Little Sister by Gytha Lodge #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel in the DCI Jonah Sheens series by Gytha Lodge, Little Sister.


A teenage girl wanders out of the woods.

She’s striking, with flame-red hair and a pale complexion. She’s also covered in blood.

Detective Jonah Sheens quickly discovers that Keely and her sister, Nina, disappeared from a children’s home a week ago. Now, Keely is here – but Nina’s still missing.

Keely knows where her sister is – but before she tells, she wants Jonah’s full attention . . .

Is she killer, witness, or victim?

And will Jonah find out what Keely’s hiding, in time to save Nina?


I’m a huge fan of Gytha Lodge’s Jonah Sheen series, and I think Little Sister is the best book in the series to date. If you love crime novels where you are heavily invested in the characters, then you need to pick up this book. The characters which Gytha Lodge focuses her new novel on are very complex, and you’ll have different opinions on them as the book progress, and this is what made it so intriguing. I wanted to follow their journey and I wanted to see how they’d become the people they are in the present.

Although Gytha’s novels are police procedurals, what I like about her books, is that she really delves deep into the characters that are at the centre of the crime being investigated. You can see just how much Gytha knows her characters and this comes through in her writing. Keely is such a fascinating person and a real puzzle to work out, and this is what made Little Sister all the more gripping. You get a sense that something dark has happened in her past, that has led up to this moment, when her sister Nina goes missing. But why isn’t Keely telling Jonah everything that happened? It is here that you get a real sense of what’s happened, and a real sense of darkness creeps through into the story.

I really liked the way how Gytha Lodge slowly revealed the truth behind what was happening in the present. It’s so difficult to discuss in any more detail without giving the plot away and I think it’s best to go into this book with as little information as possible.

Gytha Lodge also develops DCI Jonah Sheens’ character further in this book and we see a more emotional side to him, especially as he is dealing with issues in his personal life. You can see just how frustrated he is by Keely when he is interviewing her. Keely wants to make sure that he hears everything she has to say, but she appears to be talking in riddles, and does not give a straight answer to his questions. This is what really drives the tension in the book, as I never felt that I could entirely trust Keely, and you can see just how much she infuriates people.

I felt a real sense of justice as we got to the end of this book, and Gytha Lodge delivered it so, so well. There is a tough journey for Gytha’s characters to get to this point and I was desperate to know how things were going to pan out for them. It was so satisfactory and I thought Gytha Lodge wrapped everything up really well. If you haven’t yet started this series then you’re really missing out on some of the best crime fiction novels out there.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 28th April 2022

Print length: 406 pages

Little Sister is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

Lie Beside Me by Gytha Lodge #bookreview

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel in the DCI Jonah Sheen series by Gytha Lodge, Lie Beside Me.

Lie Beside Me: From the bestselling author of Richard and Judy bestseller She Lies in Wait (Jonah Sheens 3) by [Gytha Lodge]


Louise wakes up. Her head aches, her mouth is dry, her memory is fuzzy. But she suspects she’s done something bad.

She rolls over towards her husband, Niall.

But it’s not Niall who’s lying beside her. In fact, she’s never seen this man before.

And he’s dead . . .

As Louise desperately struggles to piece her memories back together, Detective Jonah Sheens and his team mark her as their prime suspect.

But she’s not the only one with something to hide . . .

Did she do it?

And, if not, can they catch the real killer before they strike again?


I’ve become a huge fan of Gytha Lodge’s writing after reading her first two books, so I bumped Lie Beside Me right to the top of my TBR pile when I received my copy. Gytha Lodge has come up with a really intriguing premise, and I think it’s the best book yet in this series.

A young woman, Louise, wakes up in bed next to a stranger. She has no recollection of why he is there or what happened the night before. The real problem is that he’s not breathing, and she could have killed him. Once I read the opening, I had to find out what had happened here, and I flew through the pages to find out.

I really wanted to see how Gytha Lodge was going to unravel the mystery of who the man was and why he was there. As we began to learn more details about who he is and his life, it becomes even more intriguing. I wanted to know how he had ended up in Louise’s bed and what exactly happened to him. Louise is immediately seen as a suspect in the minds of the police. Her memory of the night before is sketchy, and she must try and piece together what happened. But Louise has suffered from memory loss in the past, and trying to find out what really happened the previous night will be extremely difficult.

I think many readers will have mixed feelings about Louise. She’s very intriguing, but her excessive drinking does not make her a particularly likeable character. I did find that I warmed slightly more to her as the novel progressed. But I was also wary of her. I felt that there was more to her character than what first meets the eye, particularly as we get to know her. It’s what kept me turning the pages. I was never sure if she was entirely innocent in the young man’s death.

