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Lying in Wait

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My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life—wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax.

From the international bestselling author of Unraveling Oliver, an “unputdownable psychological thriller with an ending that lingers long after turning the final page” (The Irish Times) about a Dublin family whose dark secrets and twisted relationships are suddenly revealed.

320 pages, Hardcover

First published June 12, 2018

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About the author

Liz Nugent

8 books2,652 followers
Liz Nugent worked as a stage manager in theatres in Ireland and toured internationally before writing extensively for radio and television drama.

Unravelling Oliver was published in 2014, hit the number 1 spot for several weeks and won Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards.

Lying in Wait, published in 2016, went straight to number 1 and was chosen for the Richard & Judy Book Club. It won the Radio 1 Ryan Tubridy Listeners Choice Award at the Irish Book Awards.

In October 2017, Liz won the Irish Tatler Woman of the Year Award in Literature.

Skin Deep was published in 2018. It also went straight to number 1 in the bestsellers charts and scooped two awards at the An Post Irish Book Awards in Nov '18: Crime Novel of the Year AND the Radio 1 Ryan Tubridy Listener's Choice Award.

Little Cruelties (Our Little Cruelties) was published in 2020. Another number 1 bestseller, it topped the charts for fifteen weeks, was nominated for Crime Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards, long listed for a CWA award at Theakston Crime Festival at Harrogate. It was listed as one of the most recommended thrillers of the Year by the New York Times.
Liz was presented with the James Joyce Medal for Literature (via Zoom!) in February 21 and was a Guest of Honour at Iceland Noir in November 21.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,589 reviews
Profile Image for Kristin (KC).
251 reviews25.1k followers
September 25, 2018
*4.5 Stars*

So, couple things—
this author’s last name is Nugent, and not “Nugget” like the chicken, as I’d been so daftly repeating in my head, and to some actual humans as well, embarrassingly enough. It only took a full four days of the truth staring me directly in the face via hardcover to finally get it right.

But, who can possibly worry about the words on a cover when its insides are crawling with compulsive psychological mayhem brought to you in a tightly twisted package, glistening on an alluring silver platter?

However, NUGENT’s name deserves to be known. Her storytelling is top-notch, her characters deliciously demented, and the trail of her plot, seamless as it glides with a fluid grace leaving behind subtle hints like shadowy footprints that will tie everything together with expert precision.

In the end, your head may hurt, your gut will twist, but the critical thriller-reader in you will question nothing, as every single detail is covered and accounted for.

This author creates order out of chaos, and her execution cannot be picked apart, Nor does it grow over-the-top. In fact, it all felt pretty damn genius, and although there were moments where its momentum slowed, I could not get this story out of my head.

If you know me, you’ll know that unreliable sociopaths are my personal favorite (fictionally speaking), and here you’ll get the cream of the crop!

(A more organized, thorough review may soon follow. But probably not)

*Sister Read*
Profile Image for j e w e l s.
315 reviews2,419 followers
June 21, 2018

Go ahead, click on Want to Read. Because you do. You will. You must.

I’m at a loss here. Positively verklempt. How do I tell you how perfect this book is without gushing? When other books fail to reach my expectations, I can rattle off the reasons I didn’t like it. With great ones, I just stumble all over myself. I apologize.

I knew this book would be good, I just didn’t know how good. The answer is: LYING IN WAIT is the new standard that all psychological suspense and crime fiction novels should strive for. Liz Nugent just wrote the handbook and I fear that very few writers could achieve such perfection in this genre.

The thing is, if you found her debut UNRAVELING OLIVER too much of a slow burn -I know a ton of readers did, you will not find that with LYING IN WAIT. I read this book almost in one day. It is utterly addicting and you will be hooked at the very first line. The need to know what is happening becomes almost unbearable as you read.

Once again, Nugent has created an engrossing family drama that spans many years and is set in Dublin. It is simply the story of two families linked inexplicably by a murder. At the heart of the novel is a morbidly unhealthy, but completely fascinating, connection between a mother and son. There are only a few characters in this book and each one is fully dissected for the reader to analyze. Each character has a chance to tell their part in the story side by side with the others. I am in awe of how Nugent was able to superbly structure this story in such a natural flowing way. There is no flipping back and forth between timelines (ugh, I’m so over that).

Nugent is a master at pushing the uncomfortable envelope towards the reader, without going over the top. The story is tense and exciting, full of twists and unexpected turns. It's dark and dramatic. Gothic feeling and weird! That ending - all I can say is GENIUS. I can’t stop gushing, please forgive me.

Now, mark your calendar for June 12 or just go ahead and pre-order it. Place a hold or get in line at the library. You will not want to miss this one!

