You wake up.
You can’t remember what happened.
The man lying next to you is not your husband.
And he’s not breathing . . .
Louise wakes up. Her head aches, her mouth is dry, her memory is fuzzy. But she suspects she’s done something bad.
She rolls over towards her husband, Niall.
But it’s not Niall who’s lying beside her. In fact, she’s never seen this man before.
And he’s dead . . .
As Louise desperately struggles to piece her memories back together, Detective Jonah Sheens and his team mark her as their prime suspect.
But she’s not the only one with something to hide . . .
Did she do it?
And, if not, can they catch the real killer before they strike again?
My thanks to NetGalley, Gytha Lodge and Penguin for the ARC of this novel.
This, the third in the Jonah Sheens series, is proof that Gytha Lodge is becoming stronger with each novel she writes. The hook for ‘Lie Beside Me‘ is brilliant, the opening pulls the reader in and refuses to let you go.
Louise has an alter ego: Drunk Louise. Louise sometimes loses hours, sometimes she wakes up with a stinking hangover but never before has she woken up beside a dead man.
Gytha Lodge has created a complex plot which will compel you to continue reading long after you should have put the light out. She builds up a number of potential suspects, giving them all motive. Lodge is adept at leading you down one path only to switch directions. The unraveling of the investigation demonstrates the intricate plotting that must have been done.
The pace is fast and the prose is sharp. I really liked the way the investigation chapters are interspersed with a excerpts of a letter written by Louise to her husband – it demonstrates to the reader how discombobulated Louise is by the events that unfolded when her alter ego, Drunk Louise, was in control. I thought it was a clever device to demonstrate that Louise knew she was an unreliable narrator.
The themes in ‘Lie Beside Me‘ include coercive control and alcohol addiction which are not easy subjects to portray empathetically but Gytha Lodge manages just that.
As always with this series, I was heavily invested in the lives of the investigation team as well as the subjects of their investigation. I am particularly interested in Juliette’s backstory and how that will continue to unfold in forthcoming books.
‘Lie Beside Me‘ is an intense, multi-faceted novel that will have you questioning everything you know.