Tuesday, 10 September 2019

Book Review: Lying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen

Book: Lying Next to Me

Author: Gregg Olsen

Pages: 391

Read on: Kindle (via Kindle Unlimited)

Read in: 4-5 hours

Plot Summary: Adam and Sophie Warner and their three-year-old daughter are vacationing in Washington State’s Hood Canal for Memorial Day weekend. It’s the perfect getaway to unplug—and to calm an uneasy marriage. But on Adam’s first day out on the water, he sees Sophie abducted by a stranger. A hundred yards from shore, Adam can’t save her. And Sophie disappears.

In a nearby cabin is another couple, Kristen and Connor Moss. Unfortunately, beyond what they’ve heard in the news, they’re in the dark when it comes to Sophie’s disappearance. For Adam, at least there’s comfort in knowing that Mason County detective Lee Husemann is an old friend of his. She’ll do everything she can to help. She must.
But as Adam’s paranoia about his missing wife escalates, Lee puts together the pieces of a puzzle. The lives of the two couples are converging in unpredictable ways, and the picture is unsettling. Lee suspects that not everyone is telling the truth about what they know—or they have yet to reveal all the lies they’ve hidden from the strangers they married. 

Things I Liked:

1. The premise of this book was very interesting. A woman abducted in broad daylight on a busy weekend. Hints of all not being well in her marriage. Another couple with hints of trouble-in-paradise holidaying close by. All of this made for an interesting read. Also, dysfunctional marriages and relationships may suck in real life, but they make for good reading material! And boy! Did this book deliver on that! So much messed up stuff going on in the lives of our protagonists!

2. Interesting cast of characters. This book is told from four different perspectives- Adam (whose wife Sophie goes missing), Lee (the detective on the case, someone who has known Adam since childhood), Kristen Moss (a lawyer, who along with her husband were renting a cabin on the same stretch as Adam-Sophie) and Conner (Kristen's husband). Each of these characters is real, flawed and interesting. Some of them are outright nuts, some are cold, some are well-meaning... So, overall a nice mix of attributes to sink one's teeth into.

3. The book is fast-paced and quite gripping. The narrative moves quite effortlessly from present day events to events in the marriages of the two couples. The shift back and forth is quite seamless and with each glimpse into the past, you wonder more and more if, indeed, it was a stranger who abducted and killed Sophie or was it someone closer to home?!

4. The ending is very satisfying as well. Won't get more into this point, because, spoilers, but, I love a nicely rounded ending and this was one!

5. I really liked Lee and was rooting for her! She has overcome a very horrific personal tragedy and I liked how she trusted her instincts and followed the evidence in spite of everything that happens in this case.

6. I am an avid mystery/ crime/ thriller reader and so, the big twist-in-the-tale was apparent to me very early on in the book. However, I kept on reading because I was interesting in the 'how' and 'why' and not just the 'who' when it came to Sophie's abduction and murder. So, even if you do guess the big twist, it is still worth it to read on.

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. Nothing really, just some minor nitpick-y things to do with how the case was investigated in the book. There were some glaring oversights that the cops made on the very first day and I don't know if some very obvious things like that would be missed! But, Lee did redeem herself in the end, which is why I say I am nitpicking :)

Rating: 4/5 

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