Thank you to Netgalley! I was given the galley to read and review, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Paromjit.
2,716 reviews25k followers
April 16, 2016
I chose this book on the description given by the publisher, I just could not resist it. The first line of the book is a killer, it just draws you into this extraordinary dark and disturbing psychological thriller. It is set in 1980s Dublin. The characters are loathsome, yet you cannot help but want to know more about them. The more you read, the murkier the story becomes, as it delves in depth into the two disparate families. There is the respectable family of the Judge, his wife and son, Laurence. Buried in their garden, is the body of Annie, a junkie and prostitute. Then there is Annie's sister who is looking for her. It is brilliantly plotted to ratchet up the tension and suspense. It crawls beneath the surface of obsessive love and lays bare its darkness. The insights into this mother and son relationship are mesmerising. Liz Nugent does remarkable character development and her writing is exquisite. This is a twisted tale that is going to linger for quite a while in your head. Thanks to Penguin for an ARC via netgalley.
Profile Image for Christina Loeffler.
143 reviews17.3k followers
September 25, 2018
5, uhhhh what did I just read, that was wild stars!!!

Full review featured on my blog Recipe and a Read!!!

*Looks up synonyms to holy shit* Wowzers ya’ll, that was Grade-A Crazy Town from start to finish! I’ve read a few psychological thrillers that threw me for a loop and redefined the genre. However, I think this is the first true psychological suspense novel that has set the bar absurdly high. Family dramas are honestly just not my favorite. For whatever reason, I get lost in all the mess and it loses it’s allure for me over time – that is absolutely not the case for Lying in Wait.

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyal, but the lying tramp deserved it.

If that line alone isn’t enough to draw you in as a reader, there’s not much I can do to help you. While this is told from alternating POVs, this is really the story of Lydia Fitzsimmons, her husband Andrew and her son Laurence. Lydia – like many women in thrillers these days, has a seemingly perfect life. A beautiful manor, an adoring husband and a loving, doting son – her only real hang-up is her agoraphobia (read: she can’t leave the house). But as a licensed red-herring chaser, I can tell you, appearances are rarely what they seem.

My sister had a reputation. Ma said she kicked her way out of the womb feetfirst and she hadn’t stopped kicking since.

Lydia’s carefully constructed bubble is burst in a spectacular show when she is forced to help her husband cover up the murder of Annie Doyal. This isn’t the first secret Lydia has buried, and it won’t be the last. But she doesn’t have a choice does she? She must protect her family, her home and the life the has painstakingly built for the few people she allows in. The real question is – how long can she hide a lifetime worth of secrets and what happens if she no longer can?

“Laurence, whatever happened, you must remember that your father was a good man.”

In addition to Lydia and Laurence’s point of view, we’re given that of Karen – sister to Annie Doyal and relentless hunter of the truth of what happened to her. It adds another layer to an already tangled story and really helps drive the momentum forward. This isn’t an all-out, race-to-the-finish type of read. Rather, it’s a series of choices and truths that slowly unfold themselves to the reader leaving you with a wide-eyed stare wondering how things got out of control so quickly.

I had finally begun to resent my mother. Her emotional blackmail had me trapped.

There is no question here as to “who dunnit” but it absolutely was not needed and not what drove this story forward. Nugent’s story-telling ability really shined in a way that had me rapt from the start. At every new twist or turn there was a burning need within me to figure out how this piece would fall into place with what the reader already knows to have happened. There was a subtlety here that really spoke to me, nothing was sensationalized or needed to be. These were facts that Nugent was giving to us at a steady pace that created a heady, dark and sometimes comedic atmosphere that draws the reader into the web and traps you there.

“This is so screwed up. I can’t believe it”

That ending ya’ll. THAT. FREAKIN’. ENDING. Didn’t see it coming, couldn’t have predicted it and you’d be lying if you said you could. That was a slam-dunk, knock-out, gut punch that showed that while ending a novel might be seemingly the hardest part of writing it – it absolutely can be done right. If you’re looking at it, if you weren’t interested before, I can’t suggest picking it up enough!

I read this with the Traveling Sisters and we’ve all really enjoyed it thus far. No one can help but enjoy this dark, gritty and twisty thriller!
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews628 followers
June 18, 2018
Christmas Day is Lydia’s only son, Lawrence’s birthday, and the day her husband, Andrew died.....displacing a turkey carcass from its serving platter, falling face down across the table, his hair in turkey grease.
...Andrew drove a vintage jaguar sedan... wore a trilby hat.
He killed a girl named Annie.
...Lydia says it was an accident - but she deserved it......
...Lydia isn’t an innocent bystander,
...Lawrence isn’t an innocent bystander...

The one person you trust may be telling you only half the story......

...psychological taunting suspenseful complexities...
...compulsively readable —
...I had to make myself pause to admire Liz Nugent’s sly calm nervy assurance of her craft!!

I’m a huge Liz Nugent fan!!!!


Profile Image for MarilynW.
1,205 reviews3,058 followers
July 16, 2022
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
Narrated by Caoilfhionn Dunne, David McFetridge, Lesley McGuire

Andrew and Lydia Fitzsimons seem to have problems with impulse control so "accidentally" kill a young woman who is blackmailing them. The only thing to do is to bury her in the backyard of their mansion and then to act normal but Andrew cracks under the pressure. So now it's up to Lydia to not let their son Lawrence find out about the murdered girl. Of course, Lydia, who seems to have more than a few screws loose, doesn't think any of this is her fault despite so much of it being her fault. Lawrence suspects his parents of bad things but covers for them. His mother is a fragile flower (rolls eyes) and he must protect her at all costs.

