Watching from the Dark (DCI Jonah Sheens, #2)
One crime. One witness. One question . . . Why didn’t he call the police?When a vibrant young woman is murdered while on a video chat, a small-town detective wades into a circle of friends and lovers with dangerous secrets—in the new novel from the acclaimed author of the “enjoyably chilling”* She Lies in Wait.*The New York Times Book ReviewAidan Poole logs on to his laptop late at night to Skype his girlfriend, Zoe. To his horror, he realizes that there is someone else in her flat. Aidan can only listen to the sounds of a violent struggle taking place in the bathroom—and then the sound of silence. He is desperate to find out if Zoe is okay. But then why is he so hesitant to call the police?When Aidan’s cryptic messages finally reach them, Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens and his team take the case—and discover the body. They soon find that no one has a bad word to say about Zoe, a big hearted young artist at the center of a curious web of waifs and strays, each relying on her for support, each hiding dark secrets and buried resentments. Has one of her so-called “friends” been driven to murder? Or does Aidan have the biggest secret of them all?

Watching from the Dark (DCI Jonah Sheens, #2) Details

TitleWatching from the Dark (DCI Jonah Sheens, #2)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 5th, 2020
PublisherPenguin
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Suspense

Watching from the Dark (DCI Jonah Sheens, #2) Review

  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, its another fast and intriguing reading burned a lot of my grey cells. (Dunking my head in icy bucket to put down the fire) I have to admit I had a great time ( Even though my grey cells packed their bags and want to abandon my head forever)The book is starting fast. Were quickly introduced (actually we are not! Correction: We just see a random guy name Aidan who sits in front of his computer and we are not sure if he is pervert or a normal human being! He may be soul twin of Joe Goldberg! Okay, it’s another fast and intriguing reading burned a lot of my grey cells. (Dunking my head in icy bucket to put down the fire) I have to admit I had a great time ( Even though my grey cells packed their bags and want to abandon my head forever)The book is starting fast. We’re quickly introduced (actually we are not! Correction: We just see a random guy name Aidan who sits in front of his computer and we are not sure if he is pervert or a normal human being! He may be soul twin of Joe Goldberg! I have to stop binge watching second season of YOU) Aidan Poole staring his computer screen. Nope, he doesn’t watch something inappropriate, at least not at first. He got a Skype call from his girlfriend and accepts it but she is nowhere to be seen. He can only see her empty living room and hear water splashing so he realizes she is in the bath. Is it some kind of sick fantasy? Well, he gets intrigued and waits for more patiently. But what the hell, he sees that the front door slowly opens. Somebody is in the house. Does his girlfriend have an affair with someone?He hears the footsteps and opening of the bathroom door, more water splashing and… few minutes later, the front door slowly closes again. What the hell happened? Breaking and entering? Is his girlfriend okay? Should he call 999?Quiet a great opening, what do you think? Like a thrilling opening of your favorite crime series! Let’s move on and see how this incident will connect us with our crime team. (If you already read the first book: “She lies in wait”, you already know the members and get ready to welcome them with open arms.)DCI Jonah Sheens receives Aidan’s weird message: a guy is worried about his girlfriend’s well-being! He thinks she might be in big trouble!So he makes his Google research, gathering pieces, finding the name and address to check out the girlfriend’s situation. Her name is Zoe Swardadine. Yes, she is definitely dead! It’s time to suit up and put his team into play. Domnall O’Malley: experienced, elder member of the team, smart, analytic, Juliette: enthusiastic member of the team, also smart, suffering some issues with her past and Ben is most secretive member of the team, he is so quiet and gives me a little creeps.So this book gave me mind spinning because I changed my mind so many times to decide who the killer is. Angelina, Maeve, Victor, anyone from her past? My spider senses gave me their resignation letter because they thought they were useless. At the end I finally found whodunit but I felt really exhausted and left my body hit the couch to take a long nap to ease my nerves.I loved the first book and this one is also quite remarkable sequel. I’m so ready to read more adventures of this team.Special thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group for sharing this ARC COPY with me in exchange my honest review.bloginstagramfacebooktwitter
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  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    This the sequel to Gytha Lodge's DCI Jonah Sheens of the Hampshire Constabulary series, a sequel I was really keen to read after enjoying She Lies In Wait. This is a multilayered blend of psychological thriller and police procedural, and it has a intriguing and fabulous beginning. Aidan Poole is a lecturer, on his laptop late at night, on skype to his girlfriend, Zoe Swardadine, only she has made her way to have a bath. He is waiting, looking at her flat, when he hears someone enter the flat, go This the sequel to Gytha Lodge's DCI Jonah Sheens of the Hampshire Constabulary series, a sequel I was really keen to read after enjoying She Lies In Wait. This is a multilayered blend of psychological thriller and police procedural, and it has a intriguing and fabulous beginning. Aidan Poole is a lecturer, on his laptop late at night, on skype to his girlfriend, Zoe Swardadine, only she has made her way to have a bath. He is waiting, looking at her flat, when he hears someone enter the flat, go into the bathroom, Aidan hears noises that sound like a deadly assault, then nothing. He is afraid that Zoe is dead but is reluctant to phone the police. Why? Sheens sees a message about the report of a death which he eventually decides to follow up, which leads to the discovery of Zoe's body, apparently having committing suicide, except for the chemical smell lingering on Zoe's face that makes it clear that this is without doubt a murder. So Jonah and his team of detectives, Domnall O'Malley, Ben Lightman and Juliette Hanson begin to investigate, although O'Malley is left with the remnants of a blackmail case to complete. They begin to draw up a list of Zoe's circle of friends and family. Zoe is a gifted student artist whose talent has emerged in the last year, working part time at Gina's upmarket Coffee shop, with a close circle of friends that include the emotionally broken Angeline Judd, the Christian Maeve Silver, involved with her church pastor, the tempestuous Brazilian Victor Varos and retired PTSD suffering Felix Solomon, Zoe's landlord. The narrative goes back and forth in time from twenty months ago, at Zoe getting ready for Gina's wedding, where at the reception she first meets and is attracted to the sulky good looking Aidan. An intense relationship develops between the two of them, played out amidst the background of the issues, feelings and drama of Zoe's friends that lead to her murder.Lodge writes a beautifully plotted and well written twisted story that unfolds slowly to reveal the surprising and horrifying truth of what happened to Zoe and why. Sheens and his team each play their integral part in uncovering the truth, and along the way suspect almost everyone of being the potential killer. Lodge creates a host of diverse characters that draw in the reader with ease, that you get to know well, as their secrets and lies are revealed one after the other. This is a great addition to a great series that I found compulsive reading and so very engrossing. Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC.
