Cover Image: Lie Beside Me

Lie Beside Me

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I loved this book. It had all the things you want in this type of book. It had good characters and plot with enough twists to keep you reading. Well done!

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4 1/2 stars! This is a psychological thriller that takes you on a convoluted ride full of twists and turns. Louise, who finds herself in an unbelievable situation after a night of drinking and blacking out captured my heart right away and was the driving force of the book. Love the way her story emerges as her memory of the events oh so slowly return. This is part of a series but not having read the previous two books never interfered with the storyline. I will definitely be reading the other two as I immensely enjoyed this read. The detectives and their interactions with each other were interesting but Louise’s story was so fascinating it definitely took over the book in my opinion. There were a few transitions between characters and their storylines that were confusing requiring me to reread to follow whose thoughts or actions were being represented but overall a most engaging read. The conclusion was a total mix of “I thought so” and total surprises. Many many kudos to Gytha Lodge, Michael Joseph books, and NetGalley for affording me the pleasure of reading an arc of this just recently published book. This would make a phenomenal movie!

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Lie Beside Me is the third book in the DCI Jonah Sheens series. While like many Adult Mysteries this series doesn't necessarily need to be read in order, I would recommend it, due to background information for the detectives. However, any of these books would also make great standalone mysteries. I feel like once you read one, though, you'll want to read them all!

With her husband away on business, Louise Reakes gets together with her best friend, April. The women tend to hit the sauce hard when they're together, something Louise has been trying to break away from. Upon groggily opening her eyes in the morning, Louise knows she failed in that regard. She's hungover as heck and is surprised to find a male body in the bed with her. It's not her husband.

Further inspection reveals the bed is soaked with blood. The man is dead! Thus begins the confusing and complicated mystery as to who this man is and more importantly, how he ended up dead in Louise's bed.

By the time DCI Jonah Sheens and his team are called to the murder scene, the body is out in the front garden. Louise tells them she stumbled upon the body as she went outside to grab milk from the stoop. This deception immediately starts the investigation off on the wrong foot.

Told through multiple perspectives, including Louise's epistolary-style recounting of her life with her husband, Niall, up through the night of the horrific crime, was incredibly interesting. I loved the way Lodge pieced this all together. It felt slow-burn, but in the best way. It kept me guessing until the very end. I thought it was one thing, then, nope, not that.

Then I really thought it was the other thing and I was sort of mad it was that thing, but nope, not that thing either. Then this other thing and I'm like, okay, okay, okay, this is it. Then it sort of was, sort of wasn't. It was a ride!

As always, the police procedural aspects were great. I love this team and how well they all work together. Their personalities are so complimentary to one another. From the conclusion of this one, I am going to guess there will be more to come in this series and I'm so excited for it!

This is my favorite current Police Procedural Mystery series. I love how layered Lodge makes her stories; not to mention nail-bitingly disturbing. If you are looking for a new Mystery series to get into, I highly recommend this one. Thank you so much to the publisher, Random House, for providing me with a copy to read and review.

I really appreciate it and cannot wait for the next book!!

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It's been hard for me to muster as much enthusiasm for this novel as I did for the two earlier books in the series. And, no -- it's not that most of the characters were profoundly unlikable (although they were: The only cast member I could've rooted for was the victim, whom we meet -- dead -- in the opening passage.)

The other person we meet at the outset is Louise, in bed with the dead man. She's married, but not to this man, whom she doesn't know. Interwoven with Louise's story are the back story of the murder victim (because -- yes, he'd been stabbed); and the ongoing sagas of the team of detectives led by Jonah Steens.

Among many of Louise's problems (including an insecure, narcissistic, and whiny husband) is that she's a blackout drunk, who can recall nothing of the evening before. She is overly dependent on a friend who raises gale-force warning flags to the reader, and she maintains a dissociative diary in which she talks about two personalities (herself and drunk Louise.)

Gytha Lodge is very good at suspense. She's good at dialogue. What I really wanted was more evidence of care and control. In the first book of the series, I found countless examples of sloppy word choice (which, to be fair, should have been caught by a book editor). In this one, it a feeling of rambling, of looseness, of a reluctance to sacrifice any words to tighten the pace.

Now, maybe -- in a complex, knotty plot like this one, a writer is loath to lose her readers, so she leaves it a bit wordy to carry them along. You can either trust or insult the intelligence of your audience.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House for an advance readers copy.