But over time, mama is wearing on Laurence's last nerve. As he has success at work, becomes friends with others, and even dates, she is clinging to him with an iron fist. She doesn't see any reason for him to ever leave home, she's a recluse and is doing just fine, right? He needs to work to earn the money to help them barely get by and keep the mansion but otherwise, she's enough for him, right? I wonder why Laurence begins to resent her more and more? Ha!

This is a wickedly evil story. The sense of foreboding and dread rises with every page. Once Lawrence meets Karen, the younger sister of a missing woman, he knows he has to keep his friendship with her a secret from his mother. But he is obsessed with beautiful Karen and that makes life much more dangerous. He sees the life he could have if he wasn't tethered to a mother who won't let go. But then there is also the guilt of what he knows and what he's covered up.

You just can't outrun crazy, I guess. After I finished the audiobook, which was narrated by three narrators who did a fine job, I could not help thinking of "what ifs". Choices matter and some people pay a very high price for their choices. This is one creepy, claustrophobic, sinister story. And this is my very first Liz Nugent story so I need to give her other books a look.

Published June 12th 2018
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.7k followers
November 27, 2018
Happy Canadian Publication Day to Liz Nugent!
November 27, 2018

Wowza!!! 5 Absolutely Perfect Stars! Favourite 2018 Read!

Oh my goodness, LYING IN WAIT by LIZ NUGENT was an absolutely fantastic and unputdownable read that had me totally consumed with curiosity right from the moment I read that killer opening line. I was hooked and the suspense was so intense that I was flipping through those pages as fast as I possibly could.

LYING IN WAIT by LIZ NUGENT is an engrossing, dark, disturbing, and dramatic read here that in my opinion had all the elements to make this the perfect psychological thriller. The storyline, the characters, the suspenseful writing, and that totally shocking ending that definitely ruffled some of my feathers made this an all around fulfilling read.

LIZ NUGENT delivers an exciting, twisty, suspenseful, and well-written read here with one of the absolute best characters in a psychological thriller that I have yet read. The way that this story was delivered with such ease and so subtly without any unnecessary graphic content was so gripping and intensely suspenseful in its own way. I love it when an author can write so well that takes you into the story fully then when the reveal comes you are totally blown away which I most definitely was.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Creepy, sinister, suspenseful and immediately had me intrigued. I love covers that have a scary feel to it because I find them so appealing! An extremely fitting representation to storyline.
Title: Intriguing, suspenseful, and a fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, captivating, and fluid.
Plot: Suspenseful, engrossing, fast-paced, held my attention fully and extremely entertaining.
Ending: Shocking, maddening, and brilliant. I wanted to throw my precious book at one moment but in the end I was totally satisfied.
Overall: An irresistible, intense, surprising, suspenseful, and fabulous read! Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada for my ARC to read and review! It was an absolute pleasure reading this fantastic novel!

Review can also be found on our Two Sisters Lost in a Coulee Reading book blog:
Profile Image for Julie .
4,081 reviews59k followers
March 6, 2020
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent is a 2018 Gallery/Scout Press publication.

Sad, darkly humorous, and thoroughly chilling!

When Annie Doyle disappears, it has a profound effect on her sister, Karen. Law enforcement officials are not at all helpful, having made up their minds what kind of girl Annie was, deciding she wasn’t worth much effort on their part. But Karen never gives up trying to find out what happened to her sister.

Laurence Fitzsimons, a lonely, overweight boy discovers a dark secret about his parents, which haunts him all the way into adulthood. His mother, Lydia, a widow, keeps Laurence on a tight leash, keeping him as close to her as possible, manipulating him, monitoring his relationships, and his yo-yo dieting. Unlike other mothers, she doesn’t support his healthier choices, or emotional growth, wanting to keep him tethered to her.

In an ironical twist of fate, Karen’s life inexplicably intersects with Laurence, which sets in motions a shocking chain of events that even left ME stunned!

I have a few personal reading challenges in mind for 2020 and one of them is to read books by author’s I’ve never tried before. I’ve been meaning to sample Liz Nugent’s books, as they are often highly rated and seem to prompt a great deal of discussion.

I’m not sure why I chose this book as my introduction to this author, as ‘Unraveling Oliver’ has been on my TBR list longer. But I’m glad I plucked this one out of the pile first.

It took me a little while to find my groove with this one. I didn’t know what to make of it and kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. It took too long to get the good part, but once I got to the last quarter of the book, I was sitting on pins and needles.

I never would have imagined the insane path this story would take me down. It wasn’t until I had finished reading it and had a few days to mull it over that it really started to sink in. The author has a unique style and a quirky sense of humor, too.

The conclusion is a bit depressing, but I also ended up respecting the author’s boldness. I do love a good, unsettling, spine tingling climax, one that lingers for a long while, and this story certainly delivered on that count.

