Cover Image: Lie Beside Me

Lie Beside Me

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I hoped for more but it was a fun read! Niall and Louise were not characters I found attached to at any time of the book. Overall, I rate this book a 3.2

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I really enjoyed this book. Character development was good. The plot was very interesting. Not a lot of typos.

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This is my first book I have read by this author and it was truly a very excellent thriller and murder filled with twists and turns. So as you know from the blurb Louise who is or rather calls herself Drunk Louise wakes up in her bed, rolling over to the man beside her only to find a stranger in her bed stabbed to death. She has no recollection of this at all. She immediately freaks out and somehow she manages to get him to her front lawn and then proceeds to call the police informing them there is a dead man on her front lawn. Did she kill him? She has no clue to who he even is. This was a very intricate plot with major twists and turns throughout and when you thought you knew what was happening another twist is there. I do not want to give away any spoilers. I loved the detectives in this book and enjoyed it immensely. I want to thank net galley and the publisher for this ARC I received for an honest review. I recommend this book if you like murder and mystery novels filled with major twists and turns throughout.

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The story opens with alcoholic harpist Louise Reakes, waking up in her room with a killer headache, and a blank memory of the night before. When she rolls over, she finds that it’s not her husband, Niall, but a murdered stranger lying next to her. She panics and moves the man out of her house before calling the police. When Det. Chief Jonah Sheens arrives, they identify the victim as Alex Plaskitt, a fitness instructor. His husband, Issa, claims Alex went out clubbing and never came home, and Louise is the prime suspect. She claims to have blacked out and remembers little about the night before. Soon the cops discover that the real crime scene is Louise's bedroom, not the front garden. As they start to investigate, they find evidence that may point to a different motive and the different killer, muddying the waters. Louise has a serious drinking problem, and troubled marriage, and an enabling friend who all enter the subplots of the case. It’s an excellent who-dun-it that will keep you guessing until the end! I did not read the first two books in this series, but it didn’t seem to matter, so pick it up!

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Special thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review.
Expected publication date: June 22, 2021
Gytha Lodge returns with book three in her Jonah Sheens series, “Lie Beside Me”. A newbie to both Lodge and the Sheens series, I was completely pulled into the premise.
A young woman, Louise, wakes up after a night of drinking and partying, and there is a young man in her bed. What’s bad is the man is NOT her husband, Niall. What’s worse is it appears he has been stabbed to death. With no memory of her night, Louise is prime suspect number one. But Louise would never KILL anyone- especially someone she has never met before. Right? But even Louise’s husband isn’t convinced, and as the investigation builds, Louise finds out that everyone has secrets, especially the people closest to her.
I could tell there was a bit of a backstory already between some of the characters, which had likely been established in the first two novels. However, “Lie Beside Me” can also be a standalone novel, as it was easy to follow along with the characters and plot development, regardless of their previous relationships.
As is commonplace in police procedural novels, there are a lot of characters (both potential suspects and police members), but the main protagonists were likable and I was invested in their outcome. Lodge provides ample twists and turns, grabbing me at page one and not letting up.
Louise struggles with alcohol, which of course is a main component of this plot, but it also has its twinge of sadness and reality. She calls her alcohol-fueled self “Drunk Louise”, and identifies this persona as a separate identity from her own. It is tragic and emotional, but it is also utterly realistic and human. It is heartbreaking to hear Louise talk about the gaps in her memory that occur as a result of her nights of drinking to obliteration, and yet it plays such an important role in the story as well.
The story is told in alternating viewpoints, with chapters narrated by Louise and by various members of the police community (in particular detectives Henson and Sheens). I love police procedurals as they are narrated from the perspectives of the police investigators, and I am able to see how they think, understand their emotional investment, and get a bit of a glimpse into their lives. Lodge is able to give me all of this, and the character development in “Lie Beside Me” is strong.
The ending was definitely unexpected, and it seemed that each character had their own individual plot twist. Lodge ended the story completely, while still leaving the interpersonal questions unanswered, to be addressed in further novels. “Lie Beside Me” is police procedural done right, and I look forward to future Jonah Sheens novels (and I also hope to find the time to read the first two novels in this series as well!). Thanks to Lodge for providing me with a new detective to love!