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Louise wakes up after a night of heavy drinking to find a dead man beside her in bed. He is not her husband Niall. In fact , she has no idea who he is. And she has no memory of the night before. In a panic she moves the body to her front garden before calling the authorities. It's no surprise that she finds herself the prime suspect in the murder.
Who is this man? Does she know him and just can't remember? Could she possibly have killed her himself?
As her memories start to come back in pieces she has more questions not less.
This book is part three in a series. I have not read any of the other books and found it interesting without any prior knowledge to characters in the book. Although Louise is hard to like at times, I was still invested in finding out the truth.
A good mystery and police procedural.

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While this had a really interesting premise - a woman wakes up next to a murdered man with no knowledge of who he is - I didn’t find the rest of the book anywhere near as original and compelling as the previous two novels in the series. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a decent crime thriller but, for me, too much of the plot was reliant on the central character’s constant inability to remember literally anything, courtesy of frequent drunken blackouts. And the ending also grated, with a rushed last two chapters which tried to tie up all the loose ends in a really spurious fashion (including a cod-psychology rationale for the perpetrator’s actions which took just two sentences to rattle off). Not a bad read if you fancy a paint-by-numbers police procedural but sadly lacking the spark of its predecessors

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Lie Beside Me is the latest story by Gytha Lodge. I enjoyed the story and mystery but it took me quite awhile to get into the story. There are a lot of characters and side stories to keep straight. I want to thank NetGalley and Random House for an early copy to review.

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Thank you, NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for providing the arc of Lie Beside Me by Gytha Lodge in exchange for my honest review.

This is book 3 in the series and my first time reading Gytha Lodge. I was pleasantly surprised and now want to go back and read the first two books.

DCI Jonah Sheens and his team are called to the scene of a crime where a twisty, turny mystery begins. Sheens team is great, Domnall, Juliette, & Ben work really well and compliment each other. The moves they made and the roads they followed made sense to me and I never found myself going “why did they do that”. More importantly, they each have their own personality, even if you don’t spend a lot of alone time with them.

Louise is one of the MC’s, after a night of heavy drinking she contacts the police after finding a dead man on her front yard. The mystery that follows I really enjoyed. I had my assumptions throughout but I felt like the end was satisfying and well done. The best part was the way Louise observed and shared with the reader, her psychological problems. It was refreshing to read a character who observed themselves and shared that journey with the reader. She knew she had a problem and she had to deal with it. Which was a breath of fresh air. I feel like so many books right now play the blame game or act like it’s okay to be a terrible person because life is hard.

Louise is married to Niall and they are having some marital problems. Then there’s April, the American girl with a deep southern accent who is into peer pressure and breaking all the rules. There are a lot of secrets between these characters and it’s interesting to watch them unravel them.

As far as mystery/police procedural go, this was fantastic. A well-written story with an excellent plot that was well throughout and executed, and the characterization was fantastic. The core characters on Sheens team are really fun to read and get to know. While the mystery characters aren’t as detailed, you still get a lot from them. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys police mysteries and can’t wait to read more Lodge.

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Once again Lodge gives us a solid police procedural! Third in the series, it was great fun catching up with all the characters, although I do think it can be read as a stand alone. After a night of drinking, Louise wakes up to a man in her bed. A man she doesn’t know, a man that’s not her husband, a dead man!! What happened last night, why can’t she remember anything? Did she kill him? She’s sure she couldn’t have, but losing a chunk of time has her questioning everything. Enter the crime catching team of Sheens and Hanson. As the story progresses so does the case, but things just aren’t all exactly as they seem. Filled with secrets and the interspersed chapters of letters Louise has written to her husband, Niall, this book was quite the crime drama. With a marriage falling apart, a woman suspected of a crime and the crime team that must discover the truth, Lodge definitely kept this reader glued to the pages.

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Lie Beside Me is the newest entry in Gytha Lodge's DCI Jonah Sheens series.

Lodge starts things off with a great premise...

"Louise wakes up. Her head aches, her mouth is dry, her memory is fuzzy—but she suspects she’s done something bad. She rolls over toward her husband, Niall. The man who, until recently, made her feel loved. But it’s not Niall lying beside her. In fact, she’s never seen this man before. And he’s not breathing. . . ."