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    **4.5-stars rounded up **This was everything I wanted it to be. Gytha Lodge, you have made me a happy girl. No second book syndrome here!Signing on to his standard 11 o'clock Skype date with his girlfriend, Zoe, Aidan Poole can tell right away something is off.For one, Zoe isn't in front of the camera. He observes her, but then she goes into the bathroom and starts running a bath. Anticipating something kinky may be in the works, he sits back and watches.Things take a disturbing turn however, **4.5-stars rounded up **This was everything I wanted it to be. Gytha Lodge, you have made me a happy girl. No second book syndrome here!Signing on to his standard 11 o'clock Skype date with his girlfriend, Zoe, Aidan Poole can tell right away something is off.For one, Zoe isn't in front of the camera. He observes her, but then she goes into the bathroom and starts running a bath. Anticipating something kinky may be in the works, he sits back and watches.Things take a disturbing turn however, when he observes a shadowy figure entering her apartment and then proceeding into the bathroom, closing the door behind him.Next he hears obvious sounds of a struggle. Zoe is being attacked and there is nothing he can do!You're probably thinking he could call the police. Yes, that does seem logical, he can explain what is happening and give them her address. But he doesn't.Not right away, anyway. He ultimately does end up calling the next day, but if Zoe were brutally attacked, wouldn't he want to get her help as soon as possible?If you think this sounds like an intriguing way to a kick off a story, you're absolutely right!When his odd crime report makes its way to the desk of DCI Jonah Sheens, he and his team decide to take it seriously and investigate.Soon they discover, Zoe didn't survive the attack. Now tackling a murder investigation, Sheens and the team dig deep into her life, friend group and mysterious relationship with Aidan.I really enjoyed the first installment to the Jonah Sheens series, She Lies in Wait, and was highly anticipating this release.I am happy to report this exceeded my expectations. I feel like Lodge's writing has matured in such a pleasant way. The investigatory aspects of this were so strong, as well as the plotting. There were many clever red herrings and twists along the way.I loved being back with Sheens and the other officers. They work so well together and that is nice to see. Often there can be a lot of drama within investigative units, so it is nice to see a group that works together in a supportive way.I do think this can be read as a standalone, so if you haven't read the first book, please don't let that keep you from picking this one up. If the premise sounds good to you, jump on it.I have a feeling you'll be adding the first book to your TBR after. As you should, because it is great too! As for me, I am so excited about the potential for this series. I hope it lasts a long, long time. I know I will be picking up every single one that gets released.Thank you so much to the publisher, Penguin Random House, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I truly appreciate it. I am looking forward to reading so much more from Gytha Lodge in the future!
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second in the Jonah Sheens series. I really enjoyed the first book, but it took me slightly longer to engage with this one. Aidan Poole is attempting to Skype with his girlfriend when he sees someone entering her apartment and then its apparent something violent happens off screen. He reports the incident but for some reason, doesnt give his name or contact info. Sure enough, shes been murdered. Will the police believe him? And why the hesitancy about giving his name? Part of my This is the second in the Jonah Sheens series. I really enjoyed the first book, but it took me slightly longer to engage with this one. Aidan Poole is attempting to Skype with his girlfriend when he sees someone entering her apartment and then it’s apparent something violent happens off screen. He reports the incident but for some reason, doesn’t give his name or contact info. Sure enough, she’s been murdered. Will the police believe him? And why the hesitancy about giving his name? Part of my initial problem was that the book jumps back and forth between the investigation and Zoe’s life some 20 months before the murder and moving forward. I did feel sorry for Zoe, as most of her friends seemed to be real pain in the rear, needy sorts. But I also couldn’t understand why she continued to put up with all of them. I enjoyed the investigation parts of the story, especially as we learn more about the team members. I especially liked learning more about Hanson. Sheens is impressed when she doesn’t get sick at her first postmortem. “Well, either you’re good at keeping it together under tough circumstances...or it means you’re a psychopath. But I’m sure there’s a place for you in the team either way.” Good work, Ms Lodge, because I didn’t have a clue as to the murderer until the end. At various times, I was convinced it was each one of her friends. Anyone that enjoys a well done police procedural will enjoy this one. My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    So imagine this. Youre on the computer late one night, waiting for your girlfriend to appear on your Skype feed. You can see her empty living room & it sounds like shes in the bath. Suddenly, in the corner of the screen, you see the edge of her front door slowly open. Soft foot steps echo down the hallway. The next thing you hear is the sound of splashing water. Minutes later, you watch in horror as the front door quietly closes. Silence. Aidan Poole doesnt have to imagine it. Hes left So imagine this. You’re on the computer late one night, waiting for your girlfriend to appear on your Skype feed. You can see her empty living room & it sounds like she’s in the bath. Suddenly, in the corner of the screen, you see the edge of her front door slowly open. Soft foot steps echo down the hallway. The next thing you hear is the sound of splashing water. Minutes later, you watch in horror as the front door quietly closes. Silence. Aidan Poole doesn’t have to imagine it. He’s left staring at the screen, terrified by what he just witnessed. Clearly Zoe needs help ASAP. So then why is he strangely reluctant to call 999?Now THAT’s how it’s done, folks. If this prologue doesn’t grab you, you’re…ungrabbable. Or possibly in a coma. If you read She Lies in Wait, you’ll be familiar with the returning cast.DCI Jonah Sheens is back & as the story begins he receives a weird message at the Hampshire Constabulary: some