I thought the way in which Gytha Lodge pulled her plot together was very clever, and I couldn’t see how it was going to unfold as I was reading it. This is a book that really gets you thinking, and the mystery kept my eyes glued to the pages as I waited to see how it would pan out.

DCI Jonah Sheens is a great lead detective, and I’m sure he is a character who will keep readers coming back for more. I also really like the other police detectives working on the case with him. Gytha Lodge explores some of their backstories in this novel as well, and DC Juliette Hansen’s story adds to the chilling atmosphere of the book.  

Lie Beside Me is another brilliant addition to this series. Roll on book four; I can’t wait to read it.

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: 18th February 2021

Print length: 376 pages

Lie Beside Me is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

WWW Wednesday – 31/03/2021

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

The three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?
What have you finished reading?
What will you read next?

What am I currently reading?

Two people can keep a secret . . . if one of them is dead.

Sisters Jo and Caroline are used to hiding things from each other. They’ve never been close – taking it in turns to feel on the outside of their family unit, playing an endless game of favourites.

Jo envies Caroline’s life – things have always come so easy to her. Then a family inheritance falls entirely to Jo, and suddenly now Caroline wants what Jo has. Needs it, even.

But just how far will she go to get it?

The Killing Choice: Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month ‘Riveting’ (DI Alex Finn 2) by [Will Shindler]

‘Leave your daughter with me, or I will kill you both’

It felt like a normal Friday evening before Karl and his daughter Leah were ambushed by a figure in a blank mask. At knife point, Karl is forced to make an impossible choice. Stay and die, or walk away from Leah and take this thug’s word that they both will live.

Should Karl trust a villain and leave his daughter with a knife at her throat? Could he ever live with himself if he did?

It’s not long before more seemingly unconnected and innocent people across London are offered a deal in exchange for their life. More blood is spilled, more families shattered, and more people are left to suffer with the consequences of their decisions.

DI Alex Finn and DC Mattie Paulsen must hunt for a killer that appears to have no face, no motive and no conscience before more victims are forced to make their choice.

What have I finished reading?

A young man stands accused of murder. The evidence is overwhelming.

But at his trial, this man tells an extraordinary story.

It is about the woman he loves, who got into terrible trouble. It’s about how he risked everything to save her.

He swears he’s innocent. But in the end, all that matters is this: do you believe him?

This is the story of a murderer. A stolen child. Revenge. This is the story of Ted, who lives with his daughter Lauren and his cat Olivia in an ordinary house at the end of an ordinary street.

All these things are true. And yet some of them are lies.

You think you know what’s inside the last house on Needless Street. You think you’ve read this story before. But you’re wrong. In the dark forest at the end of Needless Street, something lies buried. But it’s not what you think…

What will I read next?

Nothing ever happened here . . . Until the first girl died.

Ten years ago, Mo arrived at the white cliffs of Dover, befriended by teenagers Cali and Jude.

They thought they’d save each other, yet within months their friendship would see two of them dead and the third scarred for life.

Now documentary maker Tarek and his film crew are in town, asking difficult questions about what happened that summer.

Because in the shadow of the white cliffs it’s easy for people and their stories to get lost . . .

And as Tarek will discover, the truth is something that must be unburied carefully.

Or it might just it bury you . . .

Lie Beside Me: From the bestselling author of Richard and Judy bestseller She Lies in Wait (Jonah Sheens 3) by [Gytha Lodge]

Louise wakes up. Her head aches, her mouth is dry, her memory is fuzzy. But she suspects she’s done something bad.

She rolls over towards her husband, Niall.

But it’s not Niall who’s lying beside her. In fact, she’s never seen this man before.

And he’s dead . . .

As Louise desperately struggles to piece her memories back together, Detective Jonah Sheens and his team mark her as their prime suspect.

But she’s not the only one with something to hide . . .

Did she do it?

And, if not, can they catch the real killer before they strike again?

Watching from the Dark by Gytha Lodge #bookreview blog tour

I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Watching from the Dark by Gytha Lodge as part of the blog tour. With thanks to Ella Watkins from Michael Joseph for inviting me to take part.


Aidan Poole logs onto his laptop late at night to Skype his girlfriend, Zoe. But to his horror, he realizes she is not alone.

Completely helpless, all he can do is listen to the sounds of a violent struggle. And then a chilling silence.

He’s desperate to find out if she is OK. But then why is he so hesitant to call the police?

When his messages finally reach them, DCI Jonah Sheens and his team take the case – and discover the body. . .

Watching from the Dark is a spellbinding thriller that you won’t want to miss.


