorite. At first it was hard to get my mind around the characters and what might be happening but about a third of the way into the book, I definitely cared about a few of the characters and watched in horror at the violence involving the Minders. 

Synesthesia is a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. Five people with synesthesia are chosen to have top secret information implanted into their brains, with their unusual ways of perceiving stimulation making them excellent storage receptacles for the data.  After five months of conditioning, training, and other preparations, the five people are released into new lives, totally severed from their old lives. During the next five years the UK government will build a secure repository for all this data that will keep it safe from hackers who have taken down companies and countries by hacking into their networks and holding the companies and countries hostage until a huge ransom is paid. Each of the five people must be constantly alert, wary of anyone and anything trying to access or wipe out the information that they store in their brains. 

Each person wants to escape their past life so much that they are willing to deal with all the risks and hardships involved in the project. The stored data comes with the side effects of potential hallucinations, paranoia, and knowledge of the mistakes, lies, manipulations of past governments, leaders, coverups, and true reasons for disasters of the past. Coping mechanisms will only work for people whose synesthesia is truly advanced enough to deal with the influx of so much disturbing data. 

Someone is after these five people, trying to kill those associated with the program and those who store the data. We watch as each of the five attempt to discern friend from foe and how they can escape a situation that seems inescapable when they can trust no one. After the long set up of getting each person situated into their new lives, seeing how their implants and need to not develop meaningful relationships affect each person, we then get to see how they react to the knowledge that the program has been breached, things are going haywire, and they are in great danger. I stayed up way too late listening to the nerve wracking second half of this book but I don't regret the sleep I missed. 

Published February 16, 2021
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,157 reviews36.5k followers
February 16, 2021

Terrifying. In More Ways than One.

Hacking. Everyone knows that computers can be hacked. After all, it happens every day, right?

The British Government, however, has decided to ensure that their top-secret information stays that way, and to do so, they’ve figured out a way to store their data, deep in the minds of 5, extremely brilliant, people who are, therefore, unhackable.

These individuals are known as “The Minders” and now that they’ve had top-secret information implanted inside of their brains, they have to leave their old lives behind and start fresh.

Except for their handler, no one knows who they are, thus they cannot be found, or so they think.

Pulse-pounding, gripping and terrifying, “The Minders” is a brilliant mystery/suspense by John Marrs, who continues to push the envelope by coming up with fresh new ideas. This novel incorporates certain plot points from two of his prior novels (“The One” and “The Passengers”), thus I highly suggest reading those before diving into this one.

While “The Minders” gave me a lot to ponder as someone who works in the Legal/Tech industry and specifically with “electronic discovery” - I was troubled by the fact that the amount of electronic data implanted into an individual’s brain was never mentioned. I couldn’t help but wonder whether gigabytes, terabytes, or pedabytes were implanted. (For instance: 1 gigabyte = one truck full of paper; 1 terabyte = paper from 50,000 trees; and 1 pedabyte = 250 billion pages of text, and so on) so while I enjoyed this book, the only real issue I had is that it didn’t include a few “key details” that the geek in me so desperately needed.

That being said, this is a solid, character-driven suspense with a fabulous ending. Let me just say that I can’t wait to see what John Marrs comes out with next!

A buddy read with Ms. Kaceey!

A huge thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley for the arc.

Published on NetGalley and Goodreads

Review posted on: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...
Profile Image for Farrah.
221 reviews567 followers
December 2, 2020
John Marrs once again flaunts his WILD imagination!

He goes deep into sci-fi mode with this awesome book about a group of people who agree to allow TOP SECRET government information to be injected and stored in their heads to protect the country from cyber terrorists.

So, The Minders is very plot driven.
Action, action and more action in a high tech futuristic world. Actually the same world as The Passengers and The One so those books need to be read first. Unless you don't mind having their plots spoiled (spoilt?? 🤷‍♀️) while reading this one.

The characters have complex histories and side stories but it's all told very quickly. No show.... ALL tell. But since there are five POVs I don't see how it could've been done any other way without this becoming an 800 page book.

Since I personally prefer characters to be more fleshed out I would have to say that this was my least enjoyable Marrs book but even still, it was just sooooo good.
Profile Image for preoccupiedbybooks.
446 reviews988 followers
September 8, 2020
3.5 Stars

**A warning that you should read The One and The Passengers before reading The Minders, because there are many spoilers for those books! **

A medical procedure implants secrets inside the brain of five 'Minders' using genetic code. They now know every secret, lie, conspiracy and cover up, but can they be trusted? And who is trying to hunt them down?

I really struggled with how to rate The Minders, and had to take some time to think about it. That is because the first half was very slow, and unlike the other John Marrs books which I've read previously. This author, usually has an action packed plot right from the very first few pages, but this book wasn't like that at all! Here, not much happened for the first 50-60% of the book, we just followed the five minders, finding out what their lives were like before they became a minder, what made them choose to become one, and how their lives changed after. It wasn't that interesting to me, and I did struggle a little bit! If I'm being honest, I might have DNFed this, if it was my first book by Mr Marrs! I kept faith though, because he is an incredible writer, and I had been told that it got better in the second half of the book, which it definitely did!

