Title: She Lies in Wait
Author: Gytha Lodge
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: January 8, 2019
Format Read: ebook
Standalone or series: Book 1 of the DCI Jonah Sheens series
Where I got the book: Netgalley ARC
Date finished reading: February 11, 2019
Goodreads Description: 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.
My Review: The setup of this mystery is fantastic. A body is found of a young girl, Aurora, who has been missing for 30 years. The night Aurora disappeared, she was camping with her sister, Topaz, and her sister’s friends: JoJo, Brett, Connor, Coralie and Benners. When Aurora’s body is found, this group of friends returns to Southampton and the scene of the disappearance. As the police team, led by DCI Jonah Sheens, starts piecing together what occurred that night that led to Aurora’s death, more questions and concerns arise. What role did drugs play in what occurred that night? What was Aurora’s relationship with her teacher, who had been conveniently camping near Aurora that night she disappeared? Did JoJo’s husband die from a climbing accident or was it murder?
Trigger warning for sexual assault. After analyzing Aurora’s body, it is discovered that she had been sexually assaulted. After interviewing a former childhood friend of Aurora’s, it was discovered that that friend had also been sexually assaulted just a few days before Aurora went missing.
There were so many pieces of this mystery, that by the end of the story, I had no clue what had actually happened to Aurora. The reader can also tell that this is the beginning of a series, because character side stories are mentioned that do not really support the movement of the plot. In some ways I think there may have been too many pieces of this story, but it definitely kept the mystery alive and the plot thrilling.
My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Lovely review, Sarah! I’m adding this to my TBR.