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She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge @thegyth @MichaelJBooks @JennyPlatt90 #SheLiesinWait

March 27, 2019

Source: Review copy, Netgalley
PP: 400
Publication: 21 March 2019 from Michael Joseph
ISBN-13: 978-0241362976

Six friends. One killer. Who do you trust?

Seven friends went down to the woods, but one of them never came home.

30 years later, a body is discovered. DCI Sheens already knows what’s waiting for him – Aurora Jackson, found at last.

They all claim to be innocent, but one of them must be lying.

Because she was found somewhere only they knew about.

Now everyone’s a suspect.

She Lies in Wait is a well written murder mystery which takes place across a dual timeline – 1983 and the present day. DCI Jonah Sheens is pulling together a crack CID team when the body of a young woman is found in the woods. He instinctively knows who it is, because he remembers when Aurora Jackson went missing, thirty years before.

Her disappearance haunted him and now he must try to solve her murder, and that means he will have to face some of his own demons as he pursues the truth about what happened thirty years ago.

In 1983 seven friends went down to the woods for a camping trip but only six returned.  Aurora Jackson had tagged along behind her sister, Topaz as the school friends set out to party in the woods, their libidos raging and their thirst needing quenched.

The reader is treated to a series of flashbacks which tell some of the story of 1983 and the rest we learn from following the CID team as they unpick the clues and attempt to find the killer.

The woodland scenes are nicely atmospheric and not a little creepy and the characters are well drawn and respectably fleshed out.

The CID team contains some very interesting characters from whom I hope we will be hearing a great deal more. Not least of these is DCI Sheens who comes from a travelling family, helping to make him the archetypal outsider.

This debut novel is well-plotted and has a number of twists and mis-directions to keep the reader guessing, though sharp eyed sleuths will spot a decently large clue early on in the book.

Nonetheless, this is a well-paced and intriguing police procedural with a team that warrants further investigation.

Verdict: An accomplished debut from an author I will read again


Gytha Lodge
is a multi-award-winning playwright, novelist and writer for video games and screen. She is also a single parent who blogs about the ridiculousness of bringing up a mega-nerd small boy.

She has a profound addiction to tea, crosswords and awful puns. When not writing, she heads up a copywriting team at a global translation firm, where she generally tries to keep all the video-game writing to herself.

She studied English at Cambridge, where she became known quite quickly for her brand of twisty, dark yet entertaining drama. She later took the Creative Writing MA at UEA.                                                                                                         

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