One of the main issues I had, was that I didn't really connect to any of the five minders, and didn't even really like any of them for quite a while.
You have:
Flick, a former restaurant owner, whose life was tuned upside down once she found out who her DNA match was.
Charlie, a depressed guy with anxiety, who felt like he was being left behind by his friends, as they went on to find their DNA matches, and he didn't.
Sinead, a woman in an emotionally abusive and controlling relationship, who had lost all of her confidence.
Emilia, woke up with amnesia, and was taken home by her husband, but the thing is, she has no memory of him..
Bruno, a single father to an autistic son, had lost his wife in a terrorist attack.

The chapters alternated between the five minders' POVs, in the order above. Once I got into the book, I did start to like the female characters more, especially Flick, but I didn't like the male character's chapters at all.

At about 75% in, the tension and action suddenly ramped up, with some A* twists, full of violence and shocks, which I loved!! In fact, I was gripped, and couldn't put the book down for that last 25%! I thoroughly enjoyed all of the plot reveals, and didn't see it coming at all! The concept was original and remarkable, I loved reading the many references to The One and The Passengers, seeing how certain characters crossed over! As for the ending, it was very satisfying!
Whereas, I didn't enjoy this book as much as the other books set in this amazing universe, I did really love the last part of the book, which is why I found it difficult to rate! I'm ultimately going for 3.5 stars, but you may love this if you are really into slow building conspiracy theories, with high tech sci-fi! I think it's still definitely worth reading though, and wish John Marrs all the luck with his new baby son 🧠 🧠 🧠 1/2 Stars
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,034 reviews3,551 followers
December 13, 2020
John Marrs pulled it off again. A fabulous out–of-the-box thriller certain to leave you speechless.

Five random people…chosen by the government to become minders. Surely you ask... what is a minder? They are individuals willing to have an implant placed in their brains. Shouldn’t be a problem, right? After all, this innocent little implant merely contains all the British documents and secrets the government doesn’t want anyone to get a hold of. Computers and clouds are no longer safe.
Out in cyber-land, there is a group blackmailing countries all over the world for this most valuable information. Britain feels confident they can stay one step ahead by hiding their information is this most unusual fashion until a better and safer solution can be found.

Wow! What a premise...right?! Had my full attention immediately!

Told from the perspectives of all the minders along with one unknown, you’re quickly dropped directly into their now desperate lives and their overwhelming challenges to keep safe.

John Marrs builds on his previous books, The One and The Passengers, in this latest release. While clearly able to stand alone, I highly recommend starting with those previous reads before you open the pages of this latest. I truly think this will give you the most gratifying reading experience.

I must say The One remains my favorite to date (Of course, romance always rules the day.) But this was equally entertaining and a must read for John Marrs' fans.

A buddy read with Susanne
Posted to: https://books-are-a-girls-best-friend...

Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing via NetGalley
August 15, 2021
John Marrs delivers another fast-paced thriller with a compelling science fiction twist that stretches our imagination into a high tech and biotech future. In a world where governments are being hacked and held to ransom for their secrets by a group of cyber terrorists called the Hacking Collective, the UK has had to change its strategy yet again. The story starts with the Hacking Collective destroying the UK’s latest security defences and leaving their sensitive information prone to exposure. To give them time to rebuild their cybersecurity infrastructure, they have a bold plan to recruit individuals where the nation's secrets can be stored by implanting coded information into their brains. The ideal individuals for this unique project are men and women who live with a condition called synaesthesia, which exhibits multisensory capabilities that significantly overlap with the incredible benefits of advanced recall and learning – perfect hosts for storing the country’s top secrets in implantable DNA.

The individuals are called “Minders”, and they commit to five years of service, leaving their past behind and taking new identities. The obvious reward is an opportunity to be millionaires when they finish the programme, but they are also people running away from dire, abusive, and regretful lives. The story cycles through the POV of five individuals selected for the programme, each with a fascinating background. What was excellent is that everyone in the group is equally compelling with a range of fascinating situations that added superbly to the story. The impact of implantable information on the individual’s conscious and subconscious mental state is another element of the story that contributes to its appeal.

After intensive physical and mental training, they are transferred to new locations around the UK where they have to integrate into communities but never getting close to anyone. They need to stay vigilant, inconspicuous, and always keeping friendships at arm's length. Such a difficult proposition for human beings, and John Marrs is brilliant at crafting and using this desire to keep the suspense of always wondering if the new person in your life is a friend or foe. This aspect of the story already had me hooked, but when their only handler is brutally murdered, and the Minders realise that someone is now hunting them, the thriller kicks into top gear and keeps going to the last page.

