Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent was added to my list of ‘must reads’ after I read an enticing review of the book by Cathy at 746 Books.
The story starts with a shocking first line by a narrator who doesn’t pull her punches; “My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.”
The husband in question is Andrew, a respected judge, husband and father, who was sitting in his car with Annie late at night in the carpark of a deserted beach, while Lydia, Andrew’s wife, watched them from a distance. When Andrew began strangling Annie, Lydia leapt into the car to try to stop him.
Annie died however, and with Lydia’s assistance, Andrew bundled Annie’s body into the boot of his car before driving home. When they arrived home Lydia checked on their son, Laurence, before sitting down with Andrew to plan their next move; how to bury Annie in the garden and destroy all evidence of her murder.
Soon after Annie’s death Andrew’s conscience got the better of him and he killed himself, leaving Lydia and Laurence struggling to survive in Avalon, the mansion Lydia grew up in. Later, while working in the garden Laurence found Annie’s body, confirming his initial suspicions of his father’s involvement in Annie’s disappearance.
The story is narrated alternately by Lydia, Laurence and Karen, Annie’s sister. Karen and her family reported Annie missing, but when the police investigations found that Annie was a heroin addict and a prostitute, the police and the media lost interest in finding out what happened to her.
Time passed and Laurence, who was a socially inept, obese teenager, became an adult. By chance Laurence came into contact with Annie’s father and eventually, her sister Karen, with whom he fell in love.
The story is set in Ireland during the 1980’s.
The suspense of this story kept me in a state of anxiety for the more innocent characters right up until the end of the novel. Read this for yourself to find out what happens, and if you can tell how this ending unfolds before the author tell you, then you’ve got more imagination than me!
Liz Nugent has written another novel, Unravelling Oliver which I’m looking forward to reading too.