“This enjoyably chilling suspense tale conveys both the thrills and the dangers of being a teenager on the brink of adult independence.”—The New York Times Book Review
On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. When they wake in the morning the youngest of their group, Aurora Jackson, has disappeared. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found.
Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead and all of them profoundly changed forever.
This searing, psychologically captivating novel marks the arrival of a dazzling new talent, and the start of a new series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens.
Praise for She Lies in Wait
“A novel that literally makes you hold your breath then gasp out loud.”—Val McDermid
“She Lies in Wait is an atmospheric, deeply satisfying, well-written mystery whose resolution rings true after lots of false leads and blind alleys. A remarkably adept first novel. One hopes there will be many more to come.”—Daily Herald
“The mystery intrigues and twists, offering enough red herrings and moments of police procedural to please fans of the genre.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“What a marvel! A corkscrew-twisty, knife-sharp thriller—yet it doubles as a tender ode to loss and longing. Prepare to be haunted.”—A. J. Finn, author of the New York Times bestseller The Woman in the Window
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Jonah was halfway up Blissford Hill when he felt the buzz of his phone in the zip pocket on the back of his Lycra. He was standing up on the pedals and slogging upward. He considered ignoring it, and then had a vivid image of his mum in hospital. And following that, he had a slightly stomach-turning thought that it might be Michelle. Which was just as irrational as every other time he’d believed it in the last eight months, but he thought it anyway.
He braked with gritted teeth and stopped his grinding climb. He caught his shin on one of the pedals as he jumped down, and was savage by the time he’d rooted his phone out and seen DS Lightman’s extension flashing on the screen.
“Ben?” he said, and then moved the phone away from his mouth to mask his heavy breathing.
“Sorry, Chief.” Lightman didn’t sound it. Never really sounded anything. Michelle had liked to call him Barbie. Exquisitely pretty and emotionless. A lot smarter than Barbie, though, Jonah knew. “Call from DCS Wilkinson. He wants you to postpone your days off to investigate a possible homicide.”
Jonah let the DS wait in silence. He looked up at the tree-shadowed top of the hill. It was a slog away, but he wanted the slog. His legs were crying out for it. He squeezed the drop handles of his bike with his free hand and felt the sweat on his palm. He hadn’t spent enough time doing this recently.
“Where?” he asked, not bothering to hide his irritation.
There was another silence, but this one wasn’t deliberate. He felt knocked off balance.
“Recent remains?” he asked in the end, though he thought he knew the answer.
“No. DCS says not,” said the sergeant, who was too young to understand.
His day of cycling was over, but Jonah suddenly felt too old for it anyway. He couldn’t remember ever feeling old before.
“Send a car to pick me up in Godshill. Bring the kit bag from behind my desk. And find someone to lend me a deodorant.”
“Yes, sir,” Lightman answered, his voice as level as ever.
Jonah slotted his phone back into the pocket of his technical top. There was sweat already cooling on him and leaving him chilled. He ought to get cycling again. It was a few more miles to Godshill.
He stayed there, unmoving, for a full minute, then swung his leg off the Cannondale and started to walk it slowly up the hill.
Hanson was in such a hurry to climb out of the car that she caught the sleeve of her expensive new suit on a protruding piece in the door and pulled a thread. It gave her a slightly sick feeling. She hadn’t really been able to afford it in the first place. She’d bought three others in her first two weeks as a DC, having previously owned only jeans, tank tops, and sweaters, and a few dresses for going out. Suits were bloody expensive, and she resented the money she could have been spending on her unreliable car. Or maybe on an actual social life, which she seemed to have forgotten about somewhere along the way.
She tried to smooth down the plucked sleeve while she made her way inside. She wondered if she could get her mum to take a look at it, if she managed to make it to her mum’s anytime soon. A potential homicide might mean working through the weekend. Late nights and living off caffeine while they caught the killer. The thought made her smile.
She let herself into CID and saw Lightman’s head bent over his screen. She wondered how long he’d been here, and whether he did anything else with his life. Whether there were a Lightman wife and kids that he hadn’t yet mentioned. He somehow had the look of an unfaithful husband about him. Too pretty, and too closed-off. Unless that was more her own recent experience warping her expectations.
Lightman caught sight of her and gave a small smile. “I got hold of the chief. He’s going to need picking up and taking to the crime scene.”
“On it,” Hanson answered immediately. “Where is he?”