Although I was initially exasperated by the pacing, in hindsight the offbeat plot and execution was genius.

Overall, Nugent left a good first impression. I will definitely read more of her books and am now very excited about reading ‘Unraveling Oliver”. Hope I can fit that one in this year!
Profile Image for Debra .
2,428 reviews35.2k followers
December 24, 2018
Oh! What a clever, clever Author you are Liz Nugent!

So, the entire book, I am thinking "what gives? I mean, seriously what gives? I like the book, I think it is good, but what is with all the hoopla?" Then I got to the home stretch and the hoopla kicked it into high gear!

This was a fabulous twisted psychological thriller that doesn't disappoint. Nugent takes motherhood, unhealthy relationships, obsession, mental illness, secrets and murder to a whole new level in this book. The reader knows what happened in this book, but the beauty is in not knowing how things are going to end. I found the characters to be well developed and some characters were downright sinister and creepy - which I absolutely loved. I also enjoyed how the book was told through Lydia, Lawrence and Karen's POV's. This added a very nice touch and gave us more information as to their motivations, secrets, and thoughts.

My advice is to go in as blind as you can. One might think you know how the book is going to end but chances are Nugent will shock you. Again, very clever. Very well thought out. I thought this carefully crafted book had a dark and Gothic feel to it. The scenes that took place in Lydia's house felt very dreary and cold to me which also gave the book some atmosphere and added to the chill/sinister factor.

This is a great book for fans of Psychological thrillers. Plus, how about that cover?
Profile Image for Mackenzie - PhDiva Books.
481 reviews14.4k followers
February 15, 2020
Loved this book!

If there were ever a book to capture dark, comedic noir, this would be the one for 2018. This book is incredibly twisted, and yet there was levity and humor despite the darkness of the book. I felt “WTF?!” in the best way when reading this! Liz Nugent really has a talent for writing. I loved how this book was told like the characters repeating a story from some point in time after the events had happened, rather than experiencing it live. That may not sound appealing, but I believe it was that distance from the events happening that allowed for the lightness when recounting incredibly dark stories.

Lydia Fitzsimmons has the perfect life…

Her husband is a successful judge, they live in her beautiful family home, Avalon, and her son Laurence adores her. Avalon isn’t just any home, it is a gorgeous old-money mansion with sprawling grounds and a pile of family secrets. Lydia can’t imagine ever leaving Avalon. She is essentially a recluse, preferring to stay at Avalon as a wife, mother, and homemaker, while her husband flourishes in his career. But one night everything changes.

My husband didn’t mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

Lydia is forced to do the unthinkable—help her husband cover up a murder. She buries this secret the same way she has buried all of the others—in the safety and security of their family home, Avalon. Lydia and Andrew may be able to hide their secret from outsiders, but what will they do when someone inside the home—someone much closer to it—discovers the truth?


There is something so matter-of-fact in the way these characters tell their story. The Fitzsimmons family is one that is easily able to separate emotion from action, with the exception of Andrew. I found Lydia and Laurence to be completely fascinating characters. The way they react to everything from shock, to hurt, to anger, is incredible to behold. They don’t process their emotions the way many of us do. For that reason, Andrew stands in such stark contrast to them. He is someone completely overwhelmed by his emotions, and unable to keep them in check.

We see this same theme play out with other characters—Helen, Dessie, Bridget, Karen, Annie. All of them tend to either be ruled by their emotions, or be surprisingly good at separating them from their actions. This is not to say that those actions aren’t driven by their reaction to the events around them. To the contrary, the characters that seem the least motivated by their emotions are probably the most irrational of the group.

There is a scene early on (that I won’t spoil because it is so wonderful) with Laurence that honestly made me laugh out loud when I read it. Another awesome reviewer, Carrie, said she wasn’t sure at times with this book if she should laugh, cry, or cringe. That is the perfect description of this book! I dare readers to find a dull character among the lot.

The ending of this book is the icing on the “WTF?!” cake for this read! It was crazy, but sort of perfect for the story and the characters. I was so delighted by this book! It was my first by Liz Nugent, but it will certainly not be my last. I’m looking forward to sharing this book with other readers!

Many thanks to Gallery Books and to Liz Nugent for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

See my review on my blog! Click here!!!
Profile Image for Dorie  - Cats&Books :) .
1,025 reviews2,979 followers
October 27, 2019

Well this is amazing, a psychological thriller that really delivers and definitely lives up to the buzz and reviews that are generating for this book. It was crazy creepy, sometimes almost made me gasp (I’m not kidding here), this is one heck of a good read.

This book features a true psychopath, the meaning of which is “Psychopathy is a personality disorder which has symptoms expressed over a wide range of settings.Socially, it expresses extensive callous and manipulative self-serving behaviors with no regard for others, . . . is associated with repeated delinquency, crime and violence, but may also present itself in other, maybe even successful social settings” quoting from Wikipedia. This is the perfect description of Lydia, the wife and mom in this story. There are later developments that point to Laurence’s state of mind, but I won’t spoil the plot.

