On a hot July night in 1983, six school friends go camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and young Aurora Jackson is dazzled to be allowed to tag along.
Thirty years later, a body is discovered. DCI Sheens is called to the scene, but he already knows what’s waiting for him: Aurora Jackson, found at long last.
But that’s not all. The friends have all maintained their innocence, but the body is found in a hideaway only the six of them knew about.
It seems the killer has always lurked very close to home…
She Lies In Wait is a good introduction to a new police procedural series featuring DCI Jonah Sheens. Thirty years after the disappearance of Aurora Jackson, her body is discovered close to where she went missing three decades earlier. Her discovery is about to bring back together the people she was with, at the time she disappeared, in a big way. One of them could be responsible for her murder. Are they, at last, going to find out who killed her?
Just picture it, you’re out walking in the woods, and you kneel down to pull what you think is a root from the undergrowth, and you grasp what is actually a human finger. This is the opening scene that we are faced with when the body of a young girl missing for thirty years is found.
I love reading a crime novel where we are faced with a small group of suspects who all know each other. You’re never sure who you can trust in the group, and you can’t tell who is lying or telling the truth. What will happen to them all when it finally comes out? This was what I was also thinking about as I was reading this book.
I think if you enjoy crime novels with a literary edge, then this is definitely the book for you. Gytha Lodge’s writing is very immersive and is very easy to get into, I wouldn’t call it a quick read, but there is a cast of intriguing characters who will keep you turning the pages, you will want to find out what happens to them and who committed the crime. I found the lead detective DCI Jonah Sheens, particularly interesting. He is already connected to this case as he knew Aurora and the group of friends who she hung out with from school. I think some readers may find it easy to point to the person responsible for the crime, but for me, it was the reasons why they did it that had me gripped, and it was what I wanted to find out.
The story here takes time to build as the police re-open the investigation into Aurora Jackson’s disappearance. There is a painstaking task ahead of them as they have to go over old ground, but all these years’ later new pieces of information begin to come to light which could finally shed light on what happened to Aurora in 1983.
I think the flashback scenes were the parts of this novel that I was most intrigued by. Gytha Lodge gradually begins to reveal to us the build-up to Aurora’s disappearance, and we start to see a picture develop of the type of people who her friends actually were and what they are capable of.
I thought the ending of this book was very satisfying, and I think it is an ending that will haunt the reader for a while, I keep thinking back to those final lines. Overall I found this an enjoyable read; it is an immersive page-turner that I’m sure will have fans looking out for more from this author, I’ll certainly be looking out for Gytha’s next book.
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Publication date: 10th January 2019 (Kindle) 21st March 2019 (hardcover)
Print length: 400 pages
If you would like to purchase She Lies In Wait, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below.