The plot is full of intrigue and suspense and had a few ways regarding who the murderer was and their motivation. All the options I considered felt valid, and yet surprises still caught me off-guard. I am hugely impressed with this thriller, perhaps because it added to my enjoyment of realistic science fiction. However, maybe it’s not too far off nowadays, with autonomous vehicles and DNA manipulation.

I would highly recommend this book, and I would like to thank Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Debra .
2,198 reviews34.9k followers
February 3, 2021
4.5 Stars

Do not mind me, but I am about to praise this highly original and riveting book!

Most who use the internet have some degree of fear about being hacked, their personal information stolen, used, etc. But what happens when an entire country gets hacked? How do you protect precious information? What can be done to keep top secret information just that - top secret?

Enter the Minders, a group of five individuals who have passed a test and have been selected to be the precious few to keep secrets safe and to thwart cyber terrorism. They have all undergone a medical procedure which implanted secret information into their brains and made them immune to pain. How else did this procedure change them? What a burden to know things that others do not. Conspiracy theories, who needs them when you really know the truth.

What happens when someone learns/knows the minders identities and their current locations? They minders might know the all the secrets, but there is someone out there who knows how to track them and is hunting them down.

I had not read The One or The Passengers prior to reading this one. But I found that I easily slid into this world and hit the ground running. Of course, I am extremely intrigued and will be going back and reading those two books!

I loved how creative and original this book was. I am not the most tech savvy person, I am also not a big reader of science fiction, but I appreciated that nothing was really over my head in this book. Plus, John Marrs made it interesting. High marks to Marrs for that!

What would it be like to know things that no one else knows? What kind of pressure and stress would that cause? How do you keep such information to yourself? How do you go about your day-to-day life? I found these elements to be very intriguing.

Another plus was the POV chapters of the main characters in this book. I love getting into their heads and learning their back and present stories. Some characters I enjoyed more than others, but each had something, whether it be good or bad, that made this book special. I found this book to be hard to put down and a compelling read. In addition, there are some smart twists and turns along the way. Not to mention that big "HOLY CRAP" moment I experienced with the big reveal. I did not see that coming!!!

Another exciting book by Marrs! I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next!

Gripping, thought provoking and original! Highly recommend.

Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

*Thank you to Brenda and Mary Beth for reading this with me!

See more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,106 reviews1,743 followers
February 20, 2021
John Marrs introduced us to his futuristic UK with “The One”

And he continued imagining that future with “The Passengers”

And, now we fast forward a bit further with “The Minders”

Global Warming has been renamed Global Heating, and the Hacking Collective, after taking even more lives with driverless vehicles, is now taking the secrets of countries around the World, through Cyberterrorism.

But, the UK has the answer...

Take all classified information offline, turn it into genetic code and implant it into humans, who volunteer to leave their lives behind, and become rich in the process.

Only they (The Minders) will know the truth behind every Government lie, Conspiracy Theory, and Cover-Up.

After five years, the chips dissolve and the latest information is implanted into five new MINDERS and those who have been currently protecting the SECRETS are now free to live their lives.


The first half of the book sets the scene.
An introduction to each character explaining what compelled each of them to apply to be a MINDER.

They all have something in common.

The second half is when ALL of the adrenaline packed action occurs! As each MINDER tries to stay ahead of those who want the information that they protect.

I have enjoyed all three books in this collection and ❤️ how each book has built on the last!
I hope we will get more!

His creativity is unmatched-his stories unique and unpredictable!

4.5 rounded up since I am always looking forward to getting immersed in this future WORLD that John Marrs has created!

Thank You to my friend Susan, who generously gifted her copy to me!

And, to DeAnn for reading it and discussing it with me along the way!

Be on the look out for their (always) wonderful reviews!
Profile Image for Michael David (on hiatus).
618 reviews1,485 followers
February 16, 2021

*Review originally published on mysteryandsuspense.com on 10/16/20.

THE MINDERS is the eight novel from John Marrs, but the third in the futuristic thriller genre...and it does not disappoint!

In the very near future, there is a Match Your DNA dating site and cars that run by themselves (Fans of the author will understand the references). A group known as the Hacking Collective recently got into the data of the driverless cars, and caused a massive act of terrorism that was “the single biggest loss of life on British soil since the Coronavirus of 2020.”

Now, the British government is understandably weary about how they store data. They come up with a plan: Take 5 people and impregnate their brains with top secret information. The information will not be online or on paper, and hackers will not be able to infiltrate their way in.

These five individuals, The Minders, have every bit of information about the government and their coverups, their deceptions, the truth and lies. Now, all they have to do is keep a low radar, keep the information locked, and abandon their former lives for 5 years...or until the government finds a better solution for safely storing data.

The only problem is...someone doesn’t want The Minders to have this information. Someone is hunting them down. Someone will do whatever it takes to satisfy their own agenda.

