Review: “Lying Next to Me” by Gregg Olsen

No matter what you see, no matter what you’ve heard, assume nothing.

About the Book

Book Review: "Lying Next to Me" by Gregg Olsen
“Lying Next to Me” by Gregg Olsen

“Adam and Sophie Warner and their three-year-old daughter are vacationing in Washington State’s Hood Canal for Memorial Day weekend. It’s the perfect getaway to unplug—and to calm an uneasy marriage. But on Adam’s first day out on the water, he sees Sophie abducted by a stranger. A hundred yards from shore, Adam can’t save her. And Sophie disappears.

In a nearby cabin is another couple, Kristen and Connor Moss. Unfortunately, beyond what they’ve heard in the news, they’re in the dark when it comes to Sophie’s disappearance. For Adam, at least there’s comfort in knowing that Mason County detective Lee Husemann is an old friend of his. She’ll do everything she can to help. She must.

But as Adam’s paranoia about his missing wife escalates, Lee puts together the pieces of a puzzle. The lives of the two couples are converging in unpredictable ways, and the picture is unsettling. Lee suspects that not everyone is telling the truth about what they know—or they have yet to reveal all the lies they’ve hidden from the strangers they married.” — Amazon

My Review

Full of unreliable narrators, “Lying Next to Me” is a slow simmering mystery and thriller that will convince you that you know the truth about the characters, only to realize you’ve been lied to.  Again.

Let’s face it.  What’s fun about reading mysteries is trying to figure out whodunnit before the author reveals it.   And what makes a great mystery is when the author fills the story with well-developed, unreliable narrators who lie to your face to throw you off the trail.   That’s exactly what happens in “Lying Next to Me.”   There’s not one character in this book who can tell the truth.

As well developed as the cast of characters might be, they are all such liars that not one of them is even likable.   I thought I figured out Sophie’s murderer early on.  I’m glad I was wrong.   But the one thing I was certain about fairly quickly was that these were horrible people.  Fictional, but nonetheless horrible.   Any one of them could have committed the murder — with the exception of the cops — because they were all (again) horrible.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have to like the characters in a mystery or thriller to enjoy the book.   I don’t read these types of books to root for a good guy.   I read them for the mystery, for the plot twists…  I enjoy the red herrings.   Confuse me, please.   Make me wonder what the heck is really going on.   It’s why I love these two genres.   Luckily for me, Gregg Olsen didn’t disappoint as I read “Lying Next to Me”.

Olsen has a long list of true crime books and novels available.   This was the first book of his that I’ve read.   I will definitely be reading more.    I don’t give stars, but if I did?  4.5.  At least!

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