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She Lies in Wait

(DCI Jonah Sheens #1)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  7,790 ratings  ·  1,361 reviews
On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other—they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jea ...more
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published January 10th 2019 by Penguin (first published January 8th 2019)
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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
1983: Topaz, Coralie, Jojo, Benners, Connor, Brett and Aurora.

When Aurora Jackson accepts an invitation to go camping with her older sister and her friends, she has no idea it will be her last night alive.

The younger girl feels out of place as the older kids begin drinking, taking drugs, dancing and more.

The party goes late into the night, until everyone eventually passes out. In the morning, when the hungover teens wake, they find nothing of Aurora but her cold, empty sleeping bag.

With no tra
Apr 16, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She Lies in Wait (DCI Jonah Sheens #1) by Gytha Lodge (Author) (Narrator), John Hoskins (Narrator), Aimee-Ffion Edwards (Narrator), Joe Coen (Narrator)

In 1983, 14 year old Aurora reluctantly goes "camping" with six other teenagers. The other kids are 15-18 years old and one of them is her sister, who hates that Aurora is there. Everyone but Aurora is there for the drugs, alcohol, and sex but eventually Aurora is goaded into drinking more than water and orange juice. By the next morning, Aurora i
Dec 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
July 1983 - six teenagers go into the woods - only 5 come out!

After a night of partying in the woods, fourteen-year-old Aurora Jackson is missing. She went on the camping trip with her older sister, Topaz and her friends. After a night of drinking, the teens discover that Aurora's sleeping bag is empty and cold. Where has she gone? Who last saw her? Did she leave on her own? Did she wander off and get lost? Is someone responsible for her being missing?

Thirty years later, DCI Jonah Sheens is call
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gytha Lodge writes a well plotted debut, a mystery and police procedural, a cold case investigation of the murder of 14 year old Aurora Jackson, a young insecure and naive girl. In 1983 Aurora joins her good looking older sister, Topaz and her trendsetting friends on a camping trip in the forest. Topaz is less than happy to be stuck with Aurora, and the group proceed to indulge in heavy partying, involving drink, drugs and sex. The following morning, the group awaken in a heavy stupor with hazy ...more
Of all of the genres that I love, and I do love a lot, the one I find myself immersed in most often is police procedurals. Police Procedurals are a sub-genre of “Detective/Crime novels” and are told from the police point of view, often involving several, often unrelated cases that seemingly come together in the end. I give you this definition because She Lies in Wait is, honestly, a perfect example of a British police procedural done well.

Thirty years ago, six teenagers went camping in the woods
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
A decades old disappearance brings the case back into the spotlight when the body is discovered. Secrets, deception, lies, and the search for the truth made this debut mystery by Gytha Lodge a gripping mystery that I couldn’t put down! I loved this book—everything from the premise to the characters were so engaging. I will be reading the next in this new series as soon as she can write it!


This book really centers around a tangled web of secrets and lies. On the fateful night Aurora dis
DCI Jonah Sheens has been a cop for more than 30 years & heads up the station in Southampton. Between cases, management & meetings, days off are hard to come by. As the book opens he’s enjoying a rare chance to cycle in the hills until his phone rings. A body has been found near a campsite in New Forest. No clues, no witnesses. No problem. Jonah knows who it is.

Thirty years ago, he was a fresh faced newbie who joined the search for missing 14 year old Aurora Jackson. Her sister Topaz was camping
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
She Lies in Wait sounded like perfect thriller to dive into.......

Aurora Jackson has been missing for over 30 years... until one night a father and child stumble upon scattered bones during a camping trip.

Detective Jonah Sheens is hired onto the scene to investigate what happened to Aurora. After analysis, it is deemed that Aurora was brutally murdered at the campsite.

The story slowly unfolds to reveal what happened to Aurora that fateful night she was murdered. The author slowly leaves bread
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley

Bones are found 30 years after a young girl goes missing on a camping trip. The DCI for the new homicide case, Jonah Sheens, was a young man at the time and knew the victim from school. This is the first in a new series involving Jonah Sheens.

The book focuses on trust and friendship. Six teenage friends go camping and only five return. But not all the relationships have held up, so the stories coming out now are different than they were at the time.

We learn not only about the relationships of
Theresa Alan
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
2/2.5 stars
The challenge with this novel is that the detectives are solving a thirty-year-old investigation, so if someone did murder 14-year-old Aurora, that person has gotten away with it for thirty years. You want to know the details about the crime, but it’s not exactly time sensitive about solving it.