I’m not a big Sci-Fi fan, but these futuristic novels have Sci-Fi elements thrown in to the mix (which I somehow always end up loving). What impresses me about John Marrs is that he makes it all sound so believable (and maybe it will be in a few years). At heart, it’s a thriller with a futuristic vibe. It offers realistic characters you will care about, rising tension that builds to unputdownable suspense, and twists you won’t see coming.

I was invested and gripped by each POV, and I needed to step away more than once to process what I had just read. The Minders is bloody at times, and bloody brilliant at all times. It all leads to a very satisfying conclusion!

I can’t wait to see what Marrs comes up with next. I found it interesting that he has two publishers...one for his psychological thrillers and one for his futuristic thrillers. All of his work is phenomenal.

NOTE: Even though this is technically a standalone, I highly suggest you read THE ONE and THE PASSENGERS first...given all of the references.

Sincere thank you to Penguin Random House UK/Cornerstone for an ARC to review.
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,807 reviews458 followers
January 17, 2021
I like how The Minders is written in the same word as The Passengers and The One.

I believe it makes sense to read the first two books to get an idea of the world John Marrs has created.

This time, the Hacking Collective is ready to blackmailed countries into paying them what they want or having all their secrets revealed.

Many countries have fallen to this blackmail but the UK has not fallen yet. In order to prevent this, a new approach has been taken by the government with the help of the best scientists. With the use of a puzzle, certain humans who have synaesthesia have been selected to get the information implanted in their heads. If after five years nothing happens, they can be returned to a normal. In the meantime, they have to walk away from everything they know, they love or hurts them.

Then, one of them is murdered. And the other ones have to try to stay alive before all the secrets die with them.

At first, it was hard to follow Charlie Nicholls, Flick Kennedy, Sinéad Kelly, Bruno Yorke, and Emilia but soon I was able to keep them all straight and started rooting for one of them to survive it all.

The Minders by John Marrs is entertainment in the best possible way. Complex characters and a sense of dread and running out of time kept me reading until the end.

The idea of getting something implanted is not too crazy anymore. Same with cars that can drive themselves. The DNA match is harder for me to accept.

I wonder if we will see this world again. I hope we do.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Oscar.
256 reviews93 followers
July 29, 2020
"She vowed not to take the past with her. There was no room for ghosts in her present. She would no longer punish herself over her failings, only learn from them."

The story follows a wild diverse cast who are tasked to retain all government secrets and cover ups in the fear of hacking terrorists. Countries are now kneeling and being held hostage by the Hacking Collective. The British government is afraid that they might be next so drastic measures are being considered. What can't be hacked? Humans. 5 people now called as Minders are all over the country. And one by one they're getting killed. Out of them, who can't be trusted?

Warning: This story is set up in the same world as The One and The Passengers. Major spoilers from those two books can be found in here. Read at your own risk!

Minders is my fourth novel from this author and to my disappointment I didn't liked it. There I said it. I wished I could end my review like that. It was not as powerful as this author past works but still somehow a good read. The first half of this story for me felt unremarkable. In relation to The One and The Passengers wherein things are happening in fast succession and you could just feel the adrenaline rushing into you, this just pales in comparison to its predecessors. Nothing much happened for like the 60 percent but detailing the ordinary lives of the Minders. Also, the twists in here was anticlimactic at least to me.

Overall, the premise of this book is really promising and intriguing. I hoped that it was executed in a more thrilling and satisfactory way with characters who are neither one-dimensional nor plain. It wasn't a bad book. My expectations were just sky high after reading his other works.
Profile Image for Pat.
2,310 reviews395 followers
March 11, 2021
The Minders - John Marrs

4.5 stars rounded down.

John Marrs certainly has an active imagination. His books are all very different and all very good. This one is loosely connected to The One, which is about DNA matching to your perfect partner, and The Passengers, which is about self-drive (or autonomous) cars being hacked with terrible consequences. You don’t need to read those two first but it does give some relevant background. In this book, set in the near future, the British government is trying to get ahead of hackers from the Hackers Collective which has been taking down the data sets of whole countries and demanding huge sums as ransom. Experts have proposed a radical solution where all the countries secrets are encoded onto DNA and implanted into the brains of a few volunteers, called Minders. It’s all very hush hush.

You might think this is very sci-fi but I read an article only a few weeks ago where scientists had actually done that (in a lab of course) they encoded a simple message onto DNA and were able to successfully decode it again. So hold onto your hats - this scenario is not far away, hopefully without the killing! The minders are carefully selected and psychologically tested and rigorously trained. But still, this story is a salient reminder that no system is 100% foolproof.

The minders, five at a time, are duly released into the world. They are expected to walk away from their lives for five years in return for a very substantial remuneration. But of course the best laid plans... Something goes wrong and someone is trying to kill the minders. In the first half we got to know the minders, their motivations and some of their secrets. The second half of the book is all action as they try to stay off the radar and stay alive. Will any of them make it? Who is behind the killing? It got very tense and exciting towards the end. It was also interesting to see how some of the minders changed their personalities after being implanted with the data.