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Lie Beside Me, DCI Jonah Sheens book 3, I absolutely love this series by Gytha Lodge. These novels just keep getting better and better. Louise Reakes has a problem, with alcohol, and with the body of a large dead man in her bed. The bed she usually shares only with her Husband, Niall Reakes. Niall is out of town, and Louise, or rather Drunk Louise is up to her sloshed tricks again. This story follows Louise, as what seem to be journal excerpts, along with the view point of DCI Sheens and his crew. I absolutely LOVED the twists and turns of this story and the fact that Louise is a very unreliable narrator managed to keep me stumped. Thank You to Gytha Lodge, Random House, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this complementary e-galley.

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Louise wakes up after a night of drinking in bed with her husband. Although, it isn’t her husband, it’s a stranger, and he’s cold and dead. With lost memory and the blame on her, how will she be able to figure out if she in fact did kill the man or not.

I like how it’s told, in series of the detectives and then as Louise recalling the story in what would seem to be a note to her husband. It’s a nice change from detective work, police procedural, to a story of a marriage with lies and secrets and trust issues.

As with all of Lodges books, there are far too many perspectives. Each detective, a lot of the suspects even all get their own voice which becomes overwhelming and hard to keep track of. As well with her books, the ending is unexpected and slightly out of left field. I guarantee you won’t see it coming.

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Lie Beside Me by Gytha Lodge introduces us to alcoholic Louise Reakes, who is functioning but mostly an alcoholic who often blacks out leading to the morning when she wakes up with a dead stranger lying in bed next to her and she doesn’t know him or if she killed him. What we do know is that her husband is out of town on business, she’s in a blood-soaked bed with a dead man and she doesn’t remember anything that has happened the previous evening. The rest of the book is police procedural and we are thrown a lot of options for who might’ve killed the dead man or if drunk Louise did the deed. It was an entertaining book until we get to the last 1/4th of the story where the author has to wrap up the plot quickly. Also, I don’t have to like everybody but drunk Louise was very unlikable and I’m a little wary of drunken unreliable female narrators. Louise is the storyteller of various chapters as she recounts her life in a diary format to her husband, Niall. In these chapters, Louise spends a lot of time explaining (yawn) why she is drunk Louise or sober Louise with dual personalities. This would’ve been a solid four stars if not for the ending. ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

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I would like to thank the publisher and author as well as Net Galley for providing a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my review. And I'm so grateful to Net Galley for introducing me to Gytha Lodge with the release of their first book! Because - wow!

This is the 3rd book in the DCI Johan Sheens series. Book 1 in the series was one of my first ARC;s from Net Galley and it blew me away. This one, still has that power! There are a lot of characters and backstory to the book, and that can be a bit confusing, but if you focus in on the victim and the investigation you can really get caught up in the story, and stay up far too late in the night, wanting to see what will happen next. Several times, I thought 'ok, I know where this is going, how it will be resolved' only to turn a page and get thrown for a twist. What a whirlwind!

No doubt, this is a 4 star book for me!

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This is book #3 in the DCI Jonah Sheens series. I did not know this as I was reading. I may have been a bot less confused by the amount of characters at the beginning of the book if I had some more background.
This is the story of Louisa, a married woman who wakes up next to a man who is not her husband, only to find that he is dead, and she has no idea who he is. Louisa must piece together what exactly happened. The book is told in alternating chapters between Louise telling the story in second person (referring to herself as Drunk Louise), DCI Jonah Sheens and his team solving the crime. There are quite a few plot twists that keep the reader on their toes.

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Really enjoyed this police thriller! The detectives were a very small part of the action, for me at least. The victim(s) were clearly center stage...

It was a clever story that was divulged one tiny piece at a time. But it was always intriguing, never strained. I definitely recommend!

**Thanks to NetGalley and publishers for the free advanced reader's copy!

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Overall, I felt kinda meh about this book. Not necessarily bad, but not particularly memorable either. Giving it 2.5/5 Stars.

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I received a complimentary copy of Lie Beside Me from NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

This was a great book, that kept me guessing for most of the adventure. Unreliable, married narrator, Drunk Louise”, tries to piece together her night of debauchery when she wakes with a strange man in her bed, after which, chaos ensues. Great read with a perfect title!

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Who’s the predator and who’s the victim?

’Drunk Louise’ likes to have fun, is reckless and prone to blackouts. Alter-ego ‘Sober Louise’ exhibits a contrasting and likable personality. One morning, Louise wakes up to a bloody body of an unknown man lying next to her in bed, having no recollection of the night before. This is an excellent murder mystery and police procedural in which multiple suspects are unveiled and the waters get murky. Louise was my favorite character and the heart of this multi-layered and twisty story.

