Lydia Fitzsimons lives in the perfect house with her adoring husband and beloved son. However, there is one thing Lydia desperately yearns for to make her perfect family complete, and nothing can stop this mother from getting what she wants ....
This is a dark, twisty and utterly gripping domestic noir that you won't be able to put down from the author hailed as Ireland's answer to Gillian Flynn.
Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent is published by Penguin on 14th July 2016 and is the author's second novel. I read and reviewed her debut, Unravelling Oliver on Random Things in March 2014.
I'm honoured to be taking part in the Blog Tour for Lying In Wait, you can read my thoughts about the book and the author has joined me to share with us a list of the books that have inspired her, for her My Life In Books.
Liz Nugent's first book, Unravelling Oliver is a huge favourite of mine. I was hoping and praying that her next book would be another thrilling story, and I'm delighted to say that it certainly is.
This author doesn't ease her readers gently into her stories, just like the first line of her first book, this one opens with a bang too
"My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it."What an absolute hook! Believe me, it doesn't stop there, Lying In Wait is one of those books that is incredibly difficult to put down, and when you are away from it, you will be itching to get back to it. The characters and the plot consumed me, never far from my thoughts and constantly surprising me.
Told in three voices; Lydia Fitzsimons, her son Laurence and Karen, the sister of murdered Annie Doyle and set in 1980, this is an incredibly effective technique and allows the reader more insight into the characters and the story.
Lying In Wait is not a detective story. The reader knows from that amazing opening line that Annie Doyle is dead, and who killed her. No, this is a chilling, thrilling psychological story that has twists, turns and shocks reverberating throughout.
Not since Barbara from Zoe Heller's Notes on a Scandal, have I come to detest a female character so much, but oh my goodness, Lydia is wonderful. Liz Nugent has created a monster so vivid, so unbearably unsettling, yet appearing so vulnerable and frail. Lydia is a joy to discover, although her thoughts, words and her actions make the blood run cold at times.
I could talk about Lydia for hours, but the other lead characters are just as mesmerising in their own way. Laurence is an oddity; pampered, spoilt, obese, he's been the only son of parents who adore him. Despite this, he does want to be his own person and as he ages and lurches through adolescence and into adulthood, he questions his heritage, and strikes out on his own.
Karen is feisty and strong. Left distraught by her sister's disappearance, she makes mistakes in life but is basically a good, honest and loyal character who embraces affection, even when it comes from the wrong type of person.
Tightly plotted and excellently paced, Lying In Wait is absolutely gripping. The writing is excellent, the surprises never stop. It is unnerving and irresistible, dark with a devastating twist.
Absolute genius. I loved every single word.
My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and for inviting me to take part in the Blog Tour.
My Life In Books ~ Liz Nugent
The Shoe Shop Bears by Margaret J Baker This was the first book I bought with my own money while on a family holiday in Kerry when I was about six years old. I no longer wanted books with pictures because I felt there wasn't enough story in them. There were just a few illustrations in this book but it was a really beautiful magical story about some teddy bears that lived in a shoe shop and the girl that befriended them.
Malory Towers by Enid Blyton I devoured these books in school. They didn't have the complete set in the library but they did in the school's sanitarium so I used to feign illness so that I could lie in bed and read more of these books.
Dreams of Leaving by Rupert Thomson I read this while recuperating from an accident in 1988. I have never read anything like it in my life before or since. Highly original and beautifully written, the story of Moses who was born into a police state and smuggled out by his parents has stayed with me ever since. I'm a sucker for stories about orphans.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt A dear friend came to visit me in San Francisco in 1999 and left behind this book as a gift. It totally absorbed me. A boy desperately trying to fit in with people he felt were socially superior to him. And of course, they are all ghastly - and - they get away with murder, though it almost destroys them all. That sowed the seeds for me. I think the whydunnit tag was created for that book.
I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb I came across this when touring as a stage manager across America with Riverdance. The opening chapter grabbed me and as the story unfolded, it never let go. This was a book stuffed full of incident on every page and multi-layered characters so damaged by life that it was impossible not to become emotionally involved with them.
Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes Marian Keyes can find hilarity in the darkest of situations without ever losing the humanity of characters at their most vulnerable. This story of a young woman entering rehab for drug and alcohol addiction is funny, touching and uniquely courageous. I read it at a time in my life when I was quite lonely and it meant a lot.
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry This book is a masterpiece in its epic understanding and exploration of human nature and the depths of suffering (you'd need to read a Marian Keyes book straight afterwards). I'm almost scared to re-read it because I was so devastated by it. I think everyone should read it, but just once.
The Book of Evidence by John Banville I first read this when it was published in 1991 and thought it excellent. I wasn't surprised when it won the Booker prize. In 2001, I was working as a stage manager on a stage adaptation of the book and with very close repeated reading, the story became more and more real to me. A middle-class sociopath is an intriguing central character. I determined then, that if I was ever going to write a book, it would be about someone as flawed as Freddie Montgomery.
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry This is a relatively recent novel but I loved the way it played with the dual narrative of the elderly female patient and her doctor and the social commentary behind it which shows up the extraordinary power of the Catholic Church in Ireland. Love and betrayal are at the core of every great novel and this is a perfect example.
Asking For It by Louise O'Neill A thoroughly modern novel just published in 2015, this explores what it's like to be a teenager today in the age of social media and the prevailing patriarchy. It is a tough read for a YA book, but it is also a feminist manifesto for a new generation and should be required reading, particularly for teenage boys.
Thanks Anne for that pleasant trip down memory land to the books that have and are continuing to influence me and bring meaning to my life.
Liz Nugent ~ July 2016
Her first novel, the No.1 bestselling Unravelling Oliver, won the Crime Fiction award in the 2014 Irish Book Awards.
She lives in Dublin with her husband.
Find out more about Liz Nugent, visit her website www.liznugent.ie
Follow her on Twitter @lizzienugent