From the blurb for the book you know that this is a dysfunctional family headed by Andrew, a judge in the county. His wife Lydia is a dedicated wife and mother, so dedicated that you will be shocked at all of the secrets she will share with you, decidedly creepy. Most of the story revolves around their only child, Laurence and keeping him at home at all costs. Laurence is a character you will not soon forget, he will go from a chubby, unpopular, socially inept child to a manipulative, domineering adult, crazy people in this book! You also know that a crime has been committed from the opening lines, but how it unfolds is a buzz to read.

I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. We are pretty much listening to these characters recount events that happened to them. So we will get Lydia’s description of how a crime was committed and then Laurence’s view about how it unfolded for him. Very clever and done so well.

I had never read a book by Liz Nugent but I understand that “Unraveling Oliver” the book she wrote previous to this one is outstanding, I can’t wait to read it. I hope this review encourages you to pick up a copy, you will love it!

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,783 reviews14.2k followers
July 12, 2018
Insidiously dark, an undertone of creepiness, and all done without graphic gore. This is my kind of psychological thriller, one that keeps you guessing, proving one wrong when I was sure I knew where this was going. Oh, the chains that bind, the relationships that corrupt, the hope that dwindles. Unreliable narrators, where would novels be without them. The question is who or are all of the narrators telling this story, unreliable? Are any of them on the up and up?

Tautly plotted, unraveling at the authors pace, misleading scenes, hard to believe the gullibility of some of these people. Thought for sure the author was going to take the predictable way out, where I thought this was going. So glad she didn't, she instead gave it a horrifying spin, and pushed it into a new level of evil. Not a good idea to go against some people, especially hidden, psychopaths.

ARC from Edelweiss.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.7k followers
June 22, 2020
what a bizarrely intriguing story.

this wasnt quite what i thought it was going to be and i feel hesitant to consider this a mystery/thriller. there definitely is a crime element to the story, but i never felt any suspense or anticipation for some big reveal. this is a story about a crime committed (in the first chapter) and how two families lives proceed and intertwine after that crime. its definitely a good character study.

the overall motives/surrounding circumstances for the crime are a little farfetched, but the abnormal nature of the characters allows the reader to lean into it. i cant say there are any characters that i particularly enjoyed, but i do appreciate what they all added to the story.

this is definitely a book for those who dont mind a slower and less thrilling take on the genre and enjoy more character focused plots.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Tina.
542 reviews931 followers
August 25, 2023
The first line of this book is superb! It captivates you right away as you wonder just what has happened?

Andrew and Lydia Fitzsimons are a married couple who have a teenaged son named Laurence. One night something badly goes wrong and a murder is committed. The story is told in three viewpoints; Lydia, Karen (the victim's sister) and Laurence. This book is total dysfunction!! It was a slow building thriller that is completely despairing!!

Perfect title too!
Profile Image for Jennifer Masterson.
200 reviews1,169 followers
April 16, 2019
Creeeeeepy!!! 4.5 Stars for “Lying In Wait”! This dark and twisted novel sucked me in from the very beginning and never let go. I’m late to the party but thanks to my Goodreads friends I attended it anyway. The mother was so freaking twisted!!!

I listened to the audio. This was well narrated and extremely well written! The only reason I docked it half a star was because at times it felt a tiny bit slow for my taste but otherwise it was brilliant!

Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers!
Profile Image for Tammy.
524 reviews439 followers
May 26, 2018
The best part of this novel is the first sentence and it’s a doozy. It’s downhill from there. I enjoyed Nugent’s first novel, Unraveling Oliver, her second lacks tension. Told from the points of view of a mother, a son and a dead girl’s sister it reads like a sophomoric high school essay.
Profile Image for Linda.
1,291 reviews1,332 followers
May 22, 2018
Crazy people go through the forest by taking the psycho path......

Strange how people never quite reveal every card in their deck. They wear that poker face day in and day out and keep the Joker locked inside the vault.

Lydia Fitzsimon and her husband, Andrew, have found themselves on a cold, deserted beach outside of Dublin. Hardly alone, since you've got to count that body in the trunk of the Jaguar. Andrew's hands must have squeezed a little too tight. Odd behavior for a judge who would never want to see the inside of a jail cell in his life time.

Annie Doyle now occupies the confines of that trunk. Air is no longer a problem. Annie's led a very questionable lifestyle and has been on the outs with her family. They've washed their hands of her. Annie has become one of the throwaways of society. The odd and exasperating peg that doesn't quite fit in the hole determined solely by others. But her sister Karen will want answers. Answers that Lydia and Andrew keep sealed in walking distance from their back door.

Their seventeen year old son, Laurence, is Lydia's pride and joy and she thinks that he has hung the moon. Unfortunately, Laurence is caught up in consuming copious amounts of moonpies instead. Our boy has a bit of a weight problem that keeps him occupied most moments. But soon Laurence realizes that something is amiss with his parents.......something serious and sinister.

