Liz Nugent has produced another cracking psychological thriller in her second novel, Lying in Wait.
Set in Dublin of the 1980s, Lying in Wait is a twisty, psychological suspense tale of lies and manipulation that grabs your attention from the very first sentence and sustains it to the very last page.
The story is about two families whose lives change following a shocking encounter.
A judge and his wife — Andrew and Lydia Fitzsimmons — have killed a prostitute and buried her in their garden. And they’ve pretty much got away with it. After all, who’d suspect people like them?
The victim, Annie Dunne, is a drug-addict, living alone in a city bedsit. Her life doesn’t matter too much to many people and the investigation into her disappearance soon fizzles out.
But Andrew struggles with guilt while Lydia focuses on protecting their social status. Meanwhile their son Laurence becomes suspicious and gradually, his obsession with the dead girl’s family puts his own family at risk.
Unlike the Fitzsimons family, the Dunnes are not well off, and the official investigation into Annie’s disappearance, soon fizzles out. But, as the years go by, Annie’s sister, Karen remains determined to find out what happened.
The story is narrated by three main characters — Lydia, Laurence and Karen — in alternating chapters. It’s a structure that works well. Each of them is believable and each has an interesting point of view and unique pint of view.
Nugent is a skilful storyteller adept at creating psychologically disturbed characters. Like her debut novel, Unravelling Oliver, Lying in Wait is strong on suspense and tension. A page turner —and just over 300 pages — it could keep you up all night!
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent is published by Penguin Random House.
[Disclosure: I received an advance review copy from the publisher].