guy called about some girl somewhere in the area who might be in trouble. Or dead. Huh? After consulting the records (and Google) he finally comes up with a name & address. A quick visit confirms that yes, Zoe Swardadine is in fact very dead. Time to gather the team.Domnall O’Malley, Juliette Hanson & Ben Lightman make up his close knit squad & they waste no time assembling a list of Zoe’s nearest & dearest. Let’s see….there’s Aidan, the boyfriend with everything to lose. Angeline is a close friend who clearly has some issues. Maeve is her former room mate with a complicated love life. Victor is the co-worker who quietly carried a torch for her. And then there’s Felix, the older man who was her landlord.What follows is a layered story full of people with something to hide. The challenge for the squad is figuring out which of their secrets are related to the murder. As little snippets of information surface, each of the people in Zoe’s life will top the list of suspects at one time or another. Alternating with the present day investigation are chapters that begin 20 months before her death. Here we get the history of how Zoe & Aidan met & the complex relationships between the gang. As these progress, they begin to inform the present & change how you view each of the characters. You’ll find yourself giving one of them the side-eye & thinking Aha!. Then you read the next chapter & suddenly someone else becomes your prime suspect. This is not an action packed, shoot-em-up kind of procedural. It’s a twisty psychological suspense story that touches on the darker sides of human nature such as obsession, jealousy, deception & the damage people do to each other. The middle section showcases the grunt work cops endure that makes or breaks a case. It’s also where they (and the reader) pick up the clues that ultimately point them in the direction of Zoe’s killer. By the end of book #1, I knew the regulars were characters I wanted to meet again so I really enjoyed this. It’s a pleasure to come across a police force portrayed in a way that avoids the usual tropes of office politics & backstabbing. Instead you have distinct characters who actually get along & each brings something different to the table. Domnall is the elder statesman of the squad with a dry wit. Juliette is smart, keen & there are hints of a developing subplot concerning her past. Ben is a quiet guy who is bit of an enigma. And holding them all together is Jonah. He’s a likeable man who’s only really comfortable when he’s on the job. As for his personal life…well, that needs a little work.All in all, a creepy & intricate story with an ending that may surprise many readers. Job done.
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  • MissBecka
    January 1, 1970
    Well that was delightful.Loving this series and loving Gytha Lodge's style.I am eager for more cases with these detectives!Much love to NetGalley & Random House Publishing Group - Random House for my DRC.
  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars. Gytha Lodge previously wrote She Lies In Wait, a meticulous police procedural which was one of my favourite books in 2019. I was thrilled to learn that there was a second book featuring the same team of police detectives. Watching From the Dark proves that her first intricately plotted, complex novel which detailed the work necessary in solving crimes was not beginners' luck and places her among the top authors of slow-burning British police procedural/ psychological thrillers..The 4.5 Stars. Gytha Lodge previously wrote She Lies In Wait, a meticulous police procedural which was one of my favourite books in 2019. I was thrilled to learn that there was a second book featuring the same team of police detectives. Watching From the Dark proves that her first intricately plotted, complex novel which detailed the work necessary in solving crimes was not beginners' luck and places her among the top authors of slow-burning British police procedural/ psychological thrillers..The beginning is gripping and most intriguing. Aidan, a university lecturer, sits down at his computer to chat with his girlfriend, Zoe. She is a talented art student who has a small, dysfunctional circle of friends but seems well-loved by everyone she meets. Her group of friends look upon her for her cheerful, unselfish comfort and support. As Aidan watches is the screen, he is puzzled that Zoe does not show up. He hears her in the bathroom. While he waits, he hears someone enter her flat. This intruder goes into the bathroom. He wonders if she has another lover. Then he hears what seems like a deadly struggle. The intruder leaves, but their image is not visible on screen. He is shaken fearing Zoe has been murdered. After some hesitation, Aidan calls the police. He refuses to give his name or reveal where the crime occurred. Later he learns that her dead body was discovered in her bathtub. He is now prepared to reveal more to the police. He confesses that they were having an affair, but not that he has a wife. When Zoe discovered the existence of the wife, she was furious and broke up with him several times but then reconciled. At first, her death looked like suicide, but forensics showed she had been subdued by chemicals. Detective Chief Inspector, Jonah Sheens and his talented team conduct a painstaking investigation which includes repeated interviews. Their work is careful and detailed but the truth is elusive. We see the importance of tracing phone calls, the use of computers and images captured on traffic and security cameras in crime-solving. Among the suspects are Zoe’s close-knit group of friends: Maeve, a moody outgoing young woman who professes Christian values, but who have been reported having an affair with her married pastor or stalked and harassed him into leaving his parish. Angelina, a fragile girl, constantly demanding attention and comforting. Victor, a hot-tempered Brazilian, who seemed jealous of Zoe’s affair with Aidan. Felix, her older landlord, suffering from bouts of PTSD. All these friends relied on Zoe for emotional support. Why would any of them have a motive to kill this vibrant girl? Then there is Aidan, prime suspect, due to his lies of omission to the police and his secrets. Was he angry because Zoe wanted him out of her life? As the detectives delve deeper into the lives of the many suspects, they learn that any and all of them might have reason to kill Zoe. How will they solve this twisted and complicated case? Recommended to readers who enjoy a slow-burning British police procedural with complicated and needy characters. Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for this engaging mystery in return for an honest review.
