Publication: 10th January 2019 (eBook); 21st March 2019 (hardback) – Michael Joseph
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…
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour of SHE LIES IN WAIT, the dark and absorbing debut novel by Gytha Lodge and I’d like to thank Jenny Platt and Michael Joseph for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and providing me with a copy of this fascinating novel.
Everyone thought that Aurora Jackson was a smart and beautiful young girl with a bright future ahead of her. So why would someone kill her? That’s what DCI Sheens is trying to figure out when, thirty years after her disappearance, the body of Aurora is found in the same woods where she was last seen alive. In 1983, six teenagers, aged between 15 and 18 went camping together. They were the popular cool kids, everyone was either jealous or scared of them. They were a closed group and Aurora was clearly the outsider during this camping trip, but she was also Topaz’s sister so they tried to make her feel included. However, that night, alcohol, drugs, lust, and jealousy are high, memories are blurry, and the six friends claim to not know what really happened to Aurora.
Through the flashbacks we read what really happened the night Aurora disappeared, while in the present time DCI Johan Sheens and his team interrogate once again the group of friend who, thirty years later, are still close and present a unite front. The author created a cast of characters that are multi-layered and complex. The six friends are difficult to figure out, it’s not clear if and what they are hiding and, at some point, they are all suspects.. I found the character of DCI Jonah Sheens fascinating. He was part of the first investigation thirty years earlier, he had some connection to the six friends, and he is also hiding something. The members of his team are interesting and engaging, they are all different from each other, but work really well together. Aurora remains the real protagonist of the story. She feels realistic and innocent and, through her flashbacks, we see a young girl, between childhood and adulthood, trying to fit in with a group of people who are not really her friends.
With a slow pace, flashbacks, and twists, the author manages to keep the tension always high and, page after page, there is a sense of dread, a sense of something bad about to happen. Tana French meets The Secret History in this immersive, riveting, and suspenseful police procedural and, if this is the first book in a series, I am already looking forward to reading book number 2!
Gytha Lodge is a writer and multi-award-winning playwright who lives in Cambridge.
After studying creative writing at UEA, she was shortlisted for the Yeovil Literary
Prize and the Arts’ Council England fiction awards, and developed a huge online
following for her young adult and children’s writing, with over six million reads
accrued on platform Wattpad. She Lies in Wait is her debut novel.