cover image She Lies in Wait

She Lies in Wait

Gytha Lodge. Random House, $27 (368p) ISBN 978-1-984-81735-8

On July 22, 1983, bright, beautiful 14-year-old Aurora Jackson, the victim at the heart of British author Lodge’s atmospheric debut, disappeared in Brinken Wood in England’s New Forest. The discovery of her remains 30 years later near the site where she was camping with her older sister and five other schoolmates catapults Southampton Det. Chief Insp. Jonah Sheens back to one of his first—and most haunting—investigations. The secluded location suggests that the prime suspects remain the same tight circle of family and friends who were in the woods that night—a prospect troubling to the enigmatic Sheens for reasons that will only gradually emerge. Lodge smoothly intercuts the present-day police probe by whip-sharp recent transfer Det. Constable Juliette Hanson and other team members with flashbacks to the last day of Aurora’s life as seen through her eyes. In large part due to flip-flops to facilitate the plot, the surviving campers, including a current MP, never become as convincing as the detectives. Nonetheless, this psychological thriller marks a promising start to a planned series. Agent: Felicity Blunt, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (Jan.)