Title: She Lies In Wait
Author: Gytha Lodge
Series: DCI Jonah Sheens #1
Publisher: Michael Joseph
On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other—they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jealous and heartbroken. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Her friends claim that she was safe the last time they saw her, right before she went to sleep. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found.
Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever.
A gripping read which kept me guessing throughout.
The story flicks between the 1980’s, when a group of teenagers discover Aurora, the youngest member, is missing from their woodland camp in the morning, and the present day when police discover Aurora’s body and an intense investigation begins to find out what exactly happened. In the 80’s storyline we see the run up to Aurora’s disappearance, slowly untangling what happened, and though I tried to guess I couldn’t at all, but I loved trying to work it out.
Fronting the present-day investigation is DCI Jonah Hill, the main detective in this brilliant new series, and a really likeable character. I enjoyed reading about his relationships with other officers (and other characters from his childhood), as well as his faults and quirks; they all made him a much more interesting character. The teenagers in the historic narrative, and seeing how they ‘turned out’ in the present day investigation when Jonah tracks them down to interview them, is really interesting to read about (many of them are quite unilikable!)
I was so impressed at the writing in this book; it flowed so well that I didn’t want to put this down. I think this is going to be a series I will be eagerly reading as soon as a new one is released – and it seems that Gytha has signed a 3-book deal, so we’ll be seeing at least two more releases in this series (yay!)
Many thanks to Michael Joseph Books for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
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