“Godshill,” he said. “He’s on his bike.”
Hanson nodded. She pretended she knew the place well, and that she wasn’t about to punch it into her GPS. Two weeks into the job and she basically knew the route from home to the station and the supermarket, and from there to the dockside, where they’d been looking at some potential fraud. She missed the certainty of zooming around Birmingham, where she’d grown up and then worked as a constable for two years. Though she had to admit that the New Forest was a lot prettier.
“You’ll need this,” Lightman said, and lifted a dark-gray kit bag from the floor. “And despite the time constraints, I’d take him a coffee. He’s not going to be that happy at having his day off interrupted.”
“OK. Just . . . a filter coffee? Not a latte or something?”
Lightman laughed. “God, no. Have you not had one of his rants on coffee menus yet?”
“No, but I’m sure it’ll be great.” She put the kit bag onto her shoulder. “OK. Anything else? Do you know what it’s about yet?”
Lightman shook his head. “Local sergeant will hand over to the chief at the scene. You’ll both get a rundown, though if it’s not recent, there won’t be much so far.”
Hanson nodded, and tried not to smile. You shouldn’t smile at news of a murder, even if it had been ages ago. But the truth was, she was delighted.
Hanson was wound up like it was exam-results day. She gabbled at Jonah about the kit bag and coffee, and then without pausing for breath asked about the remains. Jonah found it somewhere between sweet and irritating.
“Ben said they might not be recent,” she said.
“I’d wait until forensics gave an opinion,” he replied, taking a long gulp of coffee. “Most people—including me—don’t have a clue what age bones are.”
Having sweated and chilled, he was cold even in the suit he had tugged on in the public toilets at Godshill. Cold, and drifting around his own thoughts of thirty years ago. He had to interrupt her to ask her to turn the heater on. The Fiat veered while she turned the dial, and then steadied.
“Sorry,” she said.
“I’m just grateful you’re driving,” he said with a slight smile. “The coffee was a good call, by the way. You’ve given me at least a couple of hours of not being in a really bad mood.”
“Hmm. A couple of hours. So I’ve either got to find you a Starbucks before then or get out of the way?”
“Pretty much,” Jonah agreed.
Brinken Wood was suddenly on them. There was a cluster of squad cars and uniforms in the shingle car park. He found it impossible not to remember this place as it had been back then. The car park had all been bark and mud, but it had been just as overrun by police. The haircuts different; the faces somehow the same.
Jonah levered himself out of the car once they’d pulled up, taking the coffee cup with him. He felt like he’d gone back in time. So many months had been spent here, searching endlessly.
He approached the sergeant. “DCI Sheens. This is DC Hanson.”
Hanson had been the same rank as the sergeant two weeks ago. But to train as a detective, you had to take what amounted to a demotion, and become a detective constable. He remembered not being sure who was more important when it had happened to him, and wondered if Hanson felt the same.
There was sweat along the sergeant’s hairline. His eyes were over-wide and his smile brief and agitated. His police constable, a stocky twentysomething, seemed calmer.
Jonah addressed his question somewhere between the two of them: “Who found the remains?”
The sergeant answered. “A GP out camping with his family. Well, his daughter, but he called it in.”
“How old’s the daughter?”
“Nine,” the constable said. “Seems fine, though. It’s the father who’s taking it hard.”
“They’re still here?”
“We’ve kept them at their campsite. It’s not within view of the remains.”
Jonah nodded, and let the sergeant lead the way, though he knew where he was going. It was where seven kids had bedded down thirty years ago, but only six of them had got up in the morning.
Dr. Martin Miller was sitting apart from his family. The doctor’s wife was watching the boy play on an iPad. The girl was kicking up dust around the edge of the camp.
It was the mother Jonah approached.
“DCI Sheens.” He smiled at her. He’d had to learn how to smile when his mind was full of complicated, dark thoughts like crazed glass between him and the world. “Would you mind if I talk to your daughter for a few minutes?”
“Jessie!” It was a call from the father. His voice was high-pitched and irritable. “Stop kicking like that. You’re making a mess.”
The girl was halfway upset and halfway rebellious. She scuffed over to her mother and Jonah, sat down quickly, and looked up at him, her knees up near her chin.
The mother slid an arm round her in a brief hug. “You don’t mind talking to the police, do you, Jessie?” she asked her daughter.
Jessie shook her head.
“We don’t need to ask much,” Jonah said steadily. “Just a few details about what you found.”