Liz Nugent shines a light along a very crooked path here. If you've read, Unraveling Oliver, you'll know whereof I speak. Nugent has a flair for introducing her readers to quite the unbalanced characters. As the pages turn, you'll find yourself leaning in closer and closer to get to the "Who?" and, more importantly, to get to the "Why?" And Nugent will accommodate you quite nicely as she peels back the layers. A lot of marbles rolling around between the ears.

I received a copy of Lying in Wait through Goodreads Giveaways. My thanks to Simon & Schuster (Scout Press) and to Liz Nugent for the opportunity.
Profile Image for Felicia.
254 reviews944 followers
July 25, 2018
I think there should be a new fiction genre called The Best Books Ever. If there were a genre called The Best Books Ever this book would be the Best Book Ever in the genre Best Books Ever.

This book is so much dark and creepy fun. I absolutely loved it from the starting line "My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it." to the "WTF did I just read?" ending.

The story is told from three points of view in alternating chapters. The in-flipping-sane mother, Lydia, her over-nurtured obese son, Laurence and the sister of the aforementioned murder victim, Karen. This is most certainly a character driven book with the murder serving as a link between the characters. This is not a murder mystery or a thriller, it's not horror....I honestly don't know how to describe it other than pure brilliance. It's been a long time since a book has made me lol and I know it seems absurd that a "dark and creepy" book could elicit that sort reaction but it's true. Liz Nugent has masterfully weaved these profoundly flawed characters into a dysfunction junction that I never wanted to leave. My first read by Nugent but certainly not my last, I have already bought Unraveling Oliver.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,230 reviews1,550 followers
May 23, 2018
Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent certainly starts off with a bang (and on my birthday no less) that gets one’s attention, a husband and wife are out late one night and the husband strangles a young women with the wife coming in to finish her off. WHAT?? A murder duo? At that point the book definitely grabbed my interest.

You see, Lydia Fitzsimons and her husband got a little carried away covering up their secrets. The young woman was a drug addicted prostitute so who would possibly miss her? Lydia tells her husband to simply bury the body and they can go about their rich, comfortable lives with no one the wiser.

The story is told from multiples points of view along the way from the various characters involved. From Lydia the murderer to her son the alibi to the worried sister of the victim. All of these characters end up woven into a web so sticky and tangled that it will be hard for one to imagine the outcome.

When finished with this book it was one of those WTH did I just read moments. I will admit the middle of this one got a little slow to me thus only the four stars but boy oh boy was the ending worth the wait. No exactly what I’d ever expected to happen as the years ticked by in the book after that opening death scene. If dark and disturbing personalities and actions intrigue you I’d suggest picking up a copy of Lying in Wait.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more review please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Kendall.
644 reviews653 followers
April 11, 2017
I chose this book based on the description of the cover with this opening line "My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it"...

I was gravitated to this little baby right away and was anxious to dive right in. I have read many disappointing psychological thrillers over the last couple of months and was thinking that this one would be the same but Liz Nugent did a slam dunk with this psychological thriller.

I would have to say it's more of a slow-burning thriller. In the beginning, I was at times wondering where the story was going and was slow to build up. I was lost a little and got a tad bored. But, don't let that fool you because Liz definitely delivers!! :)

Wow, can I say DYSFUNCTIONAL family. Poor Laurence.... sucks to be you my friend (and can I just say holy guacamole Lydia is one AWFUL mother. ..Talk about messed up in the head)....

I would recommend if you are wanting a different and unique psychological read! ;).

So.... I need a little help on this one. Those of you that have read this can you explain the last page with Lydia? (I'm assuming it may be that she's just crazy?....???

Give this an overall 4!
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,354 reviews3,007 followers
February 1, 2019
4.5 stars

This was a pretty darn near perfect read for me. I read this over the holidays and I kept forgetting to post a review until now. So my apologies in advance that not having it fresh in my mind will prevent me from doing this book justice as it was one of my favorite reads in the psychological thriller genre last year.

Things are not always as they appear. To the outside world Lydia Fitzsimons seems to have it all. She lives in a beautiful house with her husband, a well-respected judge, and her son, Laurence. But things go to hell in a handbasket when Annie Doyle meets with the couple and winds up dead. Let's just say this family ain't ever going to be quite the same.

What I loved most about this book is the author really caught me off guard a few times. Yes, you might have a general idea of where things are headed but she did manage to throw in a few surprises here and there. In particular my jaw really did drop at one moment near the beginning of the story as I thought "wow, I did not see that coming and it certainly changes things". I read so many books in this genre and while I can still enjoy a story that doesn't shock me, it always makes for a much more entertaining read when an author manages to pull it off.

Normally this is the type of book I would finish in a day but because I was on vacation it got stretched into 5 days. At times I thought the story was moving along at a slow pace but maybe that is more due to the fact I had to keep starting and stopping the book.

