An incredible story that captured me from the start! GJ Minett’s intriguing psychological thriller contains topics as autism, friendship, love and betrayal.
Meet socially challenged Owen who bases his happiness on numbers: any name of which the single characters add up to a multiple of 3 is good – all the other numbers point to danger. Now Owen has the chance to catch up with Abi, the only one who was nice to him in school. But Abi is married to Callum – someone who bullied Owen as a child. Then there is Danny who has to pay back a loan to a dark criminal but is unable to raise the money. Detective Inspector Holloway meanwhile, has other worries on his mind; he does not know it yet but soon he will be investigating a murder.
When Abi meets Owen again after all those years, he is a gardener who has recently transformed a friend’s backyard from a shamble of bushes to a beautifully arranged garden. Abi falls in love with the garden and hires Owen to do her garden too. Owen feels fate is bringing Abi back into his life, much against the wishes of the cynical voice in his head of his brother Willie, with whom we witness Owen constantly arguing. We know Owen is obsessed with numbers and his reason: people lie, numbers do not. Abi’s husband Callum is dead against the plan as he thinks Owen is a nitwit and has no problem telling him so. But Callum has other things on his mind: he is looking forward to spending a few days with his mistress. If Abi is honest, she is only too happy to have some time for herself. She knows her marriage is a bit rocky, perhaps some days away from each other would do them good. Would she have known Callum is not alone…
Somehow things are going wrong, but we, the readers, do not have a clue as to what is happening. Callum’s mistress is waiting in vain, Abi has no idea where Callum is. Then there is Phil, Callum’s father. He is a retired policeman, now working as a Security Guard at a shopping centre. Phil has trouble moving on with his life after the death of his wife. Callum is all there is left, but Phil knows his son. Or does he? Owen bears a grudge against Phil, for telling him off when Callum had bullied Owen for the umpteenth time. Detective Inspector Halloway is way in over his head: he has two important cases on his desk, one of them a high profile murder case without any clue. Except perhaps for the suspicious story Owen is telling him about the girl who drove with him in his truck and went missing at a petrol station, which needs to be investigated. Nothing is what it seems in this complex tale of murder, suspense, love and friendship!
I loved the author’s debut novel The Hidden Legacy and looked forward to reading this second book. What a gripping novel! I enjoyed it very much and was amazed how the author has accomplished writing something that feels completely different, even if there are recurring elements. It is an intriguing story with the topics as autism, friendship, love and betrayal. When you are autistic and do not know how to handle life, you search for mechanisms to cope. Owen did – his is reducing people to numbers. Numbers can be trusted whereas people are difficult and can be deceiving. I found it touching how the author described him. At first, I had a little difficulty getting into the plot, as the present and (near) past interchange and there are many characters, but gradually I began to understand how the various events intertwined and how cleverly construed the plot was, with a plot twist as added bonus. Only at the end did I grasp the fullness of what happened and came to understand how the different characters’ influences were necessary for the storyline. Lie in Wait is a well-written and cleverly plotted thriller with a disturbing but also moving undercurrent.
About the Author
GJ (Graham) Minett was born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and lived there for 18 years before studying for a degree in Modern and Medieval Languages at Churchill College, Cambridge. He taught for several years, first in Cheltenham and then in West Sussex (where he and his family now live) before opting to go part-time and start an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester. Completing the course in 2008, he gained a distinction for the dissertation under the guidance of novelist, Alison MacLeod and won the Segora Short Story Competition with ‘On the Way Out’. Other awards soon followed, most notably his success in the 2010 Chapter One novel competition with what would eventually become the opening pages of his debut novel ‘The Hidden Legacy‘ – my review. ‘Lie in Wait’ is published as an ebook in August 2016 – the paperback is published on March 9th, 2017.
|Publisher||Zaffre (9 Mar. 2017)|