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  • Darinda
    January 1, 1970
    Aidan is on Skype with his girlfriend Zoe when he hears the sounds of a struggle. He's concerned about Zoe, but his call to the police is cryptic. The police investigate and find Zoe has been killed. Their investigation leads to a unique group of people each connected to Zoe.This is the second book in the DCI Jonah Sheens series, but Watching from the Dark can be read as a standalone. I've read the first book, and found this second book to be a little better. Both are good reads for fans of Aidan is on Skype with his girlfriend Zoe when he hears the sounds of a struggle. He's concerned about Zoe, but his call to the police is cryptic. The police investigate and find Zoe has been killed. Their investigation leads to a unique group of people each connected to Zoe.This is the second book in the DCI Jonah Sheens series, but Watching from the Dark can be read as a standalone. I've read the first book, and found this second book to be a little better. Both are good reads for fans of British police procedurals.There is an assorted group of characters that the police must interview and investigate to solve who the killer is. It seems none of the characters is quite as innocent as they appear, and everyone has secrets.An entertaining crime read. Well paced and it's not a super obvious mystery. Twisty and interesting.I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Bridgett
    January 1, 1970
    I didn't realize, upon requesting this ARC, that it was the second in a series of books.I wish I had. Although I suppose you could consider this a stand-alone, the characters (those in the police force) weren't fleshed out at all. As I was reading, it felt as though I should know who all these people were, and their back stories; but I didn't. It was this big, huge hole that I couldn't fill because I hadn't read book one. Beyond that, the writing had a quality which I found...floundering. The I didn't realize, upon requesting this ARC, that it was the second in a series of books.I wish I had. Although I suppose you could consider this a stand-alone, the characters (those in the police force) weren't fleshed out at all. As I was reading, it felt as though I should know who all these people were, and their back stories; but I didn't. It was this big, huge hole that I couldn't fill because I hadn't read book one. Beyond that, the writing had a quality which I found...floundering. The story happily bounced around, seemingly going nowhere. The red herrings were decent, had the twist not been the oldest in the book. I mean, of course that was the killer. It always is. I won't say more than that, but if you're a fan of this genre, and you know about crime and who detectives immediately look at as suspects, the ending won't be a surprise. And what a group of loathsome characters, man. Just awful. I felt sorry for Zoe, having this clingy, needy group of misfits in her life. That book cover though...gorgeous! An average read. 2.5 stars rounded down You can get your own copy of this book (and I'd recommend the first in the series too), on February 25, 2020. Many thanks to the publisher for my review copy.
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  • Amy Imogene Reads
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsA man waits for his girlfriend to pick up his Skype call. Waiting for her on the webcam, he sees something in her apartment that he wasn't expecting to seeher murder. Concept: ★★★★ 1/2Characters: ★★★Mystery(s)/Reveal(s): ★★★Watching from the Dark comes out on February 25, 2020.Watching From the Dark is the second novel in the British detective series centered on DCI Jonah Sheens and his police team, Hanson, Lightman, and O'Malley. Aidan Poole is waiting for Zoe on Skype one night, and 3.5 starsA man waits for his girlfriend to pick up his Skype call. Waiting for her on the webcam, he sees something in her apartment that he wasn't expecting to see—her murder. Concept: ★★★★ 1/2Characters: ★★★Mystery(s)/Reveal(s): ★★★Watching from the Dark comes out on February 25, 2020.Watching From the Dark is the second novel in the British detective series centered on DCI Jonah Sheens and his police team, Hanson, Lightman, and O'Malley. Aidan Poole is waiting for Zoe on Skype one night, and instead of a chat he's greeted with a gruesome murder. Who killed Zoe, and what should he do about it? Adding fuel to the fire, Aidan doesn't directly go to the police, and his dodgy avoidance of detail raises the suspicions of DCI Sheens.As the secrets and lies start to bubble to the surface, it appears that Zoe's life as a graduate art student wasn't as simple as it appeared... So, some background on this series and my views on DCI Sheens. I read and reviewed the first novel, She Lies in Wait, last year and thought it was...fine. I loved the set-up and I liked the twisty turns to the finish line, but I really, really struggled with feeling a connection to DCI Sheens and found the final reveal to be a small letdown. I had a similar experience with Watching From the Dark. So at this point it's safe to say that this is definitely a "me" problem and not the fault of these books. The initial set-up, great. The red herrings and false alarms, entertaining. The interpersonal quagmire of the victim, really interesting. But the detective? Nope. I still didn't vibe with DCI Sheens. I found his sections distanced, nonessential to the plot, and his team's belief in his infallibility seemed extremely bizarre and unfounded to me—he's this super great detective, supposedly, but throughout the entire book I didn't see it.In addition to my continued lack of interest in Sheens, I also found the ending of Watching From the Dark to be an interesting choice considering the different options presented to us throughout the book. Again, given my response to both books in this series, it seems to be a compatibility issue on my part—which is so personally frustrating, as I keep finding myself drawn to these books. However, to end on a positive note, this novel NAILED its pacing—I was engrossed in the whodunit. I may have tried to skip through Sheens' parts, but in terms of the mystery itself I found it extremely compelling and couldn't wait to find out who did it.Thank you to Random House for an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.Original notes: I enjoyed Gytha Lodge's debut, She Lies in Wait, and this second novel sounds like it has the potential to be even better! Excited to find out.