“She doesn’t know anything,” her slightly older brother interrupted scathingly. The disdain of older siblings had always seemed uniquely intense to Jonah.
He glanced over at the boy, who was now watching them both a little sullenly. He thought about asking him to move away, but decided to let him be.
He crouched close to Jessie. “So, a few questions for you.”
The girl gave him another wary look, and then her gaze wandered away and she picked up a pebble, threw it off to the side, repeated it with another.
“Jessie, for goodness’ sake!” The father again. Much closer. “Stop throwing things, and look at the policeman when he’s talking to you. This is important.”
Jonah tried to smile up at the doctor. “It’s OK, don’t worry.”
Jonah might as well not have spoken.
The girl gave her father a truculent look, and then did her best to look up at Jonah through her straight brown fringe. Jonah tried not to become irritated at the father’s interruptions, which had nothing to do with helping the police, he thought, and everything to do with control.
“Are you an inspector?” Jessie asked quietly.
Jonah grinned. “I am. Detective chief inspector, in fact.”
Jessie’s eyes were still a little wary. “So you’re in charge?”
“Yes.” She seemed happy enough with that, so he went on. “Could you tell me what you were doing when you found the bones?”
Jessie glanced at her father, and then said quietly, “Hiding.”
Jonah saw the mother grimace, but she didn’t try to deny it.
“Hiding can be fun,” he said. “That hollow under the tree. That was already there? You didn’t have to dig it?”
Jessie shook her head. “I just got in and sat down. There was something poking me, so I pulled it out.”
Jonah nodded. “Naturally. And it came out easily?”
“Yes. I thought—I thought it was a root, and then maybe a plant because I grabbed a handful. But then I realized it was a finger.”
“Well done,” he said, nodding. “Not everybody would have realized.”
Jessie nodded, gave a small smile, and stood up. Her mother pulled her into a brief hug.
“I’d like them not to talk to their school friends about this for a few days,” Jonah said to Mrs. Miller, once she’d let go of her daughter.
“It’s OK, they’re not seeing any for a few weeks. We thought we’d carry on the trip, but somewhere else.”
Privately educated kids, he realized. They were already on vacation, a good month before the state schools broke up.
“Good. It would be better if this wasn’t talked about just yet.”
He heard Dr. Miller’s footsteps.
“Are we done? It’s a beautiful day and I don’t think we have much to add.”
“Yes, we’re all done. Thanks for your patience.”
Jonah stood, and the doctor was already giving his children orders to get packed up.
He hurried them over to the tent, and Jonah found himself watching until Mrs. Miller rose and began to pick up a few half-eaten packs of raisins and a cup.
“I’m sorry your vacation got interrupted,” he said.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A great read, full of truly interesting characters and a winding journey to the final discovery. The format of returning to the time of the initial crime and back to present day was skillfully employed.I look forward to more novels with Sheens and Hansen and possibly even JoJo.
My thoughts: I’d like to give this mystery a 3.5 ⭐️ rating, but Goodreads doesn’t have that function so I’m rounding down to 3 ⭐️’s. If you enjoy detective series, it’s worth reading. **My apologies to Ms. Lodge. I feel that my reading preferences, rather than her book or writing skills influenced review** This is the author’s debut and the beginning of a series. It’s told in alternating timelines—past (30 years earlier) and present. It was well-written, but not thrilling enough for me. As with most mysteries, there are plenty of secrets. Even the police are keeping some interesting secrets of their own. A series has to be unputdownable for me to become invested, and this one just didn’t fit that bill. I didn’t relate to any of the characters. And even though it leaves several unanswered questions, it doesn’t bother me to let them stay unanswered. The story is centered around the discovery of the body (actually the bones) of a teenage girl that went missing 30 years earlier. A group of teenagers went camping. Actually, the camping trip was more of an excuse to party. Aurora is much younger and only allowed to tag along because her big sister is in the group. There was a fairly large cast of characters, and because I didn’t relate to any of them, I had a hard time keeping them straight. There is also a lot going on with different characters, so that was confusing at times. But as I said earlier, if detective/crime series are your thing, you should check it out. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for this digital ARC, in exchange for my honest review. #NetGalley #SheLiesInWait My Rating: 3.5 ⭐️ Published: January 8th 2019 by Random House Pages: 368 Recommend: If you like detective/crime series.
