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