Book Number: N/A
Read this book for: psychological thriller, unreliable narrator, missing person’s case, female lead character, twisting plot, suspense
Quick Review: Intense, emotional, and chilling, this twisting story will grip you, and make you question your opinions about the characters again and again.
Five-year-old Ava Boone vanished without a trace six months ago. No witnesses, no sightings or arrests. But Grace Wright just moved in next door to the only suspect the case had: quiet, middle-aged Leland Ernest. Recently divorced, Grace uprooted her two small children to start again and hopes the move will reset her crippling insomnia. With whispered neighborhood gossip and increasingly sleepless nights, Grace develops a fierce obsession with Leland and the safety of her children. Could she really be living next door to a child-kidnapper? A murderer? With reality and dream blurring more each day, Grace desperately pursues the truth – following Ava’s family, demanding answers from the police – and then a body is discovered…
SHE LIES CLOSE is a recently published stand-alone psychological thriller by Sharon Doering. It tracks the emotional and mental spiral of Grace Wright, a recently divorced mother of two whose anxiety over her children’s wellbeing has led her to obsess over her neighbour, a suspect in the kidnapping of a little girl the same age as her own.
That fear and anxiety permeates this novel, and the emotional intensity of Grace’s worry is one of the most prominent and powerful aspects of the story. Her nerves are palpable, and somehow make her actions – even though they are unreasonable – completely understandable, rather than over the top. Doering also handles Grace’s slipping grip on reality with subtlety and deftness.
This subtlety means we’re never quite sure what is real and what isn’t in Grace’s experience, which is perfect, because as time goes on, neither is she. Without spoiling anything, it’s this unreliability that drives the plot, but it also makes you desperate for answers as to what is actually going on, and turns a fairly simple plot scenario into something much darker and more twisted.
I was expecting a fairly simple resolution to the plot of this novel: a woman who is completely obsessed with a particular crime and suspect suddenly becomes much more involved than you expect at the outset. However, Doering has created a couple of fascinating twists on that particular theme that made the ending a bit of a surprise to me; the reversals and changes are almost Hitchcock-ian.
If you are looking for a tense psychological thriller that will drag you in with tension and keep you riveted, desperate for a resolution, SHE LIES CLOSE is definitely worth picking up!