While this story may be a big hit among young people it just didn’t hold my attention. I struggled through so much of it and finally just had to put it aside. I tried going back to it but it just was not for me. I would recommend it to a much younger group from what I read. It just didn’t draw me in. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishers for this book in exchange for my honest review. I give it 3 stars and that is because I think young people will like it.
Summary: At the start of this book, a young girl exploring in the woods finds a finger bone in a hollowed out area by a beech tree. It turns out to be part of the skeleton of Aurora Jackson, a 14 year old girl who went missing thirty years ago. When Aurora went missing, she was camping with a group of older teenagers, one of whom was her sister. The teens were questioned at the time of the disappearance, but they all stated they didn't know anything. It was obvious that something went on in the woods that night, but with the teens all sticking to the same story and no body, the case went cold. Although he didn't know them well, Jonah went to school with all of the campers. He has momentary thoughts of taking himself off the case, but decides there isn't any conflict of interest. However, as secrets start to emerge, Jonah finds himself hoping that some things never come to light. Comments: I liked She Lies in Wait. I thought the main storyline was tightly plotted with a believable ending. There were enough clues dropped about Jonah's past and present life to give some options for character development in future books in the series. There were some side plot-lines that I found distracting because they weren't fully resolved and I wondered why they were even in the book, but all in all, this was a good start to a new mystery-detective series. As a side note, I thought the author had some very astute observations about bullies and abusers.
Thirty years ago, 6 teenagers are partying in the forest. Aurora Jackson is the youngest of the bunch and happy to be included in this group. But sometime during the night she disappears and no sign of her was ever found. Today, 30 years after the fact, Aurora's body is found in a hideaway that only 5 of her friends knew about. Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens is a small town cop called in to investigate. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Although a tad slow in the beginning, this debut thriller is well written with twists and turns and surprises along the way. There are plenty of suspects for this police procedural to investigate. I look forward to read more of the detective as this is the beginning of a series. Many thanks to the author / Random House Publishing / Netgalley for this crime fiction/thriller. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
July 1983 five teenage friends and one of their little sisters aged fourteen go camping in the forest. The friends spend the night drinking and partying, all except Aurora Jackson who takes her sleeping bag to the edge of the camp to get some sleep. In the morning her sleeping bag is empty and she is no-where to be found. Worried for her safety the friends send for the police who spend weeks combing the area but they have no luck in finding her. Thirty years later and a little girl on a camping trip is trying to hide from her brother and father when she discovers a hollow under a tree that she thinks will make a great hiding place, unfortunately, she instead discovers a body instead. DCI Sheens is sent to the scene and he doesn’t need to wait for forensics to know whose body has been found. Back in 1983, he was a rookie cop on the case of missing Aurora, he also went to the same school as her and the friends who were there the night she disappeared. For thirty years the group of five have always declared they knew nothing about Aurora’s disappearance but her body was discovered in a hideaway only they knew about. Did Aurora somehow manage to hurt herself or has one of the other five got a secret that may just be about to be discovered? The story moves back and forth between the present day and the day of the camping trip in 1983. I’m not normally a fan of books that move back and forth in time but this one really worked well. Whilst the plot might not be unique and I could see resemblances to other books that I have read, the execution and the writing were superb and I was invested in the plot from the prologue. I enjoyed getting to delve into the characters lives, not only the teenagers and then the same group as adults but the detectives too. This is a case that DCI Sheens hold dear to him as he has a history with it. He wants to know what happened to Aurora, who possibly killed her and why they missed her thirty years ago. The pace does slow down in the middle but picks up again towards the end. I had guessed what had happened to Aurora long before anything was revealed but whether that was down to the plot being too easy to work out or that I read probably 200 thriller/crime books a year and I am used to spotting the signs I’m not sure, though I will admit to having a different explanation at first. This is the first book in a planned series and I now can’t wait to meet DCI Sheens and the team again.
3.5 Many years ago, seven teenage friends went camping. There was lots of drinking, sex and some drugs. By morning, the youngest member Aurora was missing. The six remaining friends swore that she was alive when they last saw her. She is never seen again. Thirty years later, a skeleton is found near where the group camped. It's Aurora. DCI Jonas Sheens is assigned the job of leading the team that reopens the case. And so starts the cat and mouse game between the six remaining friends and the police. Add to that, Detective Sheen has his own little secret. I enjoyed this police procedural/murder mystery. DCI Sheen struggles with the ethics of doing his job correctly and trying to hide certain facts from his past. I also liked DC Hanson, new to the team and perhaps overly enthusiastic about impressing the boss. She is the one who discover her boss's secret. Now she too must decide how to handle it. I'm glad I got in on book #1 of this new series. It will be interesting to read future books to see what new crimes the detectives are confronted with. My thanks to Random House Publishing Group and Netgalley.
