Another book tour- January has been a busy month! Joining me on the tour today is Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent. Thanks to Sara D’Arcy at Penguin Random House for my copy of the book.
“Anyway, that’s what I was doing on Friday the 14th of November 1980, the night my father murdered Annie Doyle.”
We all know that I love crime fiction and I’m pleased to report that this book was definitely no exception to this rule of thumb. It gripped me in all the right ways, left me feeling and frustrated and guessing all the way to the end. The novel starts as it means to go on: with the incredibly intense statement “My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.” At this point, there is no doubt in our mind over who killed the victim of this psychological tale. The husband in question is a lawyer- and a respected judge at that- in Dublin. Not an ideal situation to get himself into, all things considered.
I really found myself intrigued by the characters and was glad for the switching in perspectives throughout the book- each character had their own contribution and story to tell which added to the intrigue. I loved Lawrence in particular; his parents believe him naive but he befriends the dead girls’ family- it is completely unbeknownst to them, of course, that she is indeed dead and not just missing. Even worse, it is his father who committed the crime. We know who and we know when- this one focuses itself entirely on the why. From the word go we find ourselves completely in the dark about why the family have sought out this girl and what they are paying her to do.
Lydia is clearly incredibly manipulative. She uses her son’s insecurity- his weight- to her advantage, feeding him drugs that spoil his appetite and then over feeding him again when she feels she has lost control of things. Her vindictive and controlling character makes for a very monstrous antagonist, one I actually found myself liking. Everything she does is done for her own personal advantage- she is most definitely cruel and has the traits of a fully-fledged psychopath within her. Eventually, all is revealed and we find out that Annie is being paid to carry a child for Lydia- she is no longer able to conceive. At this point, I found myself feeling sorry for Lydia, which I didn’t really expect considering everything I knew about the character to this point.
It’s fair to say that this book is an incredibly dark one. The thought of the couple nonchalantly digging a grave in their garden, seemingly without a care in the world, gives me shivers even now. The whole novel is centred around Avalon, Lydia’s childhood home and the equivalent of that oh so creepy castle in a gothic fairytale. The story explores themes that surprised me and it was definitely not what I was expecting at all- it was so much more.
I would definitely recommend this book to fellow lovers of psychological thrillers- it’s dark and intriguing, creepy yet an incredibly satisfying read. Its VERY Gone Girl-esque, so if you’re a fan of that then I have no doubts that you’ll love this one too.