In July of 1983, a group of six high schoolers head out into the woods to party and camp out. The next day, only five return. Thirty years later, the body of the missing girl finally appears after evading searchers for more than three decades and DCI Jonah Sheens is in charge of the investigation. As the cold case starts to thaw, the police find that not all is what it seemed thirty years ago when Aurora Jackson never came out of the woods.
What. A. Wild. Ride. I chose this book for my book club to read this month because it’s summer and with summer comes books that are quick and fun to read, in my opinion. She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge was definitely both of those things. The cast of characters is fascinating and each one is so well-developed, despite the large number of people we are keeping up with throughout the novel. (Four police officers / detectives and the five now-grown high schoolers from the night of the murders can all be considered main characters.) I loved that the narrative perspective switched between relevant characters and that we were slowly told the true story through the victim, Aurora’s, eyes, all while the rest of the characters worked out the case themselves. I felt thoroughly involved in figuring out the murder for myself and the pacing was really well executed. I stayed up until past midnight two nights in a row to figure out the ending of this book, if that tells you how deeply sucked in I was!
The red herrings throughout this book also played a role in my obsessive reading of this novel. In fact, about fifty pages in I wrote down my guess for what the ending would be and who the killer (or killers) were on that fateful July night. And, surprise surprise, I was totally wrong. The author effectively gave us enough information to form opinions, but never enough that it made the ending obvious. She also adds in more characters as the book moves through the case and I was very ready to blame those characters for everything that happened in the woods that night.
Note that as thrilling and interesting as this book was, there were depictions of sexual assault and it is, at the end of the day, a pretty sad story of a young girl gone too soon. Keep that in mind going in if you’re planning on picking this one up.
Overall? A very well-done, thrilling novel that kept me completely invested from start to finish.
Thank you to Random House for sending me a free copy of this book! All opinions are from my own, honest brain. :)
PUBLICATION DETAILS: Random House; 9781984817358; Series: DCI Jonah Sheens #1; January 8th 2019 ; 368 pp.