This book was not as engaging as I had hoped it would be. I was a chore to finish. The characters were not likable and difficult to keep track of their connections. It appears the intention is for this to be a series with the man character, Jonah as the investigator in each book. If you liked this book you will like, Remember Me by Daisy White. A very similar storyline with teenagers going camping and one gets killed. Years later it is reinvestigated and solved. I received this galley from NetGalley.
Six friends enter the woods for a teenage overnight. Aurora Jackson is the youngest of the group and just happy to be included. However, in the morning, Aurora is missing and none of the other teens claim to have any idea what happened to her. 30 years later, her body is unearthed and Jonah Sheen is put in charge of her cold case. This book was a fabulous psychological thriller that had lots of twists, turns and suspense! I loved Gytha Lodge's debut novel, and look forward to many more books in her future!
Thirty years have passed since 14-year-old Aurora Jackson vanished when camping with a group teenagers. But now, her body has been discovered by coincidence. She has been dead all the time, buried in the woods and her killer running free. What happened that night, when Aurora‘s sister and her friends had invited her in the woods? Obviously a lot of booze and drugs, but how come that one of them could have been murdered and the others remain silent for over three decades? DCI Jonah Sheens and his team have to face a group of friends who stand in line even after all the time. They must have to hide quite a lot... Gytha Lodge‘s debut is a thrilling crime novel from the first to the last page. The plot offers many different side lines that could lead to the solution and the combination of having the story advance in the present and the flashbacks of the day in 1983 keep suspense high. What I found most interesting was the dynamics between the friends. On the one hand, the group of six as teenagers where the cool ones lead and have their say, but also later as adults where they all found their place in life and in their small group. They made some wrong decisions out of fears that are understandable for teenagers, but they never corrected them as adults even though they had the chance. Many twists and turns keep you guessing about what happened that night and in the end, it all is solved convincingly. For me, a perfect crime novel and a very entertaining read.
A group of teenagers enter the woods for a camping trip, one of them doesn’t come back out. Thirty years later the body of Aurora Jackson is found in a crevasse under a tree. Will detectives be able to unravel the events of that night and determine which person in the close knit group of friends has been lying all this time? She Lies in Wait was a quick, entertaining read that kept me guessing until the end of the book. It is well written, suspenseful, and the characters and events are realistic. The events unfold both in the present time from the viewpoint of the detectives as well as in flashbacks from the night of the crime in Aurora’s viewpoint. I enjoyed the back and forth. If you like mysteries you’ll probably enjoy this book. I noticed that this is listed as DCI Jonah Sheens #1 so it seems there will be a series of books involving his character. I will be sure to keep an eye out for those, if they’re anything like She Lies in Wait I’m sure they’ll be worth the read. Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for providing an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
I enjoyed this book very much. The way the author successfully went from the present to the past made the book keep you interested from beginning to end. All the characters were well developed and I kept turning the pages to find out what they would do next. Since this is a #1 I hope there are many more stories to come. I received this ebook free from NetGalley for an honest review.
She Lies in Wait was one of my most anticipated mysteries of 2019! I read that summary and just knew that I had to get my hands on this book as soon as possible. There is just something that I can't get enough of about books that feature unsolved mysteries and investigations in the present. There are one of my readerly catnips I guess you could say (I'm well aware that's not really a thing but it fits). And because of all of this, I just immersed myself within the pages of this book. I think I said this on Instagram when I was talking about this book but it is a book where the tension and suspense slowly build page by page. The author did a really great job of keeping me guessing throughout the book. There were times that I thought I had it figured out only to realize a couple of chapters later that I was no longer sure. And this takes some talent in my opinion because there are a limited number of suspects considering the setup of the book which has Aurora disappearing after going camping with her sister and five of her sister's friends. I honestly just let the author take me on a ride with this book and enjoyed every minute of it! I also really enjoyed that in this book there are two separate storylines that the book flips between. One is the present investigation which is being conducted by Jonah Sheen and his team of officers. The second storyline is pieces of what actually happened the night Aurora went missing. The author ties these two storylines together beautifully and in a way that left me eager to read more! I'm so excited that this is the beginning of a new mystery series because I can't wait to read more books featuring Jonah Sheen! Overall, I enjoyed my time with this book immensely and can't say enough good things about it! It's an atmospheric read that kept me guessing the entire time. It's one that I didn't rush through but just enjoyed throughout. I will be looking forward to the next book in this series for sure! If you are a mystery lover like I am, then I can recommend this one without hesitation. I did see a review somewhere that complained that it was a bit on the slower side - but I would disagree there. I think if you are expecting a thriller then sure, I could see that. But this is a mystery and I felt like the author did a beautiful job with the pacing. She wrapped me up in both storylines with ease until I just had to see how it would all end. Highly recommended on my side of things! Bottom Line: A suspenseful mystery that kept me guessing and turning the pages! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publisher.
