Source: Review copy
Publication: 23 June 2022 from Sphere
My thanks to for an advance copy for review
Twenty years ago, Cyrus Haven’s family was murdered and only he and his brother survived. Cyrus because he hid. Elias because he was the killer.
Now Elias is being released from a secure psychiatric hospital and Cyrus, a forensic psychologist, must decide if he can forgive the man who destroyed his childhood.
As he prepares for the homecoming, Cyrus is called to a crime scene in Nottingham. A man is dead and his daughter, Maya, is missing. Then a second woman is abducted. The only witness is Evie Cormac, a troubled teenager with a gift for knowing when people are lying.
Both missing women have dark secrets that Cyrus must unravel to find them – and he and Evie know how the past can come back to haunt you . . .
I’m a huge fan of this series which focusses on a forensic psychologist, Cyrus Haven and Evie Cormac, the young woman he rescued from an intolerable life.
Evie lives under a protection order which seeks to protect her identity. She has a superpower of sorts in that she can tell, when looking someone in the eye, whether or not they are lying. That’s how she knows that the handyman that Cyrus has hired, now out on licence, is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted.
She lives in Cyrus’ house and their relationship is akin to that of protector and ward, albeit that Evie wishes it were different. She can often be very difficult to handle. Both our protagonists are deeply troubled individuals. Cyrus, because his brother Elias, a paranoid schizophrenic, murdered his parents when the boys were young. Evie, because she was a trafficked child.
Now, after 20 years in the Rampton Secure Psychiatric Hospital, Elias has the opportunity to come home on a trial basis and Cyrus is conflicted about having him in the family home.
When Rohan Kirk is murdered and his daughter Maya disappears, Cyrus is called in by Detective Superintendent Lenny Parvel. He doesn’t know whether Maya Kirk has been taken or has gone into hiding but he does understand what goes through the mind of someone when a loved one is murdered in front of them. That’s his superpower.
Evie is working at a Nottingham bar when a second woman goes missing. It transpires that she is a nurse with links to Maya Kirk. Evie witnesses the second abduction, catching a glimpse of the driver, but only Cyrus believes her. The killer knows the truth though and that puts Evie in danger once again.
Michael Robotham’s book makes for deeply riveting, compelling reading. His chapers alternate between Cyrus and Evie’s perspectives and the short sharp nature of his prose means that nothing is extraneous to the plot.
Lying Beside You is a fast paced book which I raced through. Nonetheless it does sometimes make you stop and think about everything these characters are going through. Cyrus dilemma with his brother Elias is an impossible one to reconcile. Evie feels threatened by his presence because he is invading her safe space and encroaching on her relationship with Cyrus. You can’t help but feel for all three of these characters.
Verdict: This is one of my favourite series and I loved this third installment. It’s intense, shocking and sometimes quite emotional. I’d recommend reading this series from the beginning to get the full picture and because you’ll be hooked once you do!
Michael Robotham is a former feature writer and investigative reporter, who has worked in Britain, Australia and America. His debut thriller, The Suspect, introduced clinical psychologist Joe O’Loughlin and sold more than a million copies around the world. The nine-book series is being adapted for the screen by World Productions (makers of Line of Duty and Bodyguard), starring Aidan Turner. Michael’s standalone thriller The Secrets She Keeps has also been the basis of two BBC TV series. He has twice won the prestigious UK Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger Award for best crime novel, as well as the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for When She Was Good, a Richard & Judy Book Club pick. Michael lives in Sydney.