Having just put down Liz Nugent’s fabulous “Unravelling Oliver”, I immediately opened “Lying in Wait.” And this amazingly talented writer’s second novel is, possibly, even more stunning than her début book.
What a writer.
How exciting it is to discover such talent, even though everyone else clearly knew about Ms Nugent from the outset.
The story of “Lying in Wait” is, as in her first novel, told from the points of view of the various characters, in their voice and from their own unique perspective, and this time this stylistic device works seamlessly.
The story begins in 1980 and ends in 2016, though this is, essentially, a novel of the 1980s, with spot-on references to the music and TV shows of the days. There is even one delicious reference to shoulder pads.
“Lying in Wait” opens with a bang, literally, from the first sentence:
“My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.”
And with that opening sentence, we are led into a world of lies, of cover ups, manipulation, truths, all in an ever-tightening web of intrigue and suspense.
This is such a gripping novel that I raced through it way too quickly, gobbling up the pages to see how this chilling, mesmerising, exciting thriller would end.
We inhabit the claustrophobic world of Avalon, a beautiful gracious home which plays such an important role in the novel. Avalon is the magnet which keeps Lydia living there, declining the chance to study ballet in London, refusing ever to go away on holiday, hardly venturing out into Dublin, such is her love for her childhood home.
Lydia, her husband Andrew and their only child Laurence live a strange, tense existence in this beautiful home which dominates their lives.
The repercussions of that opening line, in which Annie Doyle is killed, are the structure of this book, as we see how the killers handle the crime, how Annie’s family reacts, and how the ripple effects of this one single shocking event spread ever outwards, over the decades.
This is an absolutely riveting thriller, and confirms Liz Nugent as a huge talent.
Thoroughly, enthusiastically, totally recommended.
After reading both of Ms Nugent’s novels in a week, I’m a huge fan.
If you’d like to buy the book, it couldn’t be easier. Here you go: