Six friends. One killer. Who do you trust? A teen girl is missing after a night of partying; thirty years later, the discovery of her body reopens a cold case in an absorbing novel featuring a small-town cop determined to finally get to the truth—for fans of Tana French and Kate Atkinson.
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.
Missing persons cold case turned murder investigation. While I wouldn't consider She Lies in Wait to be quite the 'psychologically captivating" story that's promised in the blurb, it does make for an interesting crime thriller/procedural with emphasis on the procedural. Despite several red herrings throughout the story, I was able to figure it out pretty quickly, but that's not necessarily a deal breaker for me if the book holds my interest, and this one did. I felt like the book barely scraped the surface of DCI Jonah Sheens with so much focus on the many possible murderers being investigated, but what I did get of him, I liked. He's a bit flawed and has certainly made mistakes in the past that cause him some guilt, but I think he'll make for an intriguing character to explore as the series progresses. This first in the series does get a little wordy at times and some things are repetitive, but it still kept me interested enough to want to finish it and see how it would all play out. All in all, a solid debut from the author and a good start to a promising series.