Cover Image: I Lie in Wait

I Lie in Wait

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Member Reviews

A riveting story mostly narrated by the main character Amelia who is reeling mentally from the “abduction” of her younger sister a year ago, the recent passing of her mother as well as trying to cope with deep personal issues.  Set mainly in a picturesque retreat in Scotland, this is a very tense and gripping read, that had me totally engrossed from start to finish – the ending was just thrilling.
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This is a clever pyschological thriller written both in the present and the past. Now and one year ago. A family brought together by their terminally ill mother who wanted a special time away with them all. Her ex-husband Robert, her now partner Jackson, daughters Amelia and Lark and her disabled son Thomas and his carer Maddie all staying in cottages on an estate in Scotland. An old friend Rosamund and her step-daughter Elise also join them. The estate is run by a lady called Ruth and her son Finn. Whist there Lark and Jackson disappear without trace.
I really do not want to give any spoilers as this is a tense read of secrets, betrayal, fear, love and hurt. 
A year after Lark and Jackson's disappearance the family return to Drummondale Estate to try to find more answers, sadly Caroline is no longer with them.
This book is full of twists and turns and just as I thought I had worked it out something else would happen and my views would change completely.
I can't wait to read more by Amanada Brittany. The visual perceptions in reading this book made me feel as though I was there and I was truly drawn in. A hard book to put  once started so be prepared.
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I quite enjoyed this thriller. It was fast paced with plenty of twists and turns. The ending was quite a surprise. However, I didn’t feel it was terribly well written and rather far fetched at times. The obsession with Kindles really annoyed me, it almost felt like the book was sponsored by Amazon at times. Every time a character had spare time they reached for their Kindle!  Quite a fun read but I don’t think I would read anything by Amanda Brittany again.
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Amelia has had a rough year. First Lark, her seventeen year old sister disappeared, then her mother died of cancer. She has just had a miscarriage & broken up with her partner so she decided to head North to see her father & disabled brother- & put up with his carer! When she arrives she discovers that that her family were setting off to the Highlands to stay at the same place they stayed at when Lark disappeared, where they hope of finding out what had become of her. Once they arrive, a blizzard makes leaving impossible even when terrible things start to happen. The story is told by Amelia in the present & a year ago. There are also sections title 'Now' which was extremely confusing! 

This is a difficult one to review. I loved the setting & the atmosphere of menace. It certainly kept me guessing. However I found a number of things confusing & as the end approached I was wondering what else the author might throw in for good measure. Overall I enjoyed it but not enough to give it five stars. Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this book.
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‘I lie in wait’ is my first Amanda Brittany book and will not be my last; after reading a lot of psychological thrillers I thought I knew what was coming but I was extremely glad to be wrong! Brittany uses every chapter to full effect hinting at twists expertly pulling you in and it reminded me of a really great horror film where everyone is a suspect until the very end.
The story follows Amelia whose life over the past year has gone from bad to worse and on the one year anniversary of her sister’s disappearance she travels with her family to the place it happened looking for clues but also closure. Amelia is convinced that there is more to the story of the night Lark went missing and she knows she must keep looking after a second girl disappears. 
The setting of snowy Scottish highlands and a group who are all trapped together brings about the perfect mystery tradition of whodunnit but Brittany uses every trick to catch you unaware and keep you turning for the next page. I really enjoyed this thriller and cannot recommend it enough; this mystery uses all the great traditional formulas but reconfigures them into a truly original fast-paced page turner.
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Atmospheric psychological thriller set in Scotland.
Amelia, her father, brother and his carer return to Drummondale Estate a year after her teenage sister Lark disappeared.
The story is mostly told by Amelia and moves from present day to a year ago which was quite confusing at times.
In present day Amelia has had a miscarriage and been dumped by her boyfriend. Elise, another teenager disappears and Ruth, the hostess of the cottages is found dead.
Lots of twists and turns ( not sure if all of them were needed) and a surprising ending.
3.5 stars
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“I Lie in Wait” is an achingly gripping, genuinely terrifying, jaw-droppingly shocking and powerfully heartfelt thriller. I was blown away by the power of Amanda Brittany’s writing, the break-neck pace and the intricate plot.