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  • Linda Strong
    January 1, 1970
    Aiden Poole is sitting with his laptop waiting to Skype with his sort-of girlfriend, Zoe. He's waiting for her to get out of the shower, when he's horrified to see that someone is in her apartment. Did she have company? Or is this an intruder?He hears fighting coming from the bathroom ... and then there's silence ... utter silence. . He is desperate to find out if Zoe is okay. But then why is he so hesitant to call the police?DCI Jonah Sheens and his team take the case. The phone call they Aiden Poole is sitting with his laptop waiting to Skype with his sort-of girlfriend, Zoe. He's waiting for her to get out of the shower, when he's horrified to see that someone is in her apartment. Did she have company? Or is this an intruder?He hears fighting coming from the bathroom ... and then there's silence ... utter silence. . He is desperate to find out if Zoe is okay. But then why is he so hesitant to call the police?DCI Jonah Sheens and his team take the case. The phone call they received was a little sketchy. The caller wasn't sure of her address and he stated he had not seen the intruder's face. He denied knowing if she was hurt.. or dead. It takes some excellent police work to track down her residence .... and find her body.Sheens and his team can find no one who has an unkind thing to say about Zoe. According to family and friends, she was the one they turned to for help, support. Was she privy to something she should not have heard ... or seen? . Has one of her so-called “friends” been driven to murder? Or does Aidan have the biggest secret of them all?Nicely plotted, the story takes the reader from the here and now, following the police investigation, to the backstory of Zoe. Who was she really? What made her tick? Who would want her dead..and why? The suspense starts at the very first page and never lets up until the unexpected ending. Twists and turns will have you forgetting breathe.Many thanks to the author / Random House Publishing Group - Random House / Netgalley for the digital copy of this crime fiction/psychological thriller. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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  • Nigel
    January 1, 1970
    In brief - Decent enough read and very good in parts.In fullI read and enjoyed Gytha Lodge's first book. While I wasn't blown away by it it was a decent crime read and I did like a couple of the characters in it. One them was DCI Jonah Sheens and this book finds him involved in another puzzling case. Aidan is on his computer late at night to call his girlfriend Zoe on Skye. He realises that there seems to be someone else in her flat and then hears a violent struggle taking place. It all goes In brief - Decent enough read and very good in parts.In fullI read and enjoyed Gytha Lodge's first book. While I wasn't blown away by it it was a decent crime read and I did like a couple of the characters in it. One them was DCI Jonah Sheens and this book finds him involved in another puzzling case. Aidan is on his computer late at night to call his girlfriend Zoe on Skye. He realises that there seems to be someone else in her flat and then hears a violent struggle taking place. It all goes quiet and he wonders if Zoe has come to harm. Given that why is he reluctant to call the police and when he eventually does why does he not hand over vital information? It strikes Jonah that all is not as it seems with this case.The book follows Jonah and his team's investigation into the case. The book switches between this and events in Zoe's past. These narratives gradually come together by the end of the case. Much of the investigation is around Zoe's friends and Aidan. I confess I didn't find any of the characters outstanding but they were not bad.Ultimately the chapters on the current investigation held me better than the historical ones for some reason. I guess Zoe's past life and incidents with her friends simply were not as interesting as the actual case. I think overall I prefer the previous book however I did find parts of this - particularly towards the end - very compelling and quite powerful. In the end I would call this something of a holiday read. I'd probably read another book about Jonah and his team in the future.Note - I received an advance digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair reviewhttps://viewson.org.uk/police/watchin...
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    I loved Gytha Lodge's first novel and her second is just as compelling - we have the same detective team but as with the last book the story is mostly driven by the group dynamic of the characters caught up in a murder...Zoe dies, watched in part from afar by someone with a lot to lose should he report it - from then on in we have a beautifully plotted and presented mystery with insightful twists and turns, an eclectic and absorbing set of darkly intriguing suspects leading towards an I loved Gytha Lodge's first novel and her second is just as compelling - we have the same detective team but as with the last book the story is mostly driven by the group dynamic of the characters caught up in a murder...Zoe dies, watched in part from afar by someone with a lot to lose should he report it - from then on in we have a beautifully plotted and presented mystery with insightful twists and turns, an eclectic and absorbing set of darkly intriguing suspects leading towards an unpredictable outcome. Gytha Lodge does an excellent mash up of psychological thriller, police procedural and character study which is why the stories engage me so thoroughly.Very excellent Highly Recommended.
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  • Dave
    January 1, 1970
    Watching From the Dark, despite the bright colorful science-fiction-like cover, is a British police procedural. The investigation follows after an online video chat reveals what appears to be a murder in the background. Aidan thinks hell chat with Zoe, but he hears her in the bath, then the sound of someone quickly attacking her. Or at least he thinks she does. It probably would have been more interesting if Aidan didnt know Zoe in real life. Because then youd have him trying to prove it was Watching From the Dark, despite the bright colorful science-fiction-like cover, is a British police procedural. The investigation follows after an online video chat reveals what appears to be a murder in the background. Aidan thinks he’ll chat with Zoe, but he hears her in the bath, then the sound of someone quickly attacking her. Or at least he thinks she does. It probably would have been more interesting if Aidan didn’t know Zoe in real life. Because then you’d have him trying to prove it was true and trying to prove Zoe really existed and was not some prank played on him. Hell, you could have had Aidan questioning his own sanity. Or what if Aidan was locked away cause the authorities thought he was half outta his brain. Alas, the novel failed to take us in these interesting directions and was filled with banter about what eyeliner to wear and Aidan just being a louse (and not a very interesting one at that). All in all, for my tastes, just a trip down to Dullsville with the dessicated scent of stale rotting air.
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  • Tasha
    January 1, 1970
    The book starts with a bang as we watch Aidan witness what he thinks is his girlfriend Zoe being murdered across a Skype conversation. But why does he delay contacting the police? And then is deliberately vague when he does? As the police team start investigating and looking into Zoes social circle you soon realise that this is a book where everyone has something to hide and its hard to spot the clues amongst the red herrings.This is actually the second book in the DCI Jonah Sheen series The book starts with a bang as we watch Aidan witness what he thinks is his girlfriend Zoe being murdered across a Skype conversation. But why does he delay contacting the police? And then is deliberately vague when he does? As the police team start investigating and looking into Zoe’s social circle you soon realise that this is a book where everyone has something to hide and it’s hard to spot the clues amongst the red herrings.This is actually the second book in the DCI Jonah Sheen series although it works well as a standalone novel too. DCI Jonah and his team are the only likeable characters in the book, particularly Juliette Hanson who seems to have an interesting backstory hinted at. As we follow the police investigation we also have flashback chapters starting 20 months ago which shed some light on how Zoe and Aidan got together and meet her close social circle.There are a lot of characters here and none are particularly likeable, most seem to be hiding something and its hard to tell who to trust. There are some sensitive topics touched upon such as eating disorders and PSTD.I found this book to be an interesting read, I do always love books that are more on the police procedural side as I find the investigations fascinating, however it did lack a certain something and I found I wasn’t as gripped as I was hoping to be. I’ve seen this book described as a thriller and I think this is a bit misleading. If you go into it expecting a fast-paced, twisty thriller you may find yourself a bit disappointed, which would be a shame as it is a good book.Having said that, there is plenty here to keep you guessing and turning the pages and I personally couldn’t figure out who did it so the ending came as a bit of a surprise! I think a lot of people will like this book. It’s a well written, enjoyable read following a detailed police investigation so if you enjoy slow-burn detective novels then this is right up your street! I’m keen to read Gytha Lodge’s first novel, She Lies in Wait and shed some light on the backstories of the police team as I found them all really enjoyable characters to read about.Thank you to the publishers for the gifted copy for the blog tour!