Watching from the Dark is a brilliant addition to the DCI Jonah Sheens series by Gytha Lodge. I really liked the sense of atmosphere in her last book, and I thought it was a really good introduction to a new crime series. The mystery here in her latest kept my eyes glued to the page. This is a really fast and an addictive read. I barely lifted my eyes as I was reading.

When 39-year-old Aiden Poole witnesses the suspected murder of his 26-year-old girlfriend through a video link, he is suddenly put in an uncertain and terrifying situation. He desperately wants to know if Zoe is okay, but he doesn’t want to speak to the police. He doesn’t want to be dragged into an investigation which will put his relationship with his wife and his reputation at risk.

Gytha Lodge really hits the ground running with the opening of this book. It felt as though I was sitting there watching everything unfold from Aiden’s point of view. I could feel his frustration that he couldn’t see the full picture of what was going on in Zoe’s flat. All he knows is that she is in potential danger and that someone else, uninvited, entered her home. From this point on, I wanted to know what his next steps were going to be. Was he going to inform the police? How could he not? At this point, I really didn’t know how things were going to pan out for him, and this is what gets the tension going.

Gytha Lodge also takes us back in time in the months leading up to Zoe’s murder. We see the beginnings of her relationship with Aiden and what direction it was going in. I really like a dual timeline in a novel, and Gytha Lodge has done a really good job with creating one here.

I think I had suspicions about just about every character in this book, particularly those who were close to Zoe. I kept changing my opinions as Gytha Lodge unpicked the layers of Zoe’s relationship with Aiden and her close friends. Gytha Lodge kept me thinking about every potential suspect, but I was never able to totally nail down, who it was, who was responsible for Zoe’s murder. I think this is what Gytha Lodge does really well at in this book and makes this book the perfect ‘whodunnit’. I had quite a few theories going around inside my head, so it was really intriguing to see if I was right.

This is a clever novel, and Gytha Lodge keeps the suspense running right the way through. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for what she writes next.

Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publication date: 6th February 2020

Print length: 384 pages

Watching from the Dark is available from: 

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones



February First Monday Crime @1stMondayCrime

I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to see the back of January, once Christmas is done and dusted I start thinking of long, warm summer nights. And after a short break it also means that for crime fiction fans, a regular night of murder and mayhem is back.

First Monday Crime is all set to return to City University, London on Monday, 4th February 2019. As ever there promises to be an exciting panel of some very talented writers. The panel is being moderated by Barry Forshaw. So let’s take a look at who will be appearing next month, I’ll also have all the details where you can reserve your FREE seat below.

Will Dean, author of Dark Pines and Red Snow 

Red Snow (A Tuva Moodyson Mystery Book 2) by [Dean, Will]

Dark Pines and Red Snow follow reporter, Tuva Moodyson, during the depths of the Swedish winter as she attempts to solve some startling cases. Tuva is an absolutely fantastic character, Will Dean is a seriously talented writer, especially when it comes to description and atmosphere. You can read my reviews of Dark Pines by clicking HERE and Red Snow by clicking HERE.

Christopher Fowler, author of The Lonely Hour

Bryant & May - The Lonely Hour: (Bryant & May Book 17) by [Fowler, Christopher]

I’m afraid Christopher Fowler is the only author appearing on next month’s panel who I haven’t read before so I’m really interested to hear him talk about his books. The Lonely Hour is the seventeenth book in the Bryant & May series which is being released in March this year.

Gytha Lodge, author of She Lies In Wait

She Lies in Wait by [Lodge, Gytha]

Gytha Lodge’s debut crime novel is sure to be a hit when it is released this year. Thirty years after the disappearance of a teenager, her body is uncovered and the investigation into her disappearance and murder is reopened. Someone among the group of friends she was with at the time she went missing, knows what happened to her. You can read my review of She Lies In Wait by clicking HERE.

Lucy Foley, author of The Hunting Party

The Hunting Party: Get ready for the most gripping, hotly-anticipated crime thriller of 2019 by [Foley, Lucy]

The Hunting Party is Lucy Foley’s first crime novel. A group of Londoner’s travel to the Scottish Highlands to see in 2019. This is an atmospheric and a very well written psychological thriller in which dark secrets are unearthed as the group of friends tear each other apart, when one of them is murdered. You can read my review of The Hunting Party by clicking HERE.


So that is the panel for February. The closet tube stations to City University are Farringdon and Angel, the doors open at 6.30 p.m. and afterwards we’ll all be heading to the Blacksmith and Toffeemaker for a drink.

If you would like to come along to First Monday Crime, you can reserve your space by clicking HERE.


She Lies In Wait by Gytha Lodge #bookreview

She Lies in Wait by [Lodge, Gytha]


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. 

Amazon UK  Kobo  Waterstones