I really enjoyed this book, particularly as I think this is something that might, one day in the not too distant future, become reality. It was fast paced but also very character focussed. Either way, I was transfixed all the way through. The inevitable twist was a beauty! I really wanted to give this five stars but there were a couple of characters whose actions were not explained fully enough for me and the actual ending in the church was a bit, well, convenient perhaps. Nevertheless an outstanding story as we have come to expect from John Marrs. This was my second library ebook loan - yay for this new system as I can’t physically get to a library very often.
Profile Image for Mark.
1,096 reviews
June 18, 2020
You know with a new John Marr's book you are in for a treat and this book was no diiferent,to me this book felt like a return to 'The One' style (THE book that got me writing reviews such was the impact it had on me,and soon to be a series on Netflix ) and also had some feel of 'The Passengers' in there as well,what more could a reader and a fan want?
Set in the future this book has an amazing tense start which literally had me hooked from the first paragraph, you are then thrust into the world of 5 unique characters who,for various reasons,have been chosen to keep the Countries top secrets and information stored on data inside their heads to combat cyber terrorism,they have been trusted with the thing that some people would stop at nothing to get.....and someone has found out.....and they are tracking the 5,1 by 1 to get this information...it is very difficult not to say too much but dont want to give anything away suffice to say as you would expect with this author it is packed with twists,turns and excitement,edge of your seat (or bed) stuff - this doesn't change all through the book and the ending is well,you will see!
John Marrs has excelled AGAIN at writing an original,up to date exciting and unputdownable book
5 Stars
February 15, 2021
I enjoyed The One! I read it, and then I listened to it. I loved The Passengers and thought John Marrs was on top of his game with this entertaining, chilling action-packed, fast track ride to the unthinkable where technology and humans collide in more ways than one. Both are not to miss, and it's a good idea to read them before The Minders.

The Minders again draws us into the world of humans and technology, and hackers are upping their game here. The Minders is set in the near future after both The One and The Passengers' events, and there are a few references to both. I loved how it brought a familiar feel to the story, and I enjoyed seeing some of the impacts both stories had on the characters in The Minders. It added some excitement and thrill to the story for me. There are spoilers to both books. However, if you are not planning to read The One and The Passengers, it works great as a stand alone.

Five people are selected to be Minders, who are programmed to store massive amounts of data with government secrets. Is that safer than computers? Well, John Marrs tests that here, and he is not afraid to put his characters through the wringer to see how secure it is. I was left a little stunned a few times while reading this one. The chapters alternated between the minders' POV and John Marrs creates distinct characters and has a knack for juggling a few at a time.

The pace is slower and the action not as thrilling, and I felt John Marrs was a little off his game here for good reasons. However, even when he is off, he is good!! I highly recommend it.

To see what John Marrs has to say about creating his characters, check out our Q & A with him.


I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
March 19, 2021
Your secret's safe with them...or is it?

**Quick warning: read The One and The Passengers before grabbing this one. Marrs' semi-futuristic world truly informs the plot of this story, and in my opinion, it would make less sense without context.**

In a world replete with hackers, where can the government hide its most scandalous and potentially dangerous secrets? Why, in the cracks and crevices of the human brain, where they are stored as DNA of course! 5 ordinary citizens with certain gifts (synesthesia, for example) who are looking for a chance to escape their lives for various reasons, are all selected to participate in this project to fight back against the Hacking Collective and keep the UK safe. Their former lives and identities are erased, their access to technology all but removed, and they fade into relative obscurity...or at least, that's the plan. But these Minders need to mind their surroundings...because the Collective might be closer than they think and ready to make the Minders a thing of the past: permanently.

This is so hard for me to say, because I really love John Marrs and I am still coming off of the thrills and fast-paced madness of The One...but this book was drastically different than everything I have read from him so far. The pacing is pretty slow, and thankfully he sticks to his trademark short chapters, or reading this probably would've taken me much longer. While I think the concept is interesting, it felt much more like the plot of an espionage/action movie with sci-fi tendencies, and not at all full of the emotional ups and downs I normally experience reading a Marrs novel. I didn't connect to any of the characters, which is a complete first for me when it comes to Marrs, and unfortunately I really felt this loss. There are some action-packed thrills and twists to be found, especially in the latter half of the book, but it just didn't do it for me.


I completely appreciate Marrs' dedication to the fantastic and almost-on-our-doorstep futuristic landscape he has created and the interplay between some of the subjects of his previous books and his creativity once again shone here. Unfortunately for me, this hyper-specific genre felt suited to a different sort of reader. There are plenty of rave and enthusiastic reviews out there already for this one though, so I truly feel that much like many action movies out there, this just wasn't a good fit for me. I am 100% a devoted John Marrs fan, however, and still look forward to exploring his back catalog, as well as whatever fantastic ideas he still has in store! 3.5 ⭐
Profile Image for ReadAlongWithSue .
2,654 reviews170 followers
October 19, 2020

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Oh my. What did I just read.
It’s exciting, it’s gripping, it’s edge of your seat, it gives you trembles, it gives you an open mouth “what,” feeling.

