She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge, 3 Stars

I just finished my 71st  book of the year. Nine more to go to make my goal for 2018. Which is funny because last year I just happened to read 72 without any goal and thought, maybe I should go for a round number? But I also wonder if I’ll have time to read nine whole books before the year is out.

Next on deck I have Nine Perfect Strangers  by Lianne Moriarty which arrived in the mail yesterday. I’m quite expecting this one to be an effortless and quick read. It’s a little thick, but I don’t think I’ll be able to set it down for long. Funny, I just realized that I have nine books to read and my next book has nine in the title. You probably realized that before me. Duh.

I was planning on starting it tonight but I’m being called away to watch Crazy Rich Asians with my book club. So, that one will have to wait another night. It’s probably a good thing. I should get some social interaction before I’m holed up for a couple days with a book.

From the Publisher: 

Six friends. One killer. Who do you trust? A teen girl goes missing after a night of partying; thirty years later, the discovery of her body reopens a cold case in a gripping thriller for readers of Tana French, The Woman in Cabin 10, and the Lynley series.

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.

This searing, psychologically captivating novel marks the arrival of a dazzling new talent, and the start of a new series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens.

My Review: 

It took me a really long time to get into this one. I think the premise was amazing and that’s what kept me going. This idea that a group of teenagers has gone camping and in the morning, one is missing. It’s so intriguing. And I loved the mysterious set-up of who Aurora had been. 

But much beyond the premise, I just wasn’t into it as much as I had hoped to be. The flashback scenes were great–I really got a feel for the campground and what had happened that night. But the present day 30-years after the murder parts of the book just didn’t ring true to me. I wanted more setting, more character development, more everything. It just fell a little flat. 

Aurora was a great character as was her sister, Topaz, in the flashbacks. But for me, Topaz was seriously under-developed as a character to the point where I didn’t even take her seriously. I did however like Inspector Jonah Sheens, which gives me a little bit of anticipation for the next book in the series. Lodge developed his character well and even added in some elements in this story that I’m sure will be interesting to see cross over into the next. 

This one was a debut, so I still say kudos to Lodge on the effort. I’m sure there will be some who are hooked, it was just a little lackluster for me. 

Special thanks to Random House and Netgalley for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out January 8, 2019.

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