Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review of Gytha Lodges debut novel She Lies In Wait as part of the blog tour.
About this book…
On a hot July night in 1983, six school friends go camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and young Aurora Jackson is dazzled to be allowed to tag along.
Thirty years later, a body is discovered. DCI Sheens is called to the scene, but he already knows what’s waiting for him: Aurora Jackson, found at long last.
But that’s not all. The friends have all maintained their innocence, but the body is found in a hideaway only the six of them knew about.
It seems the killer has always lurked very close to home…
What did I think…
I don’t know why but I was convinced before I started reading this, and also for the first few pages that I WAS reading it, that this book was set in the USA! No idea why but it isn’t!! So after I managed to get my head around the fact that the book I was reading wasn’t exactly the book I was expecting to read, I settled down to read one of the most compelling crime novels that I’ve had the pleasure to be introduced to this year. It’s clever and complex with exquisite twists and interesting characters. I was very quickly drawn into the case of Aurora Jackson who’s body has just been discovered 30 years after she disappeared whilst on a camping trip with her older sister and a group of older teenagers.
What I loved about She Lies In Wait was the way in which the narrative gives us an insight into what happened all those years ago, introducing us to Aurora and the five others camping that fateful night. In the present day DCI Sheens is investigating the grown up suspects, one of whom must be the killer due to where Auroras body was found. These respectable members of society all seem to be covering up something that happened that fateful night but what? And why does DCI Sheens seem uncomfortably close to the secrets being slowly revealed?
This is a stunning book. The slow unraveling of the clues as to what happened on the camping trip helps to reinforce the narratives deeply affecting dialogue. I started to dread the flashbacks as I wasn’t sure I would be able to handle the truth about what the author was building up to. But even though I feared the culmination of all those clues coming together, I physically couldn’t put this book down. It just wouldn’t let me go. The intense atmosphere surrounding the camping trip pushed down on my chest, making it hard to breathe as I awaited answers to my many MANY questions and it didn’t let up until long after I had finished the final page. This is a book that will haunt you during and after you have read it and I found it to be one of the most affecting crime dramas I have read recently. It’s crying out for a tv adaptation in my opinion so fingers crossed.
If you like Tana French then I guarantee you will also love Gytha Lodge. And hopefully that love affair will continue for me as I have noticed this is now being marketed as DCI Sheens #1 so I hope that our next meeting with this intriguing police detective is just as pleasurable.
She Lies In Wait was published on 10th January 2019 by Penguin.
Meet the author…
Gytha Lodge is a writer and multi-award-winning playwright who lives in Cambridge. After studying creative writing at UEA, she was shortlisted for the Yeovil Literary Prize and the Arts’ Council England fiction awards, and developed a large online following for her young adult and children’s writing, with over five million reads accrued on platform Wattpad. She Lies in Wait is her debut novel.