She Lies in Wait is an interesting read that surrounds six friends who went camping one night and made the decision to include Topaz's sister Aurora, even though she was younger than the rest of the group. After a night of dancing, drinking, and drugs, the group wakes up to find Aurora missing. She is never found, and no one knows the truth of what happened to her. Or do they? Thirty years later, Aurora's body is found inside a crevice along with a can full of drugs. It takes a group of four police officers to finally get answers and figure out what truly happened. I really enjoyed this! It kept me on the edge of my seat and I kept questioning who I thought had done it. It was also interesting to read the way dynamics in a group friendship can change, and those who are willing to cover for others in the name of that friendship. #NetGalley
"She Lies in Wait," is a fantastic book that I devoured in 6 hours. I waffled back and forth between my guess as to who may have committed the crime, who had the motive, who could have lived with themselves for thirty years, and I still hadn't made a decisive guess until near the end! Gytha writes each character with enough depth to be considered a viable suspect, which means no one is off the suspect list with any certainty! The story has an easy to follow transition between past and present, provides a voice to the victim, as well as the suspects, and masterfully intertwines their individual stories. The police squad members (Americans may want to brush up on the DCI, constable terminology first) have their own idiosyncrasies that play into the mystery and make the reading even more enjoyable. As an Anglophile, I thoroughly enjoyed the British setting and nuances. It is a wonderful "whodunit" and I cannot wait to read what comes next and see which characters return in this series!
Loved the book!! I couldn't put the book down because I wanted to find out what exactly happened to Aurora and who caused her death. I found the book very intriguing and kept me guessing until the end. I knew one or more of the friends had to be involved. They all seemed like they trying to hide something, plus she ended up being found right where they were camping. I would not have wanted any of them as friends, except maybe Jojo. None of them were very likable. Six friends enter the woods to go camping, more like partying with drugs and alcohol. Topaz brought along her fourteen year old sister, Aurora. Aurora really didn't fit in with the group and wasn't their friend. The next morning no one can find Aurora. She seemed to completely vanish without a trace. None of the friends know what happened to her or so they claim and they all stick to their story. Thirty years later, bones are discovered and the secrets about Aurora's death are finally revealed. Loved the story, writing style and characters. Loved DCI Jonah Sheens and the members of his team. Can't wait to find out more about Jonah Sheens. The same with Juliette Hanson and her ex-boyfriend issues. I wasn't sure who was behind Aurora's death. At times I thought all the friends killed Aurora and were covering it up. Topaz was the worst, especially since she was Aurora's sister. Not sure why she even brought Aurora with her to the party. I pretty much suspected Topaz from the beginning. I didn't know who to believe, they all lied. When the information about Aleksy is revealed it just adds to the mystery. Definitely recommend the book. It kept me interested from the first page until the end, when everything is finally revealed. I look forward to reading more books by the author and can't wait for the next book in the series. Thanks to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group and the author, Gytha Lodge, for a free electronic ARC of this novel.