A year after the disappearance of her younger sister, Lark, and her mother’s boyfriend Jackson, Amelia and her family return to the country estate where the mysterious events took place. As they approach the estate the weather worsens and they find themselves stranded there in a snow storm. Shortly after claiming seeing a masked figure watching her through the window, Elise, the daughter of a family friend also goes missing. Are the events related? When the owner of the holiday cottages on the estate turns up dead, things take a terrifying turn and the group will need to do everything they can to survive to survive the masked killer... Will they make it through the night and will they ever learn the truth about their missing loved ones?

This is the first Amanda Brittany novel I have read and she was a new author to me. I am so pleased that I read “I Lie in Wait” because, quite simply, it’s fantastic! I was hooked into the narrative from the very first page and it kept me gripped until the final one. I found the pace brilliant - there was enough backstory and setting of the scene to allow me to invest in the characters, but I was quickly launched into the action and intrigue, which kept me turning pages. I liked the style of the narrative, where chapters were written from different characters’ perspectives, but also passed between different times (present day and the events from a year ago). This allowed both mysteries to play out almost simultaneously, coming to an exhilarating head in the final few chapters. I found both aspects of the plot equally engaging and both Lark’s disappearance and Elise’s/the murders were taut and suspenseful. It’s also no understatement to say that this novel is rammed with shock twists and gasp out loud surprises! Brittany expertly sows seeds of suspicion throughout the narrative (and I, no joke, suspected practically everyone at some point!), without ever giving away any of the concluding reveals. It was really refreshing to read a thriller that genuinely thrilled me and kept me guessing right to the very end. Essentially, “I Lie in Wait” is everything you could possibly want in a mystery thriller.

In addition to being a great suspense novel, I found the way Brittany explores life after loss and life after traumatic experiences to be very plausible and affecting. Amelia’s mum Caroline is coming to the end of her battle with terminal cancer in the chapters based in the events a year ago and Brittany writes very touchingly about the affect this is having on her and the rest of her family. Evidently pulling from her own experience of losing a loved one to cancer, the poignancy that Brittany writes with makes “I Lie in Wait” memorable for this reason too (also, she’s raised over £8000 for Cancer Research through sales of her first novel, which makes her an incredible person as well as an excellent author!). Amelia is the main protagonist here and all the ranges of emotions and reactions are explored. I found that this made Amelia a character that I could really engage with and I was wholeheartedly behind her when the terrible events in the present day unfolded. I also liked that she was not without her own flaws (a dependency on turning to alcohol being the main one), as again this made her all the more human and relatable. Similarly, Amelia’s father Robert is another character who I found really effective. He is a well rounded character who is both sympathetic, but also not without some suspicious character traits. In fact, pretty much every character is a perfect blend of questionable character and explainable innocence - there felt something reminiscent of Agatha Christie in Brittany’s characterisation, which also contributed to my enjoyment of the plot.

I highly recommend “I Lie in Wait” and believe me when I say that it will keep you reading well into the night and then keep you up for many more! I will definitely be seeking more out to read from Brittany.
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The Review
One year ago Amelia, her younger sister Lark, her parents (separated), her brother and his carer and Mum’s new boyfriend all head off in to the Highlands for some quality time together.  As if that doesn’t already sound like a disaster waiting to happen, the boyfriend and Lark disappear without a trace.  Did he take her?  Did they disappear separately?  Where are they?

A year on, there are no answers and, in a bid to “solve” the ongoing mystery, Amelia, her brother (and his carer) and her Dad head back to the same cottage to … I don’t even know.  It just doesn’t make sense.

Then, everything gets dark and twisty; someone is murdered, someone else goes missing, people are clearly hiding secrets – everyone is a suspect.  Weird things start happening with masks and I lost interest.

