Author Liz Nugent has had much success in the literary world with her first novel Unraveling Oliver. Lying in Wait was sure to follow in its footsteps with positive reviews and multiple literary awards. Lying in Wait is an unusual and brilliant thriller. In this strange and morbid tale, a high-brow Dublin family has dark and twisted secrets that are on the verge of being revealed. As the remaining members of the family, who are painfully aware of the secret, develop even more twisted relationships, they struggle to keep the balance of their picturesque lives. What makes their story even more bizarre is that the secret is boldly told from the beginning of the book.
"My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it."
The suddenness of the revelation of secrets is key to the story, as the plot isn't for the readers to find out who did it, but rather, it utilizes the intricacies of the relationships to build up to the characters realizing who did it. It is an investment to read this book, because readers must follow the relationships in anticipation of the dramatic realization
On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life, as she is the wife of a successful judge and shares a close bond with her son, who is her pride and joy. Yet on the inside of Lydia's unblemished world are earth shattering secrets. Lydia and her husband, Andrew, in hopes to have another child hire a woman, Annie, to conceive their child. Unbeknownst to them, Annie is a drug-addicted prostitute, with her sights set on blackmail. After finding themselves in this unfortunate situation, Andrew and Lydia's spur of the moment actions to cover up the mess turn into something more sinister than they could have ever imagined. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers this shocking secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an unpredictable and devastatingly grim climax. Laurence, though socially awkward and physically unappealing, is not as naive as his mother thinks. As his confidence grows and his health improves, his obsession with his family's secret grows and his relationship with Annie's family begin to grow all consuming. As the story unfolds, it is clear that Lydia is a sinister and sadistic manipulator, while the other characters are simply a pawn in her game.
It is not often that books start off with the identification of the killer. Since the classic plot of "who done it" is quickly confessed on the first page to the reader, it is fun for the reader to become invested in the lure of how the odd and twisted relationships of the characters will transpire once the characters become aware of the identity of the killer. Even then, once the characters think they know the truth, there is still a layer of deception and unpredictability in the revelations. The anticipation is the best part of the experience of reading this book, and left me with feelings of frustration, intrigue, and all consuming curiosity with each chapter I finished. Though I felt it ended abruptly, the build up to the final chapters was truly thrilling and allowed for a shocking and even more twisted ending. This book is sure to be a hit with fans of psychological thrillers like The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn. I wouldn't consider Lying in Wait one of my favorite psychological thrillers of the year, but it was definitely a gripping story and I would certainly recommend it as a different and alluring choice for a quick read!
Book: Lying in Wait
Author: Liz Nugent
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press (June 12, 2018)
Purchasing Information: Hardcover available on Amazon for $17.30, but should be available in local book shops.