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  • Janice Lombardo
    January 1, 1970
    Superb! Zoe, an artist, is murdered in her bath. Aiden had been on-line waiting to face chat with Zoe. Instead, he witnesses a person coming in quietly and Zoe in distress. When Zoe is quiet, Aiden sees the person leave .but nothing to identify him/her. Aiden is afraid to alert the police - EVERYTHING would "come out" if he did. He calls the police about an hour later, reporting to the police yet not leaving his name. The following day his guilt at not reporting what he had heard and seen on his Superb! Zoe, an artist, is murdered in her bath. Aiden had been on-line waiting to face chat with Zoe. Instead, he witnesses a person coming in quietly and Zoe in distress. When Zoe is quiet, Aiden sees the person leave .but nothing to identify him/her. Aiden is afraid to alert the police - EVERYTHING would "come out" if he did. He calls the police about an hour later, reporting to the police yet not leaving his name. The following day his guilt at not reporting what he had heard and seen on his computer impels him send a police report online.As the story progresses we find that a number of people could be responsible for this murder. Jonah and his police squad have a lot of people to interview. It seems as if the list gets longer as the plot deepens.Great characterization and an excellent plot! I, as probably some of the other readers, kept changing my mind as to who is guilty of this crime; made to look somewhat as a suicide.Many Thanks to Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for a suspenseful and enjoyable read.
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  • Dana
    January 1, 1970
    I was a fan of She Lies In Wait so HAD to get my hands on Watching From The Dark ... Unfortunately I figured out the killer very early on in the story so the shock value just wasn't there for me. Regardless, I very much enjoyed this police procedural, the characters and the plot. I felt like everything wrapped up really well. Huge thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for my review copy.
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  • Sheri
    January 1, 1970
    Watching from the Dark has a great opening concept: a man witnessing - or rather, overhearing - the murder of his girlfriend via Skype. But why is Aidan Poole so reluctant to report his concerns about Zoe to the police? Hes clearly hiding something. But hes not the only one...Jonah Sheens and his team, previously seen in the excellent She Lies in Wait, find theres a lot to unravel in the investigation of what happened to art student Zoe Swardadine. Her on-off relationship with Aidan, her friends Watching from the Dark has a great opening concept: a man witnessing - or rather, overhearing - the murder of his girlfriend via Skype. But why is Aidan Poole so reluctant to report his concerns about Zoe to the police? He’s clearly hiding something. But he’s not the only one...Jonah Sheens and his team, previously seen in the excellent She Lies in Wait, find there’s a lot to unravel in the investigation of what happened to art student Zoe Swardadine. Her on-off relationship with Aidan, her friends - fragile Angeline, jealous Victor and religious Maeve - and her landlord Felix all have their part to play. I liked that the murdered Zoe - seen in flashbacks as her relationship with Aidan developed, as well as through the eyes of her friends - emerged as a fully rounded person with flaws and strengths, rather than just as a murder victim. (I’m interested in how the author comes up with her character names - “Swardadine” was unusual enough for me to google for any others, but the only results were this book!)An excellent read, recommended.
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  • Shannon Dyer
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come at AAR.
  • Helen Callaghan
    January 1, 1970
    Watching from the Dark is the follow up to She Lies In Wait featuring DCI Jonah Sheens. I loved She Lies In Wait and Watching From The Dark does not disappoint!In this book, Zoe, a promising young art student, turns up dead in her flat. Her secret boyfriend appears to have heard her being murdered via an open Skype channel. This leads Jonah and his team down a series of pathways that eventually result in a nailbiting showdown with the real killer.There's a lovely immediacy and authenticity in Watching from the Dark is the follow up to She Lies In Wait featuring DCI Jonah Sheens. I loved She Lies In Wait and Watching From The Dark does not disappoint!In this book, Zoe, a promising young art student, turns up dead in her flat. Her secret boyfriend appears to have heard her being murdered via an open Skype channel. This leads Jonah and his team down a series of pathways that eventually result in a nailbiting showdown with the real killer.There's a lovely immediacy and authenticity in the characters and the way they are described, and you feel engaged in their emotions in a way that is all too often rare in crime fiction. Everything has a light touch and moves along at a breathless pace, and I finished it in about three sittings. Would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone.
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  • peggy
    January 1, 1970
    A really gripping start but unfortunately for me it never progressed. Her first book was a fantastic 5 star read and I was hoping for more of the same. For me there was too much back story and the police were incompetent and needed to be retrained and learn how to be proper detectives. This book did not grab me or hold my attention. Saying that I am sure other readers will enjoy it more just not for me. Just over 3 stars. Thanks to Penguin UK and Michael Joseph and Netgalley for the ARC.