I highly recommend giving this one a chance if you like the genre. I loved this book so much I ended up buying the author's other novel, Unravelling Oliver, right away and I look forward to seeing if that one is just as good as this one.
Profile Image for Nazanin.
1,104 reviews637 followers
September 2, 2018
4 Stars

My first read by this author was "Unraveling Oliver" and I didn’t like it but I really enjoyed this one and I’m glad that I read it! Liz Nugent definitely has her own special writing style. Her style is not my usual read because from the first chapter you know about the victim and the murderer but that’s what makes it more interesting! It was a bit slow but yet again I couldn’t put it down and stop reading! I don’t count it as a mystery but it was definitely a great thriller though!

The story is about a dysfunctional family and their secrets and how they could manage (or should I say the mother managed) to control the situations they had! Maybe it seems simple the way I said it but believe me, it’s not even close to simple!

Told in multiple POV, 1st person. It’s a standalone novel, well-written with a perfect story-line. I didn’t like the ending so much but when I think about it, it was a perfect ending to this story. Overall, it was a really good read and hope you like it as well!!
Profile Image for Caro (Bookaria).
617 reviews20.5k followers
August 5, 2018
What a chilling and well-crafted novel!

"My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it."

That is the first line of the book and what follows is a captivating and engrossing novel. Lydia Fiztsimons is the wife of a respectable Judge and loving mother to Lawrence. They live in a beautiful and large house which holds a macabre secret. 

That's all I can say without revealing too much. Once I started reading I couldn't put this book down. This is a novel about dysfunctional families, long-held secrets, and lies. 

The story is told from multiple points of view and takes place (mostly) in Dublin. I loved it and recommend it to readers of thrillers, mysteries, and contemporary fiction.

Profile Image for Susanne.
1,168 reviews37.3k followers
December 30, 2019
3.75 Dark, Ominous and Oh So Sinister Stars!

Lydia is a woman of many secrets.
Secrets she keeps from everyone, including her husband, Andrew and her son Lawrence. Of course, each knows a tidbit of something here or there, whether it’s the truth remains to be seen, and that’s the way she likes it.

Laurence is Way too trusting.
Shame on him!

Karen is obsessed.
Searching for her sister Annie, who went missing 6 years ago, it has become her life’s work. Smart, beautiful, needy. If only she could see what was right in front of her.
Tsk. Tsk!

“Lying in Wait” is Utterly Wicked.
When the end neared and I figured out where it was going, I smiled wickedly, hand covering my mouth and said to myself,
“OH NO, You Are NOT!”
And then … “Oh Yes, She DID!!!”

A tad slow in parts, I had wished for a bit more from time to time to keep me engaged. All in all, a truly enjoyable suspense.

Thank you to my local library for the audiobook.

Published on Goodreads on 12.29.19.
Profile Image for BernLuvsBooks .
837 reviews4,716 followers
April 7, 2020
3.5 Chilling and Creepy Mommy Dearest Stars

In honor of St. Paddy’s Day I joined in on a backlist buddy read of this thriller set in Dublin, Ireland. It starts off strong with a murder at the forefront. You will find yourself compulsively turning the pages, unable to stop reading about the disturbing dynamics within the Fitzsimons family.

The middle dragged a bit for me causing me to skim here and there though I was worried I'd miss something so I found myself going back to make sure at times. 🤣

One thing was for sure - this book made me appreciate how wonderful my mama is. Lydia Fitzsimons is the stuff of nightmares y'all. You do not want to be on her bad side. Need I say it - I loved her! So domineering, dark, demented and psychotic. Although the story was told from 3 perspectives, Lydia's was by far my favorite. I loved getting inside her twisted head. The ending was sufficiently chilling and disturbing. Having enjoyed this, I'm adding Unraveling Oliver to my TBR stat.
November 15, 2018
I read Lying in Wait with five of my Traveling Sisters and it made for another fantastic discussion. We highly recommend for group reads!

Lying in Wait’s first line caught our attention, peaked our interest and we all flew through this one as fast and we could. It's one of the most intriguing starts to a book we have read. The ending left quite an impression with us all too. It had us jumping up out of our chairs, throwing our arms up and cheering or yelling and chanting WOW or WHAT did I just read!!

Lying in Wait is a well-layered, complex and entertaining story that delves into the mind of a controlling, calculating and cold character. When buried secrets start to surface our characters start to unravel and we are drawn into their insecurities, greed and the lengths they will go to keep their secrets buried. The story becomes darker and murkier with each page.

Liz Nugent does a great job creating intriguing and creepy characters with complicated relationships. At times I questioned who was the victim and who was the villain. The characters are fun to dislike and are unlikable in the best possible way.

After reading Lying In Wait, we have put Unraveling Oliver on our list for an upcoming group in November.

Thank you so much to Simon & Schuster Canada for my ARC to read and review
Profile Image for Michelle .
914 reviews1,412 followers
August 10, 2018
Liz Nugent you are one crafty lady. *claps hands*

A husband and wife. A son. A murder.

I'm not going to rehash the plot but just know this: I thought this book was brilliant. It was so much fun and I raced through the pages.