In the interests of full disclosure I am writing this after 3 hours sleep, so I am in no mood to find the nice words today.  I just did not get this book at all.  Yes, it is dark, and beautifully atmospheric, which is great. However, it’s confused and so very muddled.

Amelia is presented as a woman with a lot of problems, and it’s clear she’s bordering on alcoholism.  This creates ones of my favourite gimmicks – the unreliable narrator. However, it never really takes off for me. Amelia seems to be too aware that she’s potentially unreliable, doubting herself whether she is or she isn’t, so in the end she just comes across as whiney. 

Then we have the classic past/present timehop, which again, I am a huge fan of if done correctly.  I’m not saying this wasn’t, but it didn’t quite work.  The problem was you have the same narrator, only a year later, dealing with the same people in the same location (for the most part), which just made it a bit difficult to navigate at times.  It would have been better to have a longer timelapse, though, I totally understand why this was not practical.

I also have a bit of an issue with the fact that none of it made sense in the end.  Of course, it makes sense as an explanation, but it was all just so ridiculous. I’m sorry, I couldn’t buy any of the storylines at all. I finished it and whilst I didn’t see the twist coming, I couldn’t help feeling the author merely wanted to write a book with a an ending no one envisioned, and the story leading up to it was kind of irrelevant.

The Stars
This is a two for me – I just didn’t feel invested, didn’t like the characters, found the whole storyline confusing/messy and the ending was just daft.  Too gimmicky for my liking.  It needs a lot of work and a really strong edit (not least the fact that if you share one parent with another individual that makes you HALF siblings, not step - this felt delibrately misleading).
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Set in what should have been a picturesque snow covered Scotland, with the backdrop of the ruins of Drummondale House; for one family and their friends, is there tragic history about to repeat itself?

Told mainly through Amelia’s narrative, the story switches between ‘Present day’ and ‘A Year Ago’ as it follows the heart break and tragedy of Amelia’s family and friends.

A year ago the whole Taylor family; Amelia, her younger sister Lark, father Robert, brother Thomas, Thomas’s carer Maddie, mum Caroline and Caroline’s new partner, Jackson, plus Caroline’s friend, Rosalind, her husband and her stepdaughter all go on one last holiday to Scotland to stay on the Drummondale House estate. Caroline had been diagnosed with terminal cancer with a prognosis that she won’t see out the year, so it was a dying woman’s wish that brought them all together for what would essentially be the very last time.

Other parts of the story are told through Ruth, the owner of the holiday cottages as well as being the chef, the cleaner and waitress! She does have help from her son, Finn, who has returned back to live with his mum after the breakdown of his marriage.

Tragedy strikes and turns the getaway from tranquil to horror as both Jackson and Lark vanish without a trace, neither one has been seen or heard of since. Caroline lost her fight with cancer never knowing what happened to her young teenage daughter, leaving the rest of the family to mourn the loss of both mother and daughter.

A year on, Robert alongside with Thomas and Maddie have booked to return to Drummondale House for the one year anniversary of Lark’s disappearance. Even though she thinks it is a terrible idea Amelia decides to go with them. Once they arrive, to their shock, and Robert’s disgust, Rosamund and her stepdaughter Elise are also there.

As their stay brings the past back to the surface, little things start to happen. Subtle at first, trick of the light or just their imaginations maybe? But then things begin to take a sinister turn; is whoever took Lark back as well? Is history going to repeat itself putting Elise in danger? Or have they all got targets pinned to their chests?

With the snow still falling making all roads impassable and no mobile signals between them, the group are trapped in a nightmare.

This book has tension that just keeps on building until it is tighter than a drum, coupled by plenty of snow covered twists, of which I never anticipated catching me completely off guard! Add to that a full cast of some deeply flawed, relatable characters that are so well written that you feel like you know them, it all adds up to create this page burner of a book!