Detective Jonah Sheens had just joined the police force at 19-years-old when Aurora went missing from a campsite where she was with her older sister, Topaz, and five of Topaz’s friends. DCI Sh
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

WOW! I loved this book! This story captivated my attention from
page one and attention until the last word on the final page. Now that is a feat not many books can achieve to that degree.

The book revolves around a tightly knit group of six friends from young teenagers in the year 1983 until the present thirty years later. There is another member of the group and they are the focus of this wonderful crime, mystery drama and who has their own unique story to tel
Whispering Stories
Book reviewed by Stacey on

July 1983 five teenage friends and one of their little sisters aged fourteen go camping in the forest. The friends spend the night drinking and partying, all except Aurora Jackson who takes her sleeping bag to the edge of the camp to get some sleep. In the morning her sleeping bag is empty and she is no-where to be found. Worried for her safety the friends send for the police who spend weeks combing the area but they have no luck in finding her
Dec 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge is the first book in the new police procedural thriller DCI Jonah Sheens series. This first book of the series has our new detectives in search of a killer from a cold case that is over thirty years old. The chapters alternate between the current investigation and the past when the young girl had gone missing.

In July of 1983 Aurora Jackson had gone on a camping trip with her older sister Topaz and Topaz’s friends. Being a few years younger than the group Aurora wa
Amy Imogene Reads

A group of friends take a drug-filled camping trip. A girl goes missing. 30 years later, a British detective with a history entwined with the friend group has to uncover decades-old secrets with the discovery of the young girl's body...not 100 yards away from the original campsite.

Concept: ★★★★★
Writing: ★★★ 1/2
Characters: ★★★
Detective: ★ 1/2
Villain(s): ★★★

She Lies in Wait involves one of my favorite mystery/thriller tropes: the tight friend group in isolation, and a dead body that points to
2.5/5 stars

Aurora Jackson has been missing for over 30 years, until now. When a young child and her father stumble on bones scattered near their campsite, detective Jonah Sheens is brought in to investigate. After futher analysis, it's reported that the bones are Aurora Jackson's. The mystery to where she has been is discovered—she was murdered.

As Jonah Sheens investigates the night of Aurora's disappearance in the woods, the reader is given flashbacks to that fateful night. Aurora, her sister
Louise Wilson
Mar 11, 2019 rated it liked it
DCI Jonah Sheens #1

July 1993, a group teenagers go camping in the forest. It's a scorching night and Aurora Jackson, the youngest member of the group, was delighted to be allowed to tag along. As the night progresses, they drink, dance and kiss. Some of them slip into the woods in pairs. But in the morning, Aurora has disappeared. An investigation was launched, but no trace of the teenager was ever found. Thirty years later, Aurora's body was unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends kn
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a free e-copy of She Lies in Wait (DCI Jonah Sheens, #1) by Gytha Lodge from NetGalley for my honest review.

I thoroughly enjoyed this page-turning mystery. It started off a little slow but it quickly picked up and I stayed up through the night to finish it.

In 1983 seven teenagers go camping in the woods. When everyone wakes up the next morning, they realize that Aurora is missing. There is an investigation but nothing is found.

Thirty years later, Aurora’s bones are found in a place t
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In brief - Yep - damn good read. 4.5/5 and happily rounded.

In full
There is a nice start to this book - old bones are found at a site of interest in an old case. The police officer in charge of the case was had just started his career in the police at the time of the original investigation. He is now a DCI and brings with him his team and a new Detective Constable. The book alternates in the main between the current time, the case and the investigation and memories from the past. Most of the old
Liz Barnsley
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written literary mystery set over two timelines following a group of friends who go on a camping trip where one of their number gets left behind. We also follow the investigation 30 years later.

Great characters, absorbing sense of place and time, reminded me very much of Tana French a favourite author of mine.

Looking forward to talking more about this one nearer publication.

Highly Recommended.
 Li'l Owl
A Spellbinding Debut! Terrifying suspence from cover to cover!

She moved into the shadows under the bank, her eyes dazzled. There were blue patterns everywhere she looked. A spreading beech tree was above her, and roots arced out of the soil like flattened croquet hoops. Her foot caught on one. She stumbled, her heart jolting as she thought she might fall into the water. The river was dirty in the shadows under the tree, ominous. But she wasn’t really close enough to fall in, and she regained h
A group of teens go camping, and one of them goes missing. Thirty years later, the missing girl's remains are found. The investigation looks into what happened that night in the woods.