This is a premise I've read before, but I'm always curious to see how an author puts their own spin on things

Lodge gives us a blackout drinker in Louise, who can't seem to remember anything of the night before. Truth or fiction? Louise is a fractured personality. She refers to herself as Drunk Louise and Sober Louise and prefers her drunken self. "I was aware, though, of a growing disconnect between Drunk Louise and me. I would occasionally be alarmed at things she'd done." Louise is married and her relationship with her husband Niall is disconnected as well. Her best friend April is hard to pin down - is she using Louise or does she truly care about her? She seems to enjoy bringing out the best - or the worst of Louise. Three very unlikable characters drive the plot forward. There are quite a few other peripheral players that are just as unpleasant.

These ugly characters are tempered by the police squad investing the murder. This is the third book to feature DCI Jonah Sheens and his team. Not having read the first two books wasn't an issue - this entry could easily be read as a stand alone. Lodge has fleshed out her recurring characters well, giving them personal storylines that make them interesting. I was particularly intrigued by the enigmatic Ben Lightman.

I enjoy being kept guessing in a book, trying to suss out the whodunit with the clues the author lays out. Lodge did indeed keep me on my toes with lots of twists and turns. An epistolary element is added as Louise pens an ongoing letter to her husband, explaining things. I applaud Lodge's complex plotting. But...yes, there's a but. I'm going to be in the minority here - but by the run up to the final pages, I was growing weary of the deception and lies and just wanted a resolution.

Lie Beside Me was good, but not a stand out for me.

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Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House for gifting me a digital ARC of the latest installment in the wonderful police procedural series by Gytha Lodge - 4.5 stars rounded up - this series just keeps getting better!

Louise wakes up after a night out drinking, rolls over and sees that the man in bed next to her isn't her husband. And he's dead. Louise can't remember what happened the night before even when she is now the prime suspect in his murder. Slowly, she gets flashes of her memory back. Detective Jonah Sheens and his team have a lot of people to investigate, from Louise, her husband, her best friend, to a whole cast of characters to try and solve this murder.

The story is told in alternating chapters of Louise writing to her husband and the police investigation into the crime. Louise had great perception into her personality, from Drunk Louise to Sober Louise. While it was so good to get reacquainted with the detectives on the case, this is easily a stand-alone book. There are enough suspects to keep you guessing until the end - and that ending! I can't wait to read the next in this wonderful series - don't miss it!

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Louise Reakes wakes up from a night out drinking with her friend April and has a man in her bed who is not her husband. Then, her morning gets worse because she can’t remember anything and this stranger next to her is dead. Her husband Niall is already angry at her because he can’t seem to get her drinking under control, but he’s out of town, so she has to face the police detectives alone. The mystery is real, the intrigue is real and the whole thing is like a pot simmering on a slow burner. The pace was fast at first and then slowed down as the detectives devoted themselves to the tedious work of finding out what happened to Alex. I enjoyed the methodical approach to the investigation and all of the details about it, but I did think that at parts, the plot got bogged down in the minute details. There was a lot of interesting backstory information about the detectives and their private lives, too. The characterization was good, the plot was complicated and the book was entertaining, for the most part. This is a mystery/police procedural that I recommend to those who enjoy this genre.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

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I was lucky to receive an advance copy of Lie Beside Me by Gytha Lodge from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and opinions. This is my first book by this author and I realized this was a series so I was afraid I might be lost with not reading the earlier books. Nope, I was able to jump right in and enjoyed every minute of it. This was a great police thriller and will keep you engrossed all the way through the book. I would for sure like to go back and read her fist two books as well. Thank you for letting me read and review this! I found a new author that I will be adding to my must read list.

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I did not see those twists coming!
After a night of intense drinking with her bestie April, Louise wakes up. Still wearing her dress from the previous evening. With a dead man laying next to her - a stranger, blood everywhere.
DCI Jonah Sheens and his team arrive at Louise's house to find a dead body on her front lawn. Louise seems to have her story worked out - but Sheens and his team work out the truth.
Louise lends the reader the needed background for her story - meeting her husband, her desperate need for alcohol. Her shady memories from the night before Alex's murder.
Juliette struggles with her ex, Damian, who continues to stalk and harass her. Working with Lightman, Juliette confesses he's still around. Though she struggles to tell her boyfriend, Jason - Juliette hasn't even mentioned Damian is stalking her.
I loved these characters - though I have not read the previous books, I was able to keep up with the plot and character progression.
Great writing. Real people. Realistic events.
I enjoyed it!

