Cover Image: She Lies Alone

She Lies Alone

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Member Reviews

This book was provided to me by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  
The prologue sets the scene with the discovery of a body on the high school football field.  From there, it sets up all the characters, and leads up to the murder.   This takes 62% of the book.  The book is told from two perspectives, Jane, the AP Chemistry teacher, and Amy the mother of one of Jane's students, who is a part-timer in the school office as an accountant.  I felt like this book was a bit slow.  It didn't hold my attention and wasn't one that I couldn't put down.  That being said, I didn't predict the murderer, and I didn't hate it.  Thank you NetGalley, Bookouture and Laura Wolfe for giving me this book.
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Thank you Netgalley and Bookouture for an advanced copy of She Lies Alone by Laura Wolfe. While I did like this mystery I was a bit disappointed that it was not the thriller it was supposed to be. In fact, I felt that it was kinda a bait and switch until I well past 50 percent of the way through the book. 

Jane Bryson obeys the rules as the science teacher at Ravenswood High School, When new English teacher Elena Mayfield joins Ravenswood, Jane’s excited to have a friend who is ready to challenge authority, and shakes things up.  Elena starts a romance with a colleague, meets a student after class, all forbidden, Jane is tries to help her, but in the end warns her friend she better back off. The morning after the annual fundraiser, Elena’s body is found crumpled on the soccer field.  Who killed Elena?  The ex-boyfriend, the new one, a student, or a parent? This story was told from two points from Jane's and Amy's, and my confusion was the murder didnt take place until over half way through the book. To me this was more about Amy, and Jane, then Elena.  Considering how long Elena was in the book, I would have liked to know more about her.
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It is difficult to classify this book. The cover says that it is a psychological suspense novel, but there’s also mystery involved. Frankly, I didn’t get much of a “typical” psych suspense from it…more straight-up suspense. But maybe that’s just me.  
The book starts with a jogger finding a body on a high school soccer field. The plot then skips back to the weeks prior to the discovery. Most of the book relates the events leading up to the tragic death.
Told through alternating points of view, the story unfolds from the eyes of a teacher, Jane, and a parent, Amy. We get very different perspectives from each of them, but put together, the full picture emerges.
An interesting note: as I read, I was sure that there were other narrators. But in writing this review, I went back to verify, and every other chapter was either Jane or Amy. There were a few exceptions where one or the other had a couple of chapters in a row.  
I think it’s a sign of good writing that an author can use two characters to paint such a complete picture that it seems like there are more people telling the story. I didn’t realize that until going back and checking, so very well done there. 
I was able to relate to this book because I am a former high school teacher. Both the characters (administration, teachers, parents, students) and the setting were familiar. I recognized people I have worked with, especially among the teachers. 
The attitudes were also familiar: the admin who only cares about test scores, the secretary who thinks she controls everything, the differing approaches of teachers…I’ve experienced them all. 
I will say that Jane annoyed the heck out of me, and I spent most of the book rooting against her. Maybe it was due to personal experience with teachers like her or maybe she was just unlikeable. But her attitude, assumptions, and barbed comments and thoughts got on my nerves. 
I had a difficult time discerning whether she was written that way on purpose to counteract Elena’s more positive approach, or to highlight the differences between an English teacher and a Chemistry teacher, or just to be the vessel that the revelations of the events come through. 
Regardless, she did have the longest journey and it seemed by the end that she had seen the error of her approach and was determined to do better in memory of her friend. 
I don’t want to say much else, because there were a few surprises along the way. I did guess a few of them (I figured out early on who was leaving the envelopes in Amy’s mailbox). I liked how the end wrapped up the earlier premise that teenagers go through phases – not saying more than that, but it was subtle yet effective.
Less successful, however, was the reveal as to “whodunit.” In hindsight, I see how it was all plotted, but the connections seemed tenuous. I’m not sure it was altogether “believable,” especially in light of the character’s other actions.
Likewise, there was a subplot that seemed to be used solely as a manipulation. I kept expecting a shoe to drop on that case (would have been an even more interesting twist), but it essentially went nowhere.  
That being said, it was still an interesting story and there was enough to keep me interested that I read it mostly in one sitting. You won’t be disappointed with this one.
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I was first introduced to Laura Wolfe’s work this year with Two Widows, which I absolutely loved, so when it was announced that we were getting another book this year from her, it was like all my Christmas’ had come at once! So the question is, did She Lies Alone have me captivated and under its spell like Two Widows did? Read on to find out!

