Publication: 18th February 2021 (eBook); 18th March 2021 (hardcover) – Michael Joseph
You wake up.
You can’t remember what happened.
The man lying next to you is not your husband.
And he’s not breathing…
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. The man who, until recently, made her feel loved.
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, it’s clear to Detective Jonah Sheens and his team that she is their prime suspect – though they soon find 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?
Lie Beside Me is the third novel by Gytha Lodge that features DCI Jonah Sheen and his team as they investigate a twisty and complex case in Southampton.
The story starts with Louise, a woman narrating in a letter to her husband how she woke up, after a night of drinking, to find a man dead next to her. She has no recollection of who he is, how he’s ended up in her bed, and, mostly important, whether she killed him. Even though Louise is the prime suspect, DCI Jonah Sheen, DS Ben Lightman, and DC Juliette Hansen have a list of suspects full of secrets to go through.
Louise is a complex and multi-layered character. Through the letter she writes to her husband, we slowly learn about Drunk Louise, the confident and vibrant woman she becomes after too many drinks, so different from the insecure Sober Louise. We learn about her dependent friendship with April and about her strained marriage with Niall. While I really felt for her, I couldn’t help wondering, is she a killer?
While the case is complicated, intriguing, and full of shocking revelations, the detectives’ personal lives also make for an engrossing read: Juliette Hanson still lives in fear of her abusive ex-boyfriend who stalks her and threatens the new life she has created for herself in Southampton. Luckily, she can count on her colleagues, especially DS Ben Lightman (I loved their easy banter). And DCI Jonah Sheen also has to face complications in his love life. I am really looking forward to reading more about these characters.
Gytha Lodge is an incredible storyteller who knows how to draw you into the story. Lie Beside Me is a suspenseful and gripping novel full of twists and surprises until the very end. If you haven’t read the author’s previous two novels not to worry, it can be easily read as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend you give Lie Beside Me and the entire series a try!
A huge thank you to Michael Joseph and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book.
Gytha Lodge is a multi-award-winning playwright, novelist and writer for video games and screen. She is also a single parent who blogs about the ridiculousness of bringing up a mega-nerd small boy.
She has a profound addiction to tea, crosswords and awful puns. She studied English at Cambridge, where she became known quite quickly for her brand of twisty, dark yet entertaining drama. She later took the Creative Writing MA at UEA.
Her debut crime novel, She Lies in Wait, has been published by Penguin Random House in the US and UK, and has also been translated into 12 other languages. It became an international bestseller in 2019, and was a Richard and Judy book club pick, as well as a Sunday Times and New York Times crime pick.
Watching From the Dark, her second novel, is released in February 2020, with her third book lined up for spring of 2021.