4.5 stars! Out January 8th! Looking for a good detective mystery novel? Here you go! Gytha Lodge's debut novel was a wonderful surprise. I was expecting it to just be okay, but I actually thought it was really good as far as detective novels go. This book was very much character driven and Gytha Lodge did a great job developing her characters. The story flip flops between 1983 and present day. In 1983 fourteen-year-old Aurora goes missing while camping with 6 friends. 30 years later her body is discovered mere feet from the campsite where she was last seen. And all 6 of her friends instantly become suspects. Who had motive? Who could have wanted Aurora dead? What follows is the investigative work of DCI Jonah Sheens and his team, interviewing suspects and following old leads in the hopes of solving this cold case. What I loved about this book was the tension. I kept trying to figure out who made the best suspect and who had motive. I constantly changed my mind, becoming suspicious of each character along the way. And honestly, I didn't figure out the ending until it was revealed which is always a win in my book. The only negative aspect of this book was that the ending was a tad anticlimactic. Once the "killer" was revealed, the ending seemed a little bit abrupt, particularly given how long and drawn out the rest of the story was. I would have liked to have seen the ending play out a little bit differently. But, all in all I still found it satisfying and appreciated the "solution" to the crime. I would liken this to a Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling) novel with a detective that is central to the story, and lots of character development that dominates the stories of the remaining characters. Would recommend to my detective-driven mystery novel lovers. -I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to NetGalley, Gytha Lodge, and Random House Publishing for the opportunity to review.-
She Lies In Wait – Gytha Lodge I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review. On a sunny afternoon, a young girl is running through the woods to avoid her father and settles into a small hollowed area she finds near a tree. A stick digs into her side and as she goes to remove the offending object, she realizes it’s a skeletonized finger… DCI Jonas Sheens is cycling when he receives the call for a homicide. As he listens to the details, he realizes that the remains may very well be those of Aurora Jackson, a young teenaged girl who disappeared after a party, over thirty years ago. Assisted by DC Juliette Hanson, Jonas revisits the past and reopens a long cold investigation. When Aurora disappeared, she was in the woods, camping with her older sister, and several teenaged friends. As the interviews begin, those same teens, now adults, begin to tell subtly different stories, yet all of them continue to dent knowing what had happened to Aurora that night. A teacher with a fondness for his students was also in the area that night – could he be the suspect they’ve been seeking? Or is there a killer in the group of teens from 30 years ago? As Jonas and Juliette fight to bring Aurora’s killer to justice, a killer will do anything to keep his secret… Jonas learns the answer to a long-ago question of his own, as well… I very much enjoyed this English mystery! Told from the past and present, you experience Aurora’s last night in increments, as Jonas and Juliette unravel the mystery here in the present. A great read, with many side plots that will keep you guessing until the end…
I thoroughly enjoyed this page-turning mystery. It started off a little slow but it quickly picked up and I stayed up through the night to finish it. In 1983 seven teenagers go camping in the woods. When everyone wakes up the next morning, they realize that Aurora is missing. There is an investigation but nothing is found. Thirty years later, Aurora’s bones are found in a place that only the other six knew about. Who is the killer? The cold case is re-opened but it seems everyone is lying. Are the friends behind the murder? Are the detectives covering for the girls or are they involved somehow? I really enjoyed the switching of times between Aurora and the night she goes missing and then the re-opened investigation thirty years later. It seemed like every chapter convinced you that a different person was somehow responsible for what happened that night. You might think you have this figured out but you will quickly change your mind again and again.
Missing persons cold case turned murder investigation. While I wouldn't consider She Lies in Wait to be quite the 'psychologically captivating" story that's promised in the blurb, it does make for an interesting crime thriller/procedural with emphasis on the procedural. Despite several red herrings throughout the story, I was able to figure it out pretty quickly, but that's not necessarily a deal breaker for me if the book holds my interest, and this one did. I felt like the book barely scraped the surface of DCI Jonah Sheens with so much focus on the many possible murderers being investigated, but what I did get of him, I liked. He's a bit flawed and has certainly made mistakes in the past that cause him some guilt, but I think he'll make for an intriguing character to explore as the series progresses. This first in the series does get a little wordy at times and some things are repetitive, but it still kept me interested enough to want to finish it and see how it would all play out. All in all, a solid debut from the author and a good start to a promising series.
I enjoyed this. I did not LOVE it as it starts off extremely slow for me and was kind of a "lite" mystery. The story does pick up though and is well written in a 'reminiscent of Riley Sayers' novels' kind of way. I will definitely give the next Jonah Sheens book a shot. Thank you #NetGalley for my ARC! "
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for the advance reader copy, She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge, in exchange for an honest review. Oh did I love this book! There was so much suspense as a group of friends goes into the woods for a night of camping, fun, and drinking; and the next morning one of their group is missing. Fast forward thirty years, and the body is discovered very close to their camp site. I especially enjoyed the very capable but human police detectives being led by Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens as they painstakingly reconstruct the crime and investigate without sleep and food to catch a killer (maybe one of the friends?). As Jonah leads his detectives to track down the stories from the suspects, I was riveted until the last page. The suspense kept building and did not disappoint; I will definitely continue to read this thrilling new series. Highly recommended.