She Lies Alone is a expertly crafted psychological suspense, that right from the get go pulls you in and takes you hostage. Straight off the bat in the prologue, a body is discovered by a morning jogger on the grounds of the prestigious Ravenswood High School. Although not something new, what makes this different to other books that have similar prologues, is we learn the identity of the murder victim up front, which in this case is the schools English teacher, Elena Mayfield.

This approach took me back to one of my all time favourite TV series, Cold Case and how you knew who the murder victim was right from the first scene, for it then to go back and discover the why they were killed, which how She Lies Alone plays out. I enjoy it when a book has been structured like this and Laura Wolfe has executed it in this way perfectly.

The story has been very well plotted and is dual narrated by two of the characters who are also employees of the school, as they each give us their points of view in the lead up to Elena’s murder. The story also delves into small town gossip and school politics which I found it to be very interesting and enjoyed the dynamics and the drama between the staff, students and the parents.

So to go back to the beginning of my review and answer my question of did She Lies Alone have me captivated and under its spell? A huge YES! I loved this book and was so engrossed and enthralled by its story and characters, that I could not tear myself away from it. Laura Wolfe has done such a great job with this book and it is one of my best reads for the year. It was a pleasure to be able to read and review She Lies Alone, which I highly recommend.

Thank you to Laura Wolfe, Bookouture and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of She Lies Alone, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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Elena Mayfield is the kind of teacher all students want to have. She’s enthusiastic, innovative, creative and gorgeous. She’s also dead, as we learn in the prologue.

She Lies Alone is a well written, clever mystery set in a small town high school. Narrated by Jane Bryson, Ravenswood High chemistry teacher, and Amy Granger, a single parent who works in the school office, the story begins seven weeks before the murder. Elena is new to the school and her rule-breaking style delights her students and frustrates the administration. Although their styles are very different, she and Jane become friends. And Elena quickly begins a relationship with social studies teacher Nick Bell.

Amy Granger is still bitter after her divorce. Her husband left her for another woman and she and her children are still adjusting. Her teenage daughter Phoebe has been rocked by changes. She’s had a falling out with her friends, quit sports and, after Jane pairs her with a troubled boy during a science experiment, changes her appearance. Amy is dismayed when Phoebe and Rowan become inseparable.

This fast paced plot moves quickly to the annual Geeks and Goblins fundraiser. Elena will be found dead the next morning. The evening brims over with suspicious behavior leading to a shocking conclusion. She Lies Alone is a compelling thriller. The school setting, with its office politics and student drama, is almost a character itself. The personal lives of all the characters, especially Jane, give them dimension. 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Bookouture and Laura Wolfe for this ARC.
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This is a great murder mystery told from two perspectives - Jane, the science teacher and Amy, who works in the school office. 
The book begins with Elena’s body being found by a jogger and then we go back to discover the events leading up to the murder. 
Elena is a new teacher at the school and soon becomes friends with Jane. She also starts a relationship with fellow teacher, Nick. 
They all get roped in to helping at the Halloween party along with Amy. 
Phoebe, Amy’s daughter is also quite integral to the overall story as she’s not having a great time with friends at the moment. 
This is a different murder mystery set in a school and it really showed the entangled relationships between all the characters. 
This is a great read. 
Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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She Lies Alone by Laura Wolfe is a great thriller with a high school setting.

Elena is found murdered in the high school soccer field the morning after the big school fundraiser. She is a new English teacher at Ravenswood this year. Elena doesn’t follow rules. She lives by the theory it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. This doesn’t always work out for her. Elena starts a poetry club without getting it approved by the principal. She starts a relationship with another teacher, Nick. Nick is known for dating women for a short time.

Elena quickly becomes friends with Jane.  Jane is a chemistry teacher in the classroom next to Elena’s.  Jane always follows the rules and never does anything questionable or against the rules.  Jane is always trying to keep Elena from getting in trouble and encouraging her to follow the rules. 

She Lies Alone caught my attention from the first page.  The book starts out with Elena’s body being discovered and then goes back seven weeks to explain leading up to the murder.  She Lies Alone is told from the perspective of Elena and Amy.