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“And I know you’re going to be certain now that there’s something wrong with me. That this constant dissociation from myself shows that I’m deeply damamged. But I’m starting to understand that these parts of me come into being out of necessity. That life, and the people in it, sometimes just push me too hard.” Louise writes to her husband Niall. She is, indeed, a troubled young lady who awakes , very hungover with no memory of the preceding night, to a dead man in her bed who is not her husband. The story takes off from there. I had some difficulty with the story because I didn’t really find Louise likable or sympathetic, but really more annoying. She felt as if she was only likable and outgoing when drunk and was spurred on by a new friendship with April, not a good influence. The book kicked in about half way through and ends with some interesting twists and turns. I appreciate receiving this copy from NetGalley.

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I loved this one! Lie Beside Me is the type of book that hooks you from the very beginning and keeps you guessing until the very end. This is Book 3 in a series but I definitely feel like you can read it as a standalone. I read the first one a long time ago and don't remember much of it and did not read the second one (yet!). I don't feel like I missed out on anything.

Lie Beside Me is a multi-layered thriller and I loved all parts of it!

It alternated between the perspective of Louise writing a letter to her husband, Niall, and the investigation. After a night out drinking, Louise woke up next to a man she didn't know in her bed and he had been murdered! She blacked out the night before so she has no idea what happened. Writing this letter, which was in parts throughout the book, was a means of catharsis for her.

The main storyline of the book was the police investigation into what happened that night. This team was full of interesting characters that I really enjoyed reading about and the list of suspects was long and shady. Both the investigation and their personal stories were entertaining, especially Juliette Hanson's troubles with someone from her past.

Overall, a 4.5 star read for me and I'm definitely looking forward to more!

CW: infidelity; alcohol abuse; rape

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I enjoyed reading this British police procedural, which is third in a series following DCI Jonah Sheens. I also liked the first book, but my overall discontent with that book remains here.

The story itself, once again, is interesting. A murder has occurred and the process of unraveling what happened is well done, if somewhat far fetched at times. By the end all the coincidences seem to come together for the most part, and there were some nice surprises. It's a little bit of a sad book, with some very troubled characters.

What bothered me about She Lies in Wait were all the POVs of the different police officers, plus all the suspects. None were fully fleshed out since there were too many being focused on. Here, a similar problem exists although the number of POVS is reduced and that is a good step in the right direction. We have our main investigator, DCI Sheens, and his life outside of work, yet the side plot involving constable Juliette Hanson is the one given the most attention (these cops have very dramatic lives). Police procedural series that follow a detective work best when that detective's story is more developed. I don't know if the author was trying to follow a Tana French pattern of moving on to a different detective to focus on, but that's not what happened either since Sheens is still the lead investigator on this case and his life is very briefly explored.

I'd like to read more in this series and to see the author continue to narrow and tighten up the POVs and get some deeper development on our main detective that this series ostensibly is following. It can also be read as a stand alone book - I missed reading the second book and it didn't affect my ability to enjoy this one..

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Unputdownable page turner! This book kept me from cooking for my family and sleeping until I was done. Everyone is going to love this.

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A faced paced, gripping thriller that kept me engaged and guessing from start to finish. Well written and well paced. Glytha Lodge delivers on masterful crime detective storytelling. Filled with bread crumbs clues that left me not wanting to put the book down.  Lie Beside Her offers that best of dark suspense in the best way possible.

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Waking up with a man in your bed who isn’t your husband and one who is bleeding and dead is what Louise faced one morning.

Yes she had been drinking heavily the night before, but she has no recollection of what happened.​​

The question is: How did this man get from her bed to her front yard?

​​We meet Louise, her husband, friends of Louise, friends of the victim and the investigative team as we go back and forth from the present situation to getting background on the main characters.

The characters were well developed, but I didn’t really like any of them. The detectives were an interesting lot too.​​

I couldn’t narrow down who I thought the murderer was even though it seemed to point to one person.​​

If you like to keep guessing, LIE BESIDE ME will be a good read for you.

It was a bit confusing, though, with all the characters, but the multiple story lines will keep you reading because of the curiosity about who the murderer could be, how and where the murder happened, and what will happen to the couples keeping secrets and having problems. 4/5​​

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.​​

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