She Lies Close by Sharon Doering @TitanBooks

A compulsive debut thriller about motherhood, obsession and how far we’d go to protect the ones we love.

Five-year-old Ava Boone has been missing for six months. There are have been no leads, no arrests, no witnesses. The only suspect was quiet, middle-aged Leland Ernest.

And Grace Wright has just bought the house next door. Recently divorced, Grace uprooted her two small children to start again and hopes the move will reset her crippling insomnia. But now she understands bargain-price for her beautiful new house. 

With whispered neighbourhood gossip and increasingly sleepless nights, Grace develops a fierce obsession with Leland and the safety of her children. Could she really be living next door to a child-kidnapper? A murderer? 

With reality and dream blurring more each day, Grace desperately pursues the truth – following Ava’s family, demanding answers from the police – and then a body is discovered…

Wow-what a debut novel by Sharon Doering! I’m not easily surprised by what I read nowadays, but She Lies Close managed to keep me utterly gripped by a dark, twisty and multilayered plot that took me on a totally unexpected journey!

Grace, a single parent after separating from her unfaithful husband, has moved to a new neighbourhood. Her two young children are very realistically portrayed and her everyday life is full of the sort of everyday struggles that working parents face. After a chance meeting with one of her new neighbours, he tells her that the man she has moved next door to has been a suspect in the disappearance of a 5 year old girl-Ava Boone. This seems to be the catalyst for Grace to start an obsession with him and the case itself.

Grace isn’t the easiest of characters to like-her compulsive behaviour paired with a sleep problem lead her to make some rather questionable decisions! But I found her to be such a refreshing change with her black humour and determined attitude plus she kept me thoroughly entertained as I obsessed alongside her about what had happened to Ava.

What appears on the surface to be a missing child mystery is SO much more. There’s a depth to it as we delve beneath the surface of suburbia and parenthood to the paranoia that slowly builds inside the mind of an exhausted and protective parent. Grace carried the storyline brilliantly from the perfectly pitched opening paragraphs to that truly shocking ending. Sharon Doering has created a wonderfully intriguing protagonist in Grace and one of the most memorable twists that I’ve come across recently!

This has to be one of the best debuts I’ve read this year. Definitely one for your TBR pile!

Sharon Doering lives in the Chicago area with her husband, Marc, their three kids, and a peculiarly civilized dog, Lady.
In her other life, she was a science professor, a biotech stock analyst, and a xenotransplantation researcher. She has also been agood waitress, a mediocre bartender, and a terrible maid.
Sharon is working on her next novel.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.