I’m a mood reader (and watcher) and my current mood is, thanks to the ITV show Midsomer Murders and Netflix, fictional British detectives. I’m not talking Sherlock Holmes or anything big city and edgy and grim (I’m looking at you Luther even though I love you too). I’m talking murder most foul, as it were, in the picturesque English countryside (where I do want to travel one day… as soon as I win the lottery here in America, I suppose). This is what I want to watch right now, it is what I want to read right now.
So Gytha Lodge’s She Lies in Wait, the first book in a series about DCI Jonah Sheens, is the perfect fit for me.
Lodge has crafted a present-day story based around a thirty year old case. It’s the story of a group of teenage friends (Topaz, Coralie, Jojo, Brett, Daniel, and Connor) who decided to go camping in 1983. Camping is the word they use for alcohol, drugs, and sex. And they take Topaz’s fourteen-year-old sister along. It is Aurora Jackson who is at the center of the present-day case being investigated by DCI Jonah Sheens.
The DCI is in what seems to be a bit of spot because he was only a few years old than the six of them in 1983, and even attended parties they threw. And now he is sure that one of them murdered the youngest of the group. The way he works carefully to balance his personal interest and maybe involvement with the people of interest threatens to upend his team of investigators.
The cast of characters is large – a group of six friends, a teacher, parents of the missing girl, the DCI, three investigators on his team – but they are all interesting. They are all well-developed and they are fun to read, as much despite their flaws as because of their flaws. DCI Sheens and his team will obviously have roles in the next book in the series, one which I do very much want to read. There is much more to be learned about them… who is Damian and what did he do to Juliette Hanson that has her running from him despite her job with the police? is there some family in Jonah Sheens’ life, as alluded to in a few places? will Jonah enter into a romance with Jojo?
I could go on.
But I won’t. What I’ll say is this – it was a pleasure to read She Lies in Wait and if crime fiction, murder mysteries, and (English) detective stories are your Book Mood of the moment, this book is available for purchase in the United States on January 8, 2019 and you really should read it!
I received a copy of She Lies in Wait from Random House through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.