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  • Kerry-louise Jones
    January 1, 1970
    Aidan Poole logs on to his laptop late at night to Skype his girlfriend, Zoe. To his horror, he realizes that there is someone else in her flat, and Aidan can only listen to the sounds of a violent struggle - and then the chilling sound of silence. Aidan is desperate to find out if Zoe is OK. So why doesn't he call the police?The whole idea of this book fascinated me especially in this digital age where anyone can watch you in the comfort of your own home! I was intrigued to find out why her Aidan Poole logs on to his laptop late at night to Skype his girlfriend, Zoe. To his horror, he realizes that there is someone else in her flat, and Aidan can only listen to the sounds of a violent struggle - and then the chilling sound of silence. Aidan is desperate to find out if Zoe is OK. So why doesn't he call the police?The whole idea of this book fascinated me especially in this digital age where anyone can watch you in the comfort of your own home! I was intrigued to find out why her boyfriend didn't just call and report it as a normal crime, I knew there was obviously something else going on but I could not figure out what. The dual timeline also worked really well for me as you got a real sense of the victim and her character and what had lead up to the event.I did figure out the twist early out but there were so many well thought out plot twists that I was doubting myself up to the very end and so none of the enjoyment was lost for me.This is the second book by Gytha Lodge with these detectives but can 100% read as a stand alone (but once you read this you will want to read more of her work!). I really enjoy Gytha's work and look forward to the next instalment in this brilliant police procedural.
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  • Johnna Whetstone
    January 1, 1970
    4-5 stars! Will I find the beginning to be very riveting and engrossing, I also had a hard time keeping all the characters separate and defined. I didnt realize until I had read some, that this was a follow up to to the authors last book, but I did enjoy it once I got all the characters down. I think that it was well written, chilling, thrilling, and shocking! Highly recommend to those who enjoy a good murder/mystery thriller! Will make sure I buzz it up on all the different platforms! 4-5 stars! Will I find the beginning to be very riveting and engrossing, I also had a hard time keeping all the characters separate and defined. I didn’t realize until I had read some, that this was a follow up to to the authors last book, but I did enjoy it once I got all the characters down. I think that it was well written, chilling, thrilling, and shocking! Highly recommend to those who enjoy a good murder/mystery thriller! Will make sure I buzz it up on all the different platforms!
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  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    This was an excellent police procedural and although I hadnt read the first book in the series it in no way spoilt this one and in fact it can be read as a stand-alone in my opinion. The team of detectives led by DCI Jonah Sheens are plunged into a murder made to look like a suicide and from then on there are plenty twists and turns as the team struggle to find out who the perpetrator may be. I have to say it fooled me right to the end even though I read a lot of mystery thrillers. The writing This was an excellent police procedural and although I hadn’t read the first book in the series it in no way spoilt this one and in fact it can be read as a stand-alone in my opinion. The team of detectives led by DCI Jonah Sheens are plunged into a murder made to look like a suicide and from then on there are plenty twists and turns as the team struggle to find out who the perpetrator may be. I have to say it fooled me right to the end even though I read a lot of mystery thrillers. The writing of the book is superb and the cast of characters are believable it’s a book that kept me wanting to read just a few pages more every time I was forced to put the kindle down. I really look forward to reading the next in the series and it’s a book I can highly recommend and heaps of praise to Gytha Lodge.My thanks to NetGalley and Penguin UK - Michael Joseph for giving me the chance to read the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Jen
    January 1, 1970
    If I'd read the blurb a little more closely, I may have deduced that this is the second book in a series. I didn't and it is, but that didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying it and shouldn't stop anyone who hasn't read book one, She Lies In Wait, from enjoying it either. This book works perfectly well as a stand alone and while I may have known a little more about the central police team investigating the case, I wouldn't have learned more about the victim and her strange bunch of If I'd read the blurb a little more closely, I may have deduced that this is the second book in a series. I didn't and it is, but that didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying it and shouldn't stop anyone who hasn't read book one, She Lies In Wait, from enjoying it either. This book works perfectly well as a stand alone and while I may have known a little more about the central police team investigating the case, I wouldn't have learned more about the victim and her strange bunch of acquaintances. And they really are a strange bunch ...Now the blurb tells you everything you need to know about this book ... and nowhere near enough too. This is a very complex and intriguing case, one that, when the officers start to scratch the surface, has all the elements of being a little bit seedy too. It seems innocent enough, well as far innocent as a murder case can be, but thanks to the duplicitous nature of all of the key witnesses (suspects) in the case, it is far from innocent and far from straightforward.The police team in this case are a very interesting bunch and I really liked the way that the author developed their characters. They are driven by instinct, but also by the need to find that all elusive evidence, and DCI Jonah Sheens in particular was a character I warmed to very quickly. He is not straightforward, his personal life growing complicated at times in this latest book, but he is logical, straight, and ultimately likeable. Then you have Hanson, perhaps the second most prominent detective in this particular story. She has a complicated personal life herself, taking that and finding a kind of empathy with the victim, Zoe, that drives her to push for a conviction, even if her focus and her suspicions move quickly between suspects. I liked her approach, her determination, and her confusion over her evolving feelings towards one of her colleagues. It made her very human and relatable.The story is divided into two distinct threads - the present investigation and the months leading up to the attack on Zoe, told from Zoe's point of view in a constantly evolving and ever more complicated backstory. Just at the point you feel you have a handle on what is happening, the author takes that belief and turns it on its head, much as is the case for the police investigating the crime. There are a myriad of suspects, each one viable in their own way at their own particular point in the story. There is always that sense of something being held back, and the more we learn of those vital months earlier, the more the picture starts to appear in front of us. I read this book in two sittings, over the course of one afternoon and early morning, and found myself completely draw in into it form the start. The beginning is surprising in a way, the calm nature of what happens intriguing me. There is a sense of violence, of something bad having happened, but none of it is played out on the page. That who feeling of the . truth being just beyond a closed door continues throughout the novel, holding my attention.This is not a fast paced novel so if you are looking for action or gratuitous violence then you won't find it here. Even the one real showdown, if you can call it that, whilst not without tension, isn't the kind of dramatic centrepiece you might expect. It doesn't need to be. It's not that kind of book. It is more reflective. More manipulative - both the characters to each other and the author of the reader - and that works perfectly here. I was engaged by the narrative, drawn to the team of detectives and the complexity of the lives of Zoe and her friends. At times I was perplexed as to why she allowed things to play out the way they did, but then that lack of understanding, that astonishment almost, made it all feel authentic and all the more tragic too. And there is an underlying threat present, but perhaps not from where you might expect. It has certainly left me hungry to read more, and to go back and see what I missed. A very intelligent thriller written in a beautiful and intriguing narrative style. I am a fan.