One of his previous books The One was one of my top books of that year, can this surpass that?

This is set into the future BUT it’s so hands on up to date you’ll be amazed at this science.

Imagine keeping hackers out and not gaining Top Secret Security information inside their heads. Yes that right.

First they have to go through procedures to be selected. Just every day public people selected.
Five of them
But......only four can be trusted.

It leaves the reader very suspicious.

So all this information is taken offline and these people become Minders. Yes Minders of the data implanted in their brains.

This is truly a remarkable story.

I deep breathed and gasped all the way through it!
Profile Image for Bibi.
1,282 reviews3,316 followers
August 28, 2020
What an excellent way to start the month! FRTC
Profile Image for chantalsbookstuff.
423 reviews222 followers
July 6, 2022
Reading this group of books in order and this being the third I was a bit disappointed. The One and The Passengers were brilliant but this one severely lacked that suspense factor. With rich and great characters and a very well thought out plan you really needed that bit of heart hammering moments.

I did enjoy it and hope we get to see more in this group.
Profile Image for Susan - on semi hiatus.
410 reviews111 followers
February 1, 2021
Do-Overs Here!

Five bright characters whose lives are at an intersection choose to be Minders.

They’ve answered a general ad stating “Click here if you’d like to start your life again”. Only a small percentage of the population qualify and have passed an entrance puzzle before interviewing and moving on to the The Programme.

What is the Programme? Answer: The UK has developed an innovative method to safeguard government secrets combining biology and technology with genetic code. The living hosts of this information will be the Minders. However, The Hacking Collective has been extorting other European countries and has Great Britain in its crosshairs. How to keep the Minders safe from the Collective forms the crux of the story.

As with the author’s previous book The One, this combines the mini stories of several characters effectively into a whole:

Flick is sent into a tailspin when notified that her One DNA match is that of a notorious serial killer three weeks after his death. She can’t reconcile her revulsion and luck that she’ll never meet him with the sorrow that she’ll never be matched. So yes, she’d like to put her life as she knows it behind her and begin fresh.

Bruno discovers his wife isn’t the person he thought she was when he’s denied an insurance payout for the care of his autistic son.

Charlie and Sinead have their reasons also for putting their pasts behind them. Sinead’s controlling husband has constricted her life to the point that she doesn’t really have one, and Charlie is disconnected from friends and family.

Then we have mysterious Amelia who we don’t discover much about until near the finale.

This book was intense! It takes a while to get going so a reader has to be in it for the long game. But you’ll be rewarded with murder, espionage, trepidation, and piling dead bodies.

It was also very imaginative and I couldn’t help but appreciate the overall creativity - although I had to suspend belief in a few places. I love the futurism of John Marrs and recommend this one, even if like me, you’re not naturally drawn to science fiction or technology.

This was a fun buddy read with Mary Beth.

Thank you to The Book Depository where I purchased a soft cover copy.
Profile Image for Bridgett.
Author 17 books414 followers
December 30, 2020
I enjoyed The Minders...I didn't love it.

I'm a long-time John Marrs fan...he's an author I consistently give five star ratings. (A rarity for me.) Unfortunately, I couldn't give this book more than 3.5 stars (I am rounding up though...it is John Marrs, after all).

First, let me add this caveat...if you haven't read his previous books, The One and The Passengers, DO NOT read this book. It contains spoilers. Honestly, I think these three books should be labeled as a series. Though they're all about different topics, they do tie together.

Second, while this is a cool idea, and I wouldn't be surprised if we see things like this in the future, the plot just didn't grab me like his other works have. In fact, Bruno's chapters felt a little incomplete.

Third, the characters, because there were so many points of view, never felt fully fleshed out. Their stories were all eventually revealed, but it felt a little choppy. I didn't feel particularly attached to any of them.

Finally, the final scene in the church (don't worry...no spoilers), was rather anti-climatic, and honestly, a bit silly. I was underwhelmed.

Nevertheless, an average Marrs book is still better than most authors at their best. If you've enjoyed his other books, I wholeheartedly recommend this one as well.

3.5 stars
Available February 16, 2021

My sincere thanks (seriously...I love John Marrs; I'm always ecstatic to receive his ARCs) to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for my review copy.
Profile Image for Max.
288 reviews52 followers
January 29, 2021
The Minders was the perfect combination of The One and The Passengers and is already on my top ten favorite books for this year. This book checks off all the boxes you'd want in a thriller. Alternating perspectives, huge twists, interesting characters, originality, and constantly making you turn pages.