Having never read any of this author’s work before I had no idea what to expect when I picked this book up and I am so glad that I did otherwise I would have missed this brilliantly clever psychological thriller. If you are a fan of this genre then you are in for a real treat with this dark, twisty thriller. It genuinely is one book that needs to be at the top of your tbr pile!
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This is a psychological thriller about Lark, Amelia Taylor's sister, who went missing during a family holiday in the Highlands of Scotland. The family returns one year later in order to try to figure out what happened. While there, another girl goes missing and the family begins to realize danger is lurking once again. 
This is a fast-paced page turner with interesting characters who all became suspects to me. The story switches from the present to the past with multiple point of views. I loved the short chapters with many twists and turns which kept the plot moving. The ending was a surprise and tied up all the loose ends. I enjoyed Amanda Brittany's writing and look forward to reading her next book. I would recommend this book to those who like psychological thrillers. Thanks to NetGalley and HQ Digital for a free copy for an honest review.
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Complex thriller with many twists and turns. We go back and forward between two years with different narrators. Complex and confusing.
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I really enjoyed the first half of this book, finding out about Amelia and all the terrible things which had befallen her family in the previous years and the desperate search for her missing* sister. However  the book was hard to follow as it was narrated by several different characters in two different time frames. The ending (which to be fair I didn’t see coming) was crazy. By the end of this book everyone was either a murderer, a victim of s9me sort of grave assault or dead! I suppose if you like a fast paced book and aren’t too fussed about believability then this may be the one for you but for me it was just a step too far!
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a locked room type of mystery with enough red herrings and twists and turns to please all lovers of mysteries.
Some of the events may have been slightly far fetched but that did not spoil my enjoyment in any way, it is a fiction book after all. I had my suspicions but was completely wrong as the book continue to throw surprises at me.
I considered 4 stars as I usually only rate 5 stars for the most exceptional books and didn't think this was quite there. However its a solid 4 and a half and kept me reading into the night so I went for the 5 anyway.
It is set mainly in the same place with the same group of people in two different years which I had no trouble with but has the potential to be confusing if you struggle with that type of scenario.
I'm glad I read it and will look out for other books from this author.
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Well I was not expecting that.  This book was great and I really enjoyed it.  The story twists and turns and I felt I have a handle on “who did it” and got it completely wrong.   Amelia and her dad, brother and her brother’s carer return to the place where Lark (Amelia’s sister) disappeared to try and find out if they missed anything when she went missing a year ago.  Amelia’s mother had passed away with cancer without knowing the outcome of the search for Lark which made the family very sad and felt they needed to know the truth if it was out there.  One of Amelia’s mother’s friends decides to come to the Scottish Highlands out of guilt for not being there during the last year and that opens more speculation, drama and murder.  Amelia is coming through a painful separation and finds life difficult and misses her sister even though there is a large age gap.  The family start to think about the day the year previously when Lark disappeared and it leads down avenues which I was not expecting at all.  I felt this book was such a great read and I am still not sure how the author managed to keep us in so much suspense and lead us away from the killer.  Great story.  Lark’s story was unexpected – so good.  Love and jealousy comes through on every level
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There is darkness and despair from page one until the very end, keeping you hanging on to every last word. Amelia is using alcohol to hide her true feelings about her mother’s death, as well as the hurt and betrayal she feels not knowing where her sister is. I can’t say much more without giving out any spoilers. This thriller has multiple POVs and flashbacks and the writing is incredible! Whether you like thrillers or not this is a book you MUST read. Thank you to HarperCollins, Amanda Brittany, and NetGalley for this ebook copy!
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Amelia’s sister disappeared while on holiday a year ago and has now returned to the scene of the disappearance to see if there are anymore clues as to her whereabouts, only now someone else has gone missing too.

I found this book a little slow paced to start with, I considered giving up about 20% through and I probably would have if it hadn’t of been given to me as an advanced reader copy from Netgalley. I’m glad that I stuck with it though, once the story kicked in I found myself getting drawn into the mystery. Usually with psychological thrillers I have a suspicion as I’m reading about who might be the killer or I’m thinking some kind of theory but not with this one. It kept me guessing the whole way through and delivered not only one shock that hadn’t even crossed my mind but two so I will definitely be reading more of this author in future.
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A Christie-esque locked room mystery combined with a missing girl story... and a truly shocking twist.