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  • Rachel Calunan-Chiu
    January 1, 1970
    WOW. This book was such a great thriller I had a hard time putting it down. Starting from the first Chapter, it dove right into the story plot and for the next 31 chapters, had me guessing who in their right mind would kill such a sweet, love-strucked Zoe. As I was reading this, I felt like I knew her and i felt her pain. I felt how compassionate she was with her friends, putting their feelings above her own. I felt the love she had for Aidan, and how she fell for his lies over and over again- WOW. This book was such a great thriller I had a hard time putting it down. Starting from the first Chapter, it dove right into the story plot and for the next 31 chapters, had me guessing who in their right mind would kill such a sweet, love-strucked Zoe. As I was reading this, I felt like I knew her and i felt her pain. I felt how compassionate she was with her friends, putting their feelings above her own. I felt the love she had for Aidan, and how she fell for his lies over and over again- because she was Zoe. She had a good circle of friends, and as the story was unfolding, I couldn’t guess who the killer was. Gytha Lodge wrote this story so well that it could have been any of Zoe’s friends that could have motive. I didn’t suspect who the killer ended up being which made this thriller novel such a great one!I give this book a 4.5/5 stars. I felt there were a bit too many people involved in this one case, some having their own side stories, which confused me a bit, and I had to reread the paragraphs again to figure out who Is as reading about. When I found out who the killer was, I was a bit disappointed at how easy everything unfolded coming from a “killer” after being caught. However, aside from that, this was a wonderfully written book! I look forward to more of Gytha Lodge’s other writings.
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  • Katherine
    January 1, 1970
    Aidan logs onto Skype late at night to talk to his girlfriend Zoe and, to his horror, listens to the sounds of a violent struggle. But he doesn't immediately call the police. Once he does, they find Zoe dead in her apartment. Watching from the Dark is multiple point of view, following Zoe, the suspects, and the police. There are two timelines, one present day and the other beginning over a year earlier from Zoes perspective as we get ever closer to the day of her death. Everyone plays fast and Aidan logs onto Skype late at night to talk to his girlfriend Zoe and, to his horror, listens to the sounds of a violent struggle. But he doesn't immediately call the police. Once he does, they find Zoe dead in her apartment. Watching from the Dark is multiple point of view, following Zoe, the suspects, and the police. There are two timelines, one present day and the other beginning over a year earlier from Zoes perspective as we get ever closer to the day of her death. Everyone plays fast and loose with truth, making the most of the multiple point of view by weaving varying truths together; some honestly experiencing events differently, some intentionally curating "facts" but all a slightly different perspective. This is a vivid portrait of the wide reaching ruination one person can wreck, and the ways people lie to themselves and others. Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the ARC. The opinions in this review are honest and my own.
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  • Tracy Wood
    January 1, 1970
    It should have been the perfect murder; a quiet street late at night, a victim living alone, a perpetrator no one realised had a key, able to slip in and out unnoticed ... or were they? A laptop open on Zoe's desk meant her boyfriend, Aiden, already waiting for her on Skype while she took a bath, sees nothing but hears everything, what will he do?DCI Jonah Sheens has a team he trusts, a workload which includes a complex blackmail case and a message about a murder which might or might not have It should have been the perfect murder; a quiet street late at night, a victim living alone, a perpetrator no one realised had a key, able to slip in and out unnoticed ... or were they? A laptop open on Zoe's desk meant her boyfriend, Aiden, already waiting for her on Skype while she took a bath, sees nothing but hears everything, what will he do?DCI Jonah Sheens has a team he trusts, a workload which includes a complex blackmail case and a message about a murder which might or might not have happened. It soon becomes apparent that not only was Zoe killed but also that she had a ragtag group of friends, along with her on-again, off-again boyfriend, any of whom could have struck the fatal blow. Jonah finds clues in short supply but doggedly works towards finding the culprit who killed the one person in the group holding everyone together. While I thoroughly enjoyed this second book in Gytha Lodge's series, especially the police procedural aspects, the flashback chapters from Zoe's viewpoint were a little distracting given that she was now dead! Most of her recollections could have been told from another perspective without hampering the story in any way. There are at least two progressing threads only hinted at in this story which hopefully means there will be at least one more book to look forward to. I really like Jonah, he is quiet and unassuming but dogged in his search for the truth. His team are also fun, with different lives and backstories which, I think, are about to merge very satisfyingly indeed. There are no spoilers and this can be read as a successful standalone. I was able to read an advanced copy of this thanks to NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an unbiased review and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good British crime series, who read the previous book or is just looking for a good story as this is all those things and more.
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  • Rachel Patrick
    January 1, 1970
    I love a good police procedural and that's exactly what this was.This book grabs you from the start when Aiden Hera's his girlfriend Zoe's murder while o skype. From there you follow the police investigation with snippets of Zoe's life leading up to her murder.I love a good police investigation and pretending I'm an investigator, in truth I'd be terrible and should be in charge of nothing, and this book is exactly what that is. It takes through so you feel as though you are part of the I love a good police procedural and that's exactly what this was.This book grabs you from the start when Aiden Hera's his girlfriend Zoe's murder while o skype. From there you follow the police investigation with snippets of Zoe's life leading up to her murder.I love a good police investigation and pretending I'm an investigator, in truth I'd be terrible and should be in charge of nothing, and this book is exactly what that is. It takes through so you feel as though you are part of the investigation and you see all the clues .I did guess who the killer was but that is completely down to the writing taking you through as if you are part of it all happening.This is technically a sequel but can easily be read as a standalone.
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  • Trina Murdock
    January 1, 1970
    A creepy start that caught my imagination, a victim you really feel for, lots of suspects to choose from, all with motives that seem very real and believable. The police are engaging and interesting too. When's the next in the series? I can't wait!!!
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