I read The One and The Passengers in preparation for this book and I'm so happy that I did. While you don't necessarily need to know the previous books to read this, there's a lot of characters/concepts that are from the same "universe" of John Marrs' books. All three of them are great reads anyways.

The perfect word to describe The Minders is "daring". Our grand finale with the final twist was huge and took me a few minutes just to calibrate everything that was going on. You might need to suspend your disbelief at times because of this crazy modern world, but it does beg interesting questions about our trust in technology. If basically any piece of technology is liable to being hacked, what's the next best option? Can we trust mentally and physically trained humans with our government secrets? Like you guessed, the answer is most probably a no.

What makes The Minders a lot better than Passengers and One is that it takes the best parts of both and mashes them together. The One, like The Minders, has around six perspectives that we jump between. The difference is that The Minder's has an interconnected plot while The One was mostly a bunch of scattered "what if" scenarios. And while it's more similar to The Passengers, it was refreshing to change between these different settings and characters rather than being limited to a few cars the entire novel.
Profile Image for Kat (Books are Comfort Food).
235 reviews239 followers
February 21, 2021
This is a highly enthralling and fascinating book for which i was completely engrossed. I apologize to anyone I may have offended, as I ignored you while reading this book.

I read Marrs books slowly, as to avoid missing important tidbits and I frequently feel the need to think about what I’ve just read.

The minders is the 3rd futuristic (not fantasy) book by John Marrs, following “The One” and “The Passengers”. All three books are so well-written and so become believable, especially the times in which we live.

Click here to start your life again.

And so they did.

— “They were all searching for the truth in a world where authenticity lay buried under a constant stream of misinformation and deception”

— “I agree to become a data storage device of confidential information relating to the United Kingdom and its overseas territories, allies, and enemies.”

Four, exceptionally bright people with synaesthesia are accepted into a new program where they have a tiny decide installed under their scalp that hold all the UK’s classified secrets, cover ups, lies, history, etc.

The people within the program agree to walk away from their current lives, leaving everything and everyone behind to start new lives, all expenses paid for 5 years. They only need to live inconspicuously, under the radar.

After the 5 years, it is expected that the chip under their scalp will age out and disintegrate and that the UK will shift to other means to ensure secrecy is maintained without hackability. Sounds easy, right?

The problem arises when someone does not want The Minder’s to contain this info, and begins to hunt them down, one-by-one.

Each of the characters had current undesirable life circumstances, I felt for them and I rooted for each one as they begun their new lives. As the cat and mouse chases began I felt worried ... oh let’s be honest, I was a wreck!

This was a gripping, high-emotional and original read. I was thoroughly absorbed by this book and absolutely love, loved it. If you enjoyed either of his precious futuristic books, you will enjoy this one too.

While it’s not necessary to read the previous two books, you’re enjoyment will be through the rood if you read the other 2 first.


More about synaesthesia:

May 11, 2022
3.5 stars
This is the third book in a semi-series (The One, The Passengers, The Minders). You don't have to read them in order but each refers back to the others so it makes for a more meaningful sequence of reading if you do.

That said, this was probably my least favorite of the three (although still really good! Totally worth reading!). It is a bit more convoluted than the others and although there are a couple of good twists that I didn't see coming, overall the concept was a little more esoteric than I hope for in a thriller. There are a few too many character arcs and while this can work, I don't feel like it quite clicked as well in this one as it did in the other two.

Overall, this is a great thrill ride and I cannot wait to see what John Marrs' mind comes up with next.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Jen.
84 reviews257 followers
February 21, 2021
So, you’ve read ‘The One’ and ‘The Passengers’, it’s time to finish up the saga and see how the British government is experimenting with storing all of their secrets and data to protect the country from the ever present Hackers! We follow five ‘Minders’ as they keep these secrets in genetic code 🧬 in their brains. We watch the story unfold from all of their POVs as they work to lead ‘normal’ lives while keeping their guard up against hackers who will take their lives for the info in their brains 🧠

As always with Marrs, we get multiple looks at fully formed characters with lives and inner turmoil and relationships who, by the book’s end, I felt I knew and was invested in. There was a lot of action in this one but in contrast to the previous books, it was more government espionage and had more of a cat and mouse agent and operative theme. I enjoy that vibe so went along for the ride! There were a few plot points with the DNA that made me think 🤔 but still a really enjoyable read overall!

You’ll want to read the books in order as the previous books are discussed multiple times throughout this one and they are both well worth your read!

It is so scary to think this isn’t the leap of imagination that it would have been when I was young, a world where our online secrets and assets are waiting to be hacked and that may have been the most chilling message of all!

I +++ recommend that you read this and think about how well our secrets and assets are being minded? 🧬 🧠

Thank-you to Berkley Publishing and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy!
Profile Image for sarah.
382 reviews260 followers
July 25, 2020
The Minders was my first book by John Marrs but now I am beyond excited to read all of his other works!

