LYING BESIDE YOU By Michael Robotham
Michael Robotham is one of those authors who rarely, if ever, disappoints.
It has been eighteen years since his first novel, THE SUSPECT, appeared and in the intervening years, I have only been slightly disappointed with one of his novels.
LYING BESIDE YOU (Hachette, 29 June 2022) is the third book in his series about forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven and troubled young adult, Evie Cormac, and finds Cyrus dealing with problems on several fronts.
Twenty years ago, Cyrus’ family was murdered by his older brother Elias who suffered from hallucinations and voices in his head. Now Elias is being released from a secure psychiatric hospital and Cyrus must decide if he can forgive the man who destroyed his childhood. As he prepares for the homecoming, Cyrus, who is a consultant to the police, is called to a crime scene in Nottingham. A man is dead and his daughter, Maya, is missing. The police quickly settle on a suspect, but Cyrus is less sure and then a second woman is abducted.
LYING BESIDE YOU is another cleverly plotted and well-crafted novel by Robotham. As usual, the writing is first class, and Robotham has a real skill for being able to quickly draw the reader into the story. The opening account of the murder of Cyrus’ parents and sisters is emotionally powerful and, as always with his books, it is the telling small detail that stays in your mind and connects you to the story, such as his sister clutching a ukulele.
The central storyline about the missing women is engaging and interesting, and there are enough logical twists and turns to satisfy even the most jaded crime reader. The book builds to a terrific climax, that is given extra intensity by Robotham’s ability to create well fleshed out characters that you come to care about. There is real poignancy in the conclusion, along with plenty suspense and excitement.
There are perhaps a couple of unnecessary coincidences, but overall this an outstanding book and one of my favourite crime reads of the year, so far.
Four and a half stars out of five!
Lying Beside You will be released in Australia on 29 June 2022 and on 23 June 2022 in the United Kingdom.
Thanks to the publisher and the Canberra Weekly for an early copy of the book.
Fans of Michael’s earlier books will also be pleased to know that his first book, The Suspect, is being turned into a television series by World Productions, makers of Line Of Duty and Bodyguard. The series will star Aidan Turner (Poldark) in the key role of psychologist Joe O’Loughlin. Certainly something to look forward to!