She Lies in Wait is Gytha Lodge's latest novel. And it introduces us to new series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens. I was drawn to the premise of She Lies in Wait. (I also really like the cover!) 1983. A group of teenagers are partying in the woods. Drugs, drink and sex. When morning comes? One of them - Aurora - is missing. And she's not found...for thirty years. DCI Sheens is assigned the case. He too grew up in the same small town and knows all the players. The six teens have stayed in touch with each other. The discovery of Aurora's body brings them home. Could one of them have information as to who the killer might be? Is it one of them? Has someone lied all these years? Lodge gives the reader glimpses into the past in a series of flashbacks to that fateful night. It's quite sad, but is quite believable. None of the remaining six are likeable. I couldn't connect with any of them, including DCI Sheens. He too has secrets. Leads with questionable pasts and methods make for interesting reading, but Sheens' deliberate withholding of information left a sour taste in my mouth. The characters I did quite like were the supporting cast at the police station. I liked the idea of trying to suss out who amongst the group might be the killer. Lodge throws in some additional choices beside the group of six. Initially I was quite drawn into the interview, keeping mental track of who claimed what. But midway, I found my interest flagging. Lodge does explore the relationships between the six, but I found I couldn't pretend interest in characters I was quickly coming to despise. The ensuing interviews became repetitive. I put the book down for a few days, then came back and finished up. The whodunit ending up being who I thought, the why for additional deaths was too far fetched and I felt no sense of satisfaction with turning the final pages. Lodge is a good writer, but this plot and lead character were just okay for me.
My rating: 4.5 Stars She Lies in Wait is one terrifying novel. Seven teenagers go camping. One of the teens, Aurora is dead. Six come back alive. It is more than obvious that one of the remaining teens is a murderer. This was in 1983 and the case remained unsolved. It is now thirty years later and Aurora's bones are discovered. It is apparent that only one of the six knew about this place and DCI Jonah Sheens is now in charge of solving this cold case. When Jonah was a young cop back then he knew the teens. Now he must interview each of the five remaining, all now in different walks of life. As this story is told, it is relayed in the past and present, and Jonah excels in ferreting out the correct facts. It certainly is not black and white. Each of them was profoundly affected by the murder. So, which of them could have done this terrible deed? After all, at the time they were all aged 14-18. As Aurora is the girl that was killed, quite a bit of the story is told from her point of view in the time leading up to her awful death. Jonah is no-nonsense. He might be just a bit too close to the facts, but he carefully checks out each recollection and any clues that come his way. What Jonah discovers is that pretty much everyone is a liar and that they are all holding secrets very close to the vest. Hopefully, Aurora can truly be laid to rest. It was a complete accident that her bones were discovered. Now all of the other adult lives are called into question. When the actual interview questions and their corresponding answers, as well as the eye contact and body language Jonah witnesses after he brings the six friends together, he realizes that it is evident that someone is most certainly lying. Also, there must be a cover-up. While it may be true that only one of them is a killer, it is more than clear that someone else knows more than they are saying. How intriguing! I was kept engaged throughout this story and was right there right along with Jonah as he was investigating this case. I enjoyed the twists and turns and most certainly the shocking conclusion. As a debut author, Gytha Lodge has done a fine job delivering this story. I look forward to her next thriller as I cannot wait to read more cases that Jonah gets to solve. Many thanks to Random House and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.
She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge is a mystery and thriller of epic proportion. After a body is discovered in the woods, Detective (DCI) Jonah Sheens is in charge of investigating the case. The discovery yields that the body belongs to a teen who went missing in 1983 after a night of drinking with friends and camping in the woods. This discovery turns a disappearance into a murder investigation which is 30 years cold. Jonah will need to investigate the other individuals who were present that night to get to the bottom of what happened to the teen. Told from different points of view, She Lies in Wait will have you guessing up until the very end. This book has a great plot, with great characterizations and keep my interest from start to finish. There were quite a few characters with backstories that I had to keep track of so I re-read certain sections to ensure accuracy. However, once I had the characters down, I could appreciate the well-developed characterizations of each. I hope this is a series of books because I really want to see how Jonah investigates other crimes. I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley for my honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.