Sunday, January 6, 2019

She Lies in Wait

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge
Penguin Random House: 1/8/19
eBook review copy; 368 pages
ISBN-13: 9781984817358
DCI Jonah Sheens #1

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge is a highly recommended police procedural and the start of a new series.

A body is found in Brinken Wood in England’s New Forest and it is identified as Aurora Jackson. Aurora went missing thirty years ago, on July 22, 1983, when she was out camping with a group of six other teens. At fourteen she was the youngest and really an outsider in the group that consisted of her sister, Topaz, and Topaz's friends. There was a lengthy search for her, or her body, but the case went cold.  Jonah Sheens, who was new to the police force at that time, also knew the teens in question and was involved in the original search. Now Jonah is the DCI in charge and he remembers the original investigation and the tight-knit group of friends. He is determined to solve the case this time around.

She Lies in Wait is an engaging and interesting British police procedural and it held my attention throughout. The writing is great and the novel is well-paced and well-constructed. I appreciated the chapters alternating between the current day investigation and from Aurora's point-of-view during the day of her disappearance in 1983. It was compelling to follow the present day interviews and what the suspects, now in their 40s, remember from that night. The accounts of their actions contrasted or were confirmed by Aurora's narrative, and slowly a picture of the night begins to emerge. As in any investigation, there are a few false leads and twists to hold your attention. There is plenty of back story between these six adults who are now suspects again after thirty years.

The members of Sheen's investigative team are introduced in She Lies in Wait and they all are interesting characters. Lodge delves into some of the personal lives of her detectives while leaving plenty of room to develop them more fully in future additions to the series. She even had a few intriguing loose ends that will likely come into play in further stories, especially one involving DC Juliette Hanson.

This is a great start to a new series and I'm going to keep an eye out for the next book(s) in the series.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.

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