Saturday 14 January 2017

Reviewed: Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent.

TITLE: Lying in Wait
AUTHOR: Liz Nugent

PUBLICATION DATE: December 26, 2016

Amazon - Goodreads

'My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.'

Lydia Fitzsimons lives in the perfect house with her adoring husband and beloved son. There is just one thing Lydia yearns for to make her perfect life complete, though the last thing she expects is that pursuing it will lead to murder. However, needs must - because nothing can stop this mother from getting what she wants ...

Lying in Wait has a killer opening sentence and the intrigue continues right throughout the book as I developed quite the obsessive fascination with Lydia, Andrew and Laurence Fitzsimons. This is a really difficult book to talk about without giving too much away and that is because every little detail means something and so when reading the book, I found it incredibly easy to become absorbed in the story and not want to put it down because my mind was always trying to work out what was to come next.

I read Liz Nugent’s first novel Unravelling Oliver a couple of years ago, and whilst I did like it, it didn’t grab me as much as I had expected it to. One thing I really did love about it though was the author’s style of writing and her control over the story and the ability to slip pieces into the narrative that mess with the reader’s mind as much as it messes with the characters’. In Lying in Wait, which I found a much more compelling and enjoyable book than Unravelling Oliver, she did it again. Whereas the reader already knows the life of the Fitzsimons family is a carcrash waiting to happen, little twists caught me by surprise and changed the course of the story.

This is a book full of messed-up characters and situations that spiral out of control. The nature of those characters (Lydia in particular) is evident from the start – actually from the first line – but the fun is in watching everything unravel. It’s a tense novel from the first page to the last, deliciously twisted and intelligently written. Because the death of Annie Doyle is known about from the first page, it was difficult to predict what could possibly happen next or if anybody else would get caught up in the messed up world of Lydia, Andrew and Laurence. I was constantly surprised by the events in this book and it was difficult to second guess. I found myself convinced of things that never did happen and expecting things to happen only for Liz to send things in a completely different direction. I love how the author kept me on my toes throughout in a story she had complete control over.

There are so many layers of twistedness in this book, much more than I’d been anticipating even after the shock-factor of the first sentence. What I noticed was that everything really came back to Lydia, who was a manipulative, crazy character who I could do nothing but love to hate. Really she became one of my favourite fictional characters ever – yet I hated her. Her need for control and obsession, the way everything had to be on her terms or how she wanted them to be – otherwise she’d just have to figure out a way to make things work out exactly right in her favour. She was a control freak of the highest order, just as powerfully messed up when she was in control as when she was out of control – such a mess psychologically as she was. Regardless of whatever Lydia was, though, she was a truly brilliant character to follow in Lying in Wait. She made it a completely unforgettable novel.

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