Told with alternating timelines - the night the teens gathered in the woods to camp and the investigation thirty years later. I enjoy the alternating timelines, especially when there is such a big difference in time. Aurora is the missing girl, and the past is told from her point of view. The present is from the in
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley, series
Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
First thing I did when I woke up this morning was reach for this book. Not that I need a new series to dive in, but this one sounded too good to pass up. My favorite police procedurals are the cold case ones and this involved a thirty year old disappearance of a teenage girl and the suspects in her murder were all teens themselves. But when Aurora Jackson's remains are discovered by a family on a camp
Aurora Jackson disappeared thirty years ago at age fourteen. She went camping with her sister, Topaz, and five of Topaz's friends. Topaz reluctantly let her kid sister tag along. No one ever saw Aurora again. Thirty years later, a body is found. DCI Jonah Sheens and DC Hanson are called to the scene, but Jonah already knows that it's Aurora. He's been waiting for this discovery for years. During the original investigation, all six friends maintained their stories and their innocence. But now Jon ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

What could have happened to Aurora? Someone knows but isn't telling.

Uncovering bones from a thirty-year-old disappearance/murder case wasn’t something the police thought would happen after their very thorough search and investigation back then.

The remains of fourteen-year-old Aurora Jackson was a shock to the six teens that had been with her as well as the town and her parents. Everyone believed she had been kidnapped or had run away not murdered.

SHE LIES IN WAIT goes back and forth from 1983 t
Thirty years ago 7 teenagers went on a camping trip in the woods and 14 year old Aurora Jackson disappeared, until her body turned up in the prologue of this book. If you read a lot of thrillers, or just look at their blurbs, you know that whenever a group of teenagers gets together someone winds up dead and the rest of the kids keep their secrets for decades. I think I read at least two books with this plot last year. This trope is not improved by repetition, and unless the author puts some cre ...more
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In her debut thriller novel, Gytha Lodge writes a dark and riveting novel that spans 30 years.
Aurora Jackson was delighted to be going overnight camping with her sister Topaz and four of Topaz’s friends. As a bright but awkward 14 she was thrilled to be included. After an evening of dancing, talking and sitting by the fire, all six retired for the night. When morning arrived, there was no sign of Aurora. A search which included local cop Jonah Sheens was conducted. No results. The five remaining
Julie (JuJu)
My thoughts:
I’d like to give this mystery a 3.5 ⭐️ rating, but Goodreads doesn’t have that function so I’m rounding down to 3 ⭐️’s. If you enjoy detective series, it’s worth reading.

**My apologies to Ms. Lodge. I feel that my reading preferences, rather than her book or writing skills influenced review**

This is the author’s debut and the beginning of a series. It’s told in alternating timelines—past (30 years earlier) and present. It was well-written, but not thrilling enough for me. As with mos
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Off to the races! This is a great debut novel and is the beginning of a new series starring DCI Jonah Sheens. Basically it is a well-done police procedural.

Thirty years ago six friends went camping and one 14-year-old girl disappeared and was never found. Fast forward to present day and some bones are found near the campsite. The mystery is to solve what actually happened. The story is told in two timelines with Aurora narrating the past and then the investgation happening during the present. I
Bex (Beckie Bookworm)

'She Lies in wait' Is a police procedure mystery: the first in the series featuring DCI Jonah Sheens.
It explores the cold case of thirty years missing school girl Aurora Jackson who vanished back in 1983 while camping out with her sister and school friends.
So this one is rather close to home for Jonah as though he is not close friends and slightly older than the suspects he did attend school with them all back in the day.
When human remains are found not far from the original campsite that of cou
Evie Braithwaite
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s July 1983 and seven teenagers go camping in the forest. The following morning, after a night of heavy drinking and drug taking, no one can find Aurora Jackson. Months of searching and investigating go by and the case eventually goes cold.

Fast forward 30 years later and a body has been discovered. DCI Sheens is called to the scene and the skeletal remains belong to just the person he suspected, Aurora. However, her body is discovered in the hideaway only the 6 teenagers knew about. The kill
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Gytha Lodge is a multi-award-winning playwright, novelist and writer for video games and screen. She is also a single parent who blogs about the ridiculousness of bringing up a mega-nerd small boy.

She has a profound addiction to tea, crosswords and awful puns. When not writing, she heads up a copywriting team at a global translation firm, where she generally tries to keep all the video-game writi

Other books in the series

DCI Jonah Sheens (3 books)
  • Watching from the Dark (DCI Jonah Sheens, #2)
  • Lie Beside Me (DCI Jonah Sheens, #3)

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