I liked the setup of this mystery: a secluded resort, a killer on the lose with a limited number of possible suspects and a lot of red herrings.

For me though, there were a few problems.  First, the two timelines ("then" and "now") were so similar in tone and characters that they were hard to tell apart.  Also, I never really connected with the main character, Amelia, or the missing girl, Lark.  Finally, this book does what a lot of books in this genre are trying to do lately: it just keeps coming at you with the shocking twists, without really providing much of a foundation or providing any space for the reader to legitimately guess what's coming, which for me is the most fun part - whether I get it right or not, I like to feel like I had a fair shot at guessing.  In books like this, it always feels a little unfair when a twist comes out of nowhere.  While some people like the shock (and I do at times too) I don't love it when the who or the why don't make a lot of sense with what I learned in the rest of the story.  

Also, I feel like this book tried to take every trendy aspect of the current suspense genre and incorporate it in one book.  Missing girl plus locked room plus secret identities and love affairs plus a mysterious masked man plus blackouts plus a lot more common tropes that I won't spoil is a lot for one book.

For whatever reason, even though it has a lot of elements I usually like, this story never grabbed me and pulled me in so I wasn't as invested in it as I could have been.  I just felt like it was trying for too many plot points and twists at once. But I seem to be in the minority here, so check it out for yourself.  I would say that this is best for you if you like very plot-driven, creative, incredibly twisty stories.  The author is definitely talented, but it just wasn't my favorite in this crowded genre.

Thanks to HQ Digital, NetGalley, and Amanda Brittany for the advance copy!
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I was only introduced to Amanda Brittany’s work last year with her brilliant book Traces of Her and I immediately connected with her writing and storytelling. Based on that one book alone, she very quickly became one of my favourite authors and I have been eagerly awaiting to see what she was going to come up with next. I am so thrilled to say, it is another brilliant read!

I Lie In Wait is a compelling story that had me up until all hours. I just could not put it down. I was so entranced and under its spell right from the get go, as I was taken on the journey with main  protagonist Amelia and her family, as they return back to where her sister Lark disappeared one year prior during a family holiday in the Scottish Highlands. It is Amelia’s belief that the cottage known as Drummondale where they stayed, holds all the answers.

The story has been meticulously thought through, plotted and executed so well. There are no plot holes or unnecessary filler chapters and it just all flows as it should. Never at any point was there any parts that had me wanting it to hurry along and I was actually surprised when I came to the end. It was like no time had passed at all, that’s how engrossed I was in it!

What I liked about the setting (although its is one of my biggest fears) was the feeling of claustrophobia that has been created around it. The use of a snow storm that has the cast of characters trapped at Drummondale, is just perfect and adds to the eerie feel. Each blast of wind, chilled me to the bone and even though I love the cold (it is currently Winter here in Australia), it did have me turning on and notching up the heater a bit.

I could just keep writing and writing about how good this book is, but I think you get the idea that I loved it. With its intriguing plot, a perfect setting that becomes a character in itself, strong and well developed characters, a jaw dropping twist that I did not see coming (very well played!) that is all put together through writing that is so engaging and captivating, this book has it all and will most definitely be part of my best books for 2020! 

Thank you to NetGalley, HQ Digital and Amanda Brittany for allowing me to read an advanced copy of I Lie In Wait which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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A good mystery with twists some predictable some unpredictable. Told through multiple POV and different timelines makes it a little confusing. The characters are shallow and could not be connected with, their actions beyond belief. The pace is good and maintained throughout. 4 stars
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This was definitely a book of three halves, and I’m not talking about the three timelines. It got off to a really good start and had me turning pages, then it became a bit hectic and ever so slightly far fetched, and certainly too many cups of tea, but then the ending twisted right back round again. I had guessed who the ‘now’ was but not why. Overall a good 3.5 star. Thank you to NetGalley and HQ for letting me review this book.
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