I had no idea that this was set in the same universe as The One and The Passengers, but it didn't impact on my enjoyment of the story- only made me more excited to read those! We follow four people tasked with becoming 'minders' of the UK's most highly classified information. Because of their neurological capabilities stemming from their synthesia, their brains are essentially unhackable.

Flick Kennedy
After being 'matched' with a serial killer she became emotionally fragile and a recluse. What sort of person could she be if a murderer is her true love?

Charlie Manchester
After all his friends have matches and not him, he slowly becomes more and more depressed. But after becoming a minder he doesn't feel any pain, emotional or otherwise. He finds himself craving the simple act of feeling something, anything.

Sinead Kelly
In an emotionally abusive relationship, Sinead has been transformed from a confident, self assured woman into a dependent, shy wife. When she is given the opportunity to become a minder, she takes it with open arms but her 'new life' turns out to be more complicated than her old one.

Bruno York
A single parent looking after his autistic son. When one day his son solves the puzzle on Bruno's phone, entering him into the world of the minders- Bruno begins to fall prey to the hallucinations and voices in his head that slowly corrupt him

After waking up with no memories except her own name, Emilia escapes her prison only to be taken home by a man claiming to be her husband. The key to discovering truth lies with the minders, who she becomes determined to track down.

Where to even begin...
The Minders was brilliant in concept and execution. The premise was original and engaging, elevated by the cast of characters and occasional mixed media element. The characters all had such interesting and unexpected arcs. I loved the exploration of choices, and how everything compounds together. I don't want to spoil a single thing about this book- so I won't talk about the ending, only that it was no where near where I expected it to end up when I began. I didn't see any of the plot twists coming, let alone guess at the truth.

My only complaint is that I wanted more. My inner conspiracy theory lover was hanging on to every mention of coverups and lies but because the minders weren't allowed to talk about what they knew, we were only teased about the truth behind some events.

I read this at a really busy time, and so didn't get the chance to become completely immersed in the story. This book was so intricate that I think I need to reread it in order to fully grasp everything that occurred.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this, particularly if you have read and loved John Marrs' books in the past. You might enjoy this one a little more with some background knowledge of the world, but it is definitely not required reading. Prepare yourself, this is a wild ride!

Thank you to Random House UK for this ARC

Ebook Release Date: 23 July 2020
Profile Image for Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books).
587 reviews325 followers
February 8, 2021
I absolutely love John Marrs and he is one of my “auto-buy” authors, meaning I’ll read anything he writes! I was so excited to get my hands on a early copy of The Minders. The Minders is set in the future, and scientists have figured out a way to implant sensitive government information into people’s heads, and the book follows several of these people, known as “Minders”. The book is told through multiple points of views, primarily from the different Minders. I really enjoyed that aspect, as we saw how each of them adapted to this new life they’d been thrown into.

As the book progresses, there are references to some of Marrs’ past work, including The One, and The Passengers. While you can definitely read this without having read the other two, I’d highly recommend reading the other two first (starting with The One) so you have some background and context for events that are mentioned in The Minders.

As always, Mr. Marrs did a great job of holding my attention and keeping me wanting to know what would happen. His writing is engaging, and his stories are always so unique. I will say that this is not a super fast paced thriller where the action starts immediately, but is rather a slow burn where you know something is coming, but takes a while to build up to.

I will say that I felt like the ending of this one was not my favorite. Without spoiling anything, I’ll say that it felt a little over the top, and I had open questions that weren’t resolved. Because of that, I rated this one 4 stars. That said, I would definitely recommend The Minders for fans of suspense books, especially if you enjoy a little bit of a futuristic world in your books!

I’d like to thank Berkley for my advanced copy of the book. It was my pleasure to provide an honest review. The US release of The Minders is February 16, 2021, and I highly recommend you pick this one up!
Profile Image for Katie Colson.
642 reviews5,576 followers
March 31, 2021
Gabby and I's live show for the Book Troop: https://youtu.be/MWhzyJSt3B4

I read this for The Book Troop, hosted by my friend, Gabby from Gabbyreads. I am so glad she asked me to take part because I have adored John Marrs books in the past.

But let's cut to the chase. This book is bad. It isn't just confusing and slow and nonsensical. It's bad. In every single way. I am struggling to think of something I did like.

HE SPOILS 'THE ONE' and 'THE PASSENGERS' on page 12 of this book. Both of those books are far superior to this. Read those instead. I don't understand why he would spoil them?

This book made no sense from page one to done. The characters were annoying and unreliable.
The men are largely sexist and homophobic even though John Marrs is gay??? I don't understand.
Instead of showing respect to strong women, he writes that a male character is aroused by them but is intimidated by them. And every main female character is weak of mind or crazy. Ugh, this book made me so angry.

I am so glad I got to discuss this book with all of you. If you didn't catch our live discussion, please check it out at the link above. It was great to commiserate with you all.
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