cover image Lying in Wait

Lying in Wait

Liz Nugent. Scout, $26 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6777-5

Irish author Nugent follows her well-received debut, 2017’s Unraveling Oliver, with a devastating psychological thriller. Late on the night of Nov. 14, 1980, judge Andrew Fitzsimons and his wife, Lydia, rendezvous with troubled 22-year-old prostitute Annie Doyle on a deserted Dublin beach for unspecified reasons. When Annie threatens blackmail, the couple kill her. Lydia orders Andrew to bury the body in their garden and forget it, but then Annie’s family reports her missing and a media circus ensues. Andrew panics, arousing the suspicion of the couple’s 17-year-old son, Laurence, who becomes obsessed with Annie. Also fixated is the victim’s 19-year-old sister, Karen, who remains dedicated to finding Annie even after the police lose interest. This tragic tale unfolds over five years from the perspectives of Lydia, Laurence, and Karen, allowing Nugent to develop character while exploring the crime’s ripple effect. Annie’s connection to the Fitzsimonses is the mystery on which the plot hangs, but Lydia is the most intriguing puzzle; equal parts victim and villain, she simultaneously inspires pity, outrage, and horror. The result is an exquisitely uncomfortable, utterly captivating reading experience. Agent: Marianne Gunn O’Connor, Marianne Gunn O’Connor Creative Agency. (June)