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This book is the third in the detective series by Gytha Lodge (it took me a while to realize that this was connected to the other two books I had read by her so it can certainly be read as a stand alone story). Louise has a drinking problem that makes the mystery of how she ends up in bed with a dead man extra had to figure out. The fact that she moves the body to her front lawn only complicates the situation.

The story is told from Louise’s point of view in letters to her husband (he is not the dead body) and the detectives working the case. Detectives Sheen and Hansen have a lot of clues and suspects to sift through while also dealing with their own personal storylines. It is hard to know who is the perpetrator of the crime because Louise is not a reliable narrator due to her drinking issues and there are many characters with their own reasons not to be trusted.

This was a fast and interesting read. There were plot twists and complications that keep you guessing until the conclusion. The ending also sets up a lot of anticipation for the next book in the series (this story is concluded but the characters will carry on). I am becoming a bigger fan of Lodge’s writing with each book that I read.

Thanks to Gytha Lodge, Random House, and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I’m definitely in the minority with my 2 star rating but this story fell flat for me and I could not connect with any of the characters. DNF at 30%. I felt like it kept repeating and I got bored fast. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my review.

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Gytha Lodge and DCI Jonah Sheens you have a new fan for life !

This was my first book in the series and the author did a remarkable job of making it a smooth transition with just enough of a hint of mystery that I will certainly start at book one. Ordered !

Lie Beside Me is a fast paced thriller/mystery/ police procedure that had me keeping the light on for just one more chapter.

Louise Reakes is delightful despite all her faults, alcohol being a huge one. She wakes up to a dead man beside her and who is he?

I changed my mind several times as to who the guilty party was.

I love this series and I am off to catch up on Book One and will be first in line for Book 4.

Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Company, Random House Trade Paperbacks.

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Gytha Lodge has done it again as she continues her Detective Jonah Sheens case with this newest edition.

Louise is a young woman who has just awoken from a forgotten night on the town. She has woken in the bed with she shares with her husband, but there is a pool of blood and a man that is not her husband Naill. In a somewhat panic state she calls the police but only after she has moved the body outside into the yard.
This was a great read that focused on the life and past of the main character Louise and how this horrible event transpired.
While the book is the third in a series it is also a great stand alone book and will give enough background on Detective Sheens that the reader will be satisfied.
Like the other two books, this one is packed full of cat and mouse twists and turns. The ending is pleasing but not one many will figure out.
All three current books are wonderful crime thrillers, I certainly hope there will be more.

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Lie Beside Me (DCI Jonah Sheens #3) by Gytha Lodge, 368 pages. Random House, 2021. $17. LGBTQIA
Language: R (129 swears, 50 “f”); Mature Content: R; Violence: PG13
When Louise wakes up with a hangover, she tries to snuggle in closer to her husband. Except that the man in her bed is not her husband -- and he’s dead. As DCI Sheens and his team do their best to piece together what happened while Louise was drunk, they have to wade through lies, red tape, and even the drama in their personal lives.
I found this book much more engaging than the prequel, though I don’t know if it’s because Lodge doesn’t skip through time as much in this one or if I simply enjoyed the mystery being worked on better. Readers get more details and involvement in the recurring characters’ lives than in the prequel as well, and I appreciate the cliffhanger ending because it leaves readers hanging on those personal crises and not an unsolved case. Unlike when I started this one, I’m looking forward to the next book. The mature content rating is for drug and alcohol use, illegal activity, innuendo, mention of sex, and rape. The violence rating is for blood and murder.
Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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While DCI Jonah Sheens gets the title role, what makes this series so engaging is how well developed all the characters are. Sheens, in this installment, plays a minor role. Not that he is completely excused from the drama! Instead the story focuses on Louise, a woman who spends a lot of time being drunk and blacking out. Did she kill the man she found in her bed? Where did he come from? And, really, why wasn't her best friend giving her more support? The other more prominent character in this book is Constable Hansen who is still struggling with her stalker ex-boyfriend. The combination of these particular two timelines in the same book can not be ignored and highlights the impact of continued abuse can impact a person, regardless of their strength or intellect. While the book is acceptable as a stand alone, I strongly recommend readers grab and read the first two in the series before reading this one. Enjoy the unfolding of the characters!

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