I'm a little up in the air on the ending. I can't quite decide if I was satisfied with it or not. I suppose I was satisfied but I just found it really sad. I will say that the ending was definitely not what I was expecting when starting this book so I've got to give Ms. Nugent credit for that.

I will read anything this woman writes and so should you! 5 stars!
Profile Image for Dem.
1,191 reviews1,134 followers
March 8, 2016
Liz Nugent's opening line in this twisted and devious page turning mystery certainly creates an impact.

My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

Having loved Liz Nugent's previous novel Unravelling Oliver Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent I was thrilled to get an opportunity to read her latest novel Lying in Wait and I certainly was not disappointed as her plot lines, character development and writing is sharp and vivid and this author certainly knows how to tell a story. I have read a lot of mediocre mysteries and Psychological thrillers over the past few months and had become a bit disillusioned with the same old same old. But Lying In Wait really restored my faith and had me hooked from the first sentence.

"The last people who expect to be meeting with a drug-addicted prostitute are a respected judge and his reclusive wife. And they certainly don't plan to kill her and bury her in their exquisite suburban garden. Yet Andrew and Lydia Fitzsimons find themselves in this unfortunate situation"

This is wonderfully assured and beautifully written second novel from Liz Nugent where the characters are well drawn and the plot simmers with tension. I loved the setting and the sense of time and place in 80s Dublin.

A brilliant tale of obsessive love, a multi layer thriller that I would recommend for everyone's summer reading list.

My Thanks to Penguin and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this novel

Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,036 reviews692 followers
July 3, 2018
What lies beyond the kitchen window? 

Here we have a mum who will do anything to hang onto her boy, Lawrence, despite the fact that he is grown now, and raring to get out on his own.  Who else would take care of her?  Mum is used to getting her own way.  Is she insane or merely obsessed?  And that ancient tube of screaming scarlet lipstick that is saved for special, could that have been any creepier? 

Here is a psychological thriller that won't let you down.  The opening sentence was killer, and the image left with me at the end was downright horrifying.
Profile Image for Debbie.
456 reviews2,907 followers
July 14, 2018
"My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it."

Seriously, with an opener like that, how could I not keep reading? Who in the world says “the lying tramp deserved it”? Who is this person?! I must follow her around. I must! And I mean immediately. Thus begins my clenched trip down the psycho’s path.

But the sad truth is, you know one psycho, you know them all. They sort of all seem the same—mean, sly, twisted, clever. After all, evil is evil. I guess what I’m trying to say is that despite that killer opener, she (Lydia) is pretty much an ordinary psycho. And that can get boring. But what makes a psycho unique is the creepy things they come up with to carry out their agendas, and Lydia is pretty good at doing creepy.

I’m making it sound like this book is all about Lydia the Evil. It’s not. There are two other narrators (the “good” ones, both of whom are angsty, earnest, and sympathetic) and they have center stage for most of the book. These were the characters that grabbed me. Man were they well-drawn and vivid! I could clearly see their bods and the inside of their heads. We have one guy (the son of the psycho) who is sweating a horrific secret; one woman (the sister of the victim) who is sad, successful, and on a mission. There are also two other minor female characters that pop off the page. The relationships—between the psycho and her son (she was definitely a smother-mother), and between the son and female friends—were believable and rich, and they kept me thoroughly entertained.

I can’t say I was happy with the ending, but I will say it was clever, very clever. And such a surprise. Who am I kidding? I was more than unhappy with the ending—it pissed me off royally! I planned on taking the high road and pretending it didn’t bother me much, but the whisperer in my head keeps saying liar, liar pants on fire! It still didn’t keep me from giving out 4 stars.

There are no extraneous characters, there are no side trips. The prose is good, the pace perfect, the plot unusual and plausible (in a thriller kind of way). The characters aren’t one-dimensional or stereotypical, which is a big selling point for me. Really, I can’t think of anything bad about this one. Yet I keep having a little nag in my noggin: Even though it was a fast, near-perfect read, the whisperer in my head (there she is again!) keeps muttering “lightweight.” This bugs me because I don’t understand the whisper. The only thing I can come up with is that I didn’t highlight. (I didn’t know until now that I required this activity, but apparently I do!) The whisperer says it’s not great literature, and it isn’t as good as, say, Gone Girl. I tell the whisperer to shut up, because damn, I liked this book—a lot!

In fact, the book passed my thriller test in flying colors. Did the psycho give me the heebie jeebies? Oh god yes. Did I eyeball the page numbers? Never. Was I always hot to pick the book up? Yes. Was I dying to find out what would happen? Yes. Was I surprised? For sure! Oh, and an important question: Do I want to read everything else this author writes? Absolutely! I hope to read Unraveling Oliver soon.

Sometimes you just need to escape, and this book took me far away from the state of the universe, my own sigh-ful problems, and the beckoning dishwasher. The story glued my hands to the Kindle and proceeded to take over my head for a while. A fast read, yum yum yum. Dark and twisty without any gore. Un-put-down-able!

I definitely recommend this book, especially to those who like fleshed-out characters with their thriller.

Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.
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