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Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

July 5, 2016

‘My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.’

The last people who expect to be meeting with a drug-addicted prostitute are a respected judge and his reclusive wife. And they certainly don’t plan to kill her and bury her in their exquisite suburban garden.

Yet Andrew and Lydia Fitzsimons find themselves in this unfortunate situation.

While Lydia does all she can to protect their innocent son Laurence and their social standing, her husband begins to falls apart.

But Laurence is not as naïve as Lydia thinks. And his obsession with the dead girl’s family may be the undoing of his own.

This book certainly has an attention grabbing opener, and from the beginning it feels like a sure fire winner, a feeling that stays with you right to the end.

Judge Andrew Fitzsimons and his wife Lydia live a genteel life in 1980’s Dublin, living in their grand house with its big gardens with their son, Laurence.
For a Judge, Andrew has few moral scruples and his relationship with Annie, the drug addict and prostitute is far from wholesome. Not, in the traditional sense, a murder mystery, this is the story of a family whose lives decay and crumble in front of us as they disintegrate without showing a crumb of the remorse that they should feel for their actions.

We know from the offset that Annie has been murdered and who it is that did it. What Liz Nugent does so well is to look behind the event and show how the characters got themselves into that position and what happens when they fail to take responsibility for what they have done.

Karen is Annie’s sister and she  doesn’t want to believe that she has just upped and left so she is urgently looking for her. Laurence is a strange lad, under his mother’s thumb and utterly lacking in self-confidence and self-esteem. He is the typical product of a dominant mother and slightly aloof father.But when he meets Karen he starts to rebel against his mother’s grip and that’s when everything starts to unravel.

This is the setting for a tale that is dark and warped, with excellent characterisation and plot development which creates a tight, suspenseful book, reminiscent of an M.R. James novel (though this is no ghost story). But the more you read, the more you understand the influence that Annie’s cold, dead body lying buried in the garden, is having on all the principal characters.

A dark and disturbing book, this one kept me interested right up to the end and I’ll definitely be looking for more from Liz Nugent.

Lying in Wait is published by Penguin on 14th July 2016

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