Monday, June 4, 2018

Review: Lying in Wait

Summary: From the international bestselling author of Unraveling Oliver, an “unputdownable psychological thriller with an ending that lingers long after turning the final page” (The Irish Times) about a Dublin family whose dark secrets and twisted relationships are suddenly revealed.

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life—wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax.

For fans of Ruth Ware and Gillian Flynn, this novel is a “seductively sinister story. The twists come together in a superbly scary denouement, which delivers a final sting in the tail. Brilliantly macabre” (Sunday Mirror). -- Gallery/Scout Press

After reading last year's UNRAVELING OLIVER by Liz Nugent (my review), I was so excited to see that she already has a new book coming out in June. The title is LYING IN WAIT and I think fans of UNRAVELING OLIVER will be very happy that her latest book does not disappoint. It's already a June 2018 Indie Next Pick, and I was spellbound!

LYING IN WAIT tells the creepy story of one family with a heck of a lot of secrets. From all outward appearances, the Fitzsimons family has a pretty good life; however, things definitely aren't what they seem. The book begins with when Lydia and her husband brutally murder a young woman, and the reader is left guessing for quite awhile about the reasons why.

It doesn't take their teenage son Laurence long to realize that something is amiss, and he begins to doubt his parents. When he realizes that they have been lying about their whereabouts to the police, he begins to think that his father might be involved in the murder. The fallout from these events are both devastating and incredibly complex, but they make one heck of a story!

I was fortunate enough to read LYING IN WAIT on the train last week on my way to Book Expo. It was an extremely quick and compelling read, and I was practically hooked from the first sentence -- which is a fantastic first sentence by the way:

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

See what I mean? What transpires next is dark and disturbing, and I daresay that the characters (especially Lydia) will remain in your thoughts long after you finish this book.

I found so many things to appreciate about LYING IN WAIT from the character development, to the prose, to Ms. Nugent's writing style, to the actual psychological suspense. I was incredibly impressed with UNRAVELING OLIVER when I read it last year, and I think this novel is just as clever. 

One thing I really enjoyed was how the author decided to tell this story. She alternated chapters between quite a few of the characters, and I loved getting the personal insights into their behavior. I can definitely say that Lydia's chapters were the most disturbing, and I don't know the last time I "met" such an intriguing character. (And by intriguing I mean CRAZY!) In addition, I liked how some of the chapters were presented through the eyes of Laurence and even the murder victim's sister. 

I also loved the ending! I will be the first to admit that I was completely gobsmacked by where this story went. I've read a lot of psychological thrillers and this one most definitely threw me for a loop. I can't say much more because I'm afraid I'll spoil something, but suffice it to say that I was even more creeped out by the ending than I was by the rest of the story... and I thought the rest of the book was fairly disturbing. I honestly don't know how Ms. Nugent thinks of her storylines!

I was very excited to see that there is already a reading guide for LYING IN WAIT. It might not be a book that you immediately think of as a "book club book," but I think there is actually quite a bit to discuss. In fact, the reading guide has 15 questions as well as some ideas for ways to enhance your meeting. Some of the themes you might want to discuss include parent/child relationships, guilt, secrets, lies, grief, sacrifice, marriage, and class structure. 

In conclusion, I think LYING IN WAIT will appeal to fans of psychological suspense stories. Highly recommended.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

That sounds like quite the page turner. The cover is quite creepy too.