Watching from the Dark by Gytha Lodge
Penguin Random House: 2/25/20
eBook review copy; 352 pages
DCI Jonah Sheens #2
Watching from the Dark by Gytha Lodge is a highly recommended police procedural and the second in the DCI Jonah Sheens series.
Late one night Aidan Poole is on Skype to his girlfriend Zoe
Swardadine. He doesn't actually see Zoe, but he hears her moving around
her apartment and starting a bath. Aidan hears her get into the tub, but
then he also hears someone enter her apartment. He sees no one but he
hears a struggle, someone leave, and then nothing from Zoe. Aidan
listens to the silence for a couple hours. He is sure she has been
killed, but he waits to contact the police. When he finally does contact
them, it is an odd message and he doesn't leave his name.
Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens and his team take the
case after Aidan sends a second follow-up message later. They find her
body. It looks like a suicide, but clues point to murder. As they look
into Zoe's life, they see that Zoe was a beloved friend who had a whole
host of friends who relied on her for emotional support. They also
uncover Aidan's identity and the reason for his reluctance to contact
the authorities immediately and leave his name. It seems during the
investigation, everyone loved Zoe but they are all harboring secrets.
The writing is excellent and the plot is perfectly executed as the
investigation uncovers secrets and motives. Chapters alternate between
the present day investigation and recounting the final 20 months of
Zoe's life. The alternating narratives work well in Watching from the Dark
as they help establish Zoe as a real, complicated character. Zoe's
backstory starts with her meeting Aidan and works up to the present. All
the suspects are met, developed, and their actions followed in Zoe's
story and the present day investigation.
The investigators are also established as well-developed characters.
Following along with the investigation into Zoe's death is just as
interesting as her backstory. This leaves readers with many suspects in
this procedural that veers into psychological thriller territory. Astute
readers will likely know whodunit early on, but the journey is
My review copy was courtesy of Penguin Random House.