Amy is a new office employee.  She starts the job to make money after getting divorced. Amy’s daughter, Phoebe is having a difficult time with the divorce. Phoebe quits the tennis team and stops hanging out with all of her friends. Amy wants Phoebe to go back to her old friends and the way she used to be. Amy finds threatening notes in the mailbox and is convinced they are from Phoebe’s old friends. I never understood why Amy would want Phoebe to be friends with girls threatening her. Amy tries to catch the girls leaving the notes.  Will Amy figure out who is actually leaving the notes? Is someone threatening Phoebe? What secret is Phoebe trying to hide?

I found it very interesting how the book was told from Jane and Amy’s perspectives.  The reader gets to learn about Elena from the people around her.  Jane is her closest friend, but Amy she rarely interacts with.  Phoebe spends more time with Elena especially during poetry club.

I enjoyed the fact that Phoebe was such an important part of the story. Phoebe is dealing with typically high school problems like losing friendships, trying to figure out who she is and her parents’ divorce.  How Phoebe handles situations is interesting. She is emotional but always trying to hide her emotions and keep things from everyone including her mom.

Elena has upset a lot of people including the principal, her boss, and students. Everyone always suspects the boyfriend or ex-boyfriend. Who killed Elena?

I loved the formatting of She Lies Alone. The reader finds out Elena was murdered and then gets to learn about her while trying to figure out what caused her to be murdered.

I recommend She Lies Alone to thriller fans.

Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for She Lies Alone.
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When free-spirited new English teacher Elena Mayfield joins Ravenswood High School, she begins to challenge authority and starts shaking things up. 

Jane Bryson, a long-standing science teacher, likes to live a simple and avoid any problems. But she is glad to have a new friend. Though she doesn’t necessarily agree with Elena’s techniques and methods, Jane backs Elena all the way.

When a jogger finds Elena’s crumpled body on the soccer field, the morning after the annual fundraiser. It soon becomes clear that not everyone was fond of Elena.

This was a suspense filled read. It was well written and the plot flows quite smoothly, making it an easy read. The list of suspects was so long because of all the gossip, secrets and lies. 

There was constant drama going on. The issues of teenage rebellion and school politics are well covered. I felt that that the characters were all good and unique, especially Phoebe and Rowan, each of their stories added an extra bit of thrill to the plot.

I enjoyed the epilogue. I felt it was an excellent way to end the book.

Thank You to NetGalley and Bookouture for this ARC!
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She Lies Alone is a fast-paced and twisty psychological thriller with a hefty dollop of mystery, set at prestigious Ravenswood High School under the strict care of a battleaxe Principal. It begins with a bang when the deceased body of recently employed English teacher Elena Mayfield, a teacher popular with students, is discovered by a passing jogger on the soccer field; she has been stabbed to death in a frenzied and brutal manner leaving the whole school rocked to their core. We are then taken back almost two months to the events leading up to that day via flashbacks. Narrated by chemistry teacher Jane Bryson and Amy Granger, the school accounting clerk, the story unravels and there are several suspects. Jane and Elena had become firm friends since Elena joined the school’s teaching team but the two women didn't agree on how you should behave. Jane is a stickler for rules and regulations and is quite the sycophant, whereas Elena was a free spirit and nonconforming. Despite Jane warning Elena to follow the rules it seemed to go in one ear and out the other and she has already been in trouble with the school administration on multiple occasions.

She is frequently being reprimanded by the Principal and Head of the Department for creating clubs and counselling students without asking permission. But who hated her enough to want her dead? This is an addictive, intense and compulsive read and right from the prologue I was pulled into, and engaged by, the drama going on at the school. It's a story full of gossip, secrets, lies, betrayal and drama and if you think that students get up to no good then wait until you see the adults who are supposed to be setting a good example. The dual perspective worked extremely well creating a fully rounded story and the atmosphere is quite sinister with a lot of shady things going on beneath the surface and with hidden, bubbling resentments and jealousy seemingly everywhere between both students and staff. The writing flows superbly making it easy to fly through the pages and the entertaining and exciting plot is complex but well thought out. It's unpredictable in places and pacy with a cast of nicely developed characters who are not to be trusted. Fans of women's fiction and thrillers light in gruesome slayings will thoroughly enjoy this. Many thanks to Bookouture for an ARC.
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Wow. <b>She Lies Alone</b> is captivating.

I quite honestly felt like I was hooked from the first few lines. It did take me significantly longer to finish reading this novel than I would have hoped, given how interested I was in the story line. Alas, personal issues arose and my mind couldn't keep up with everything. 

This novel, right off the bat, gave me the impression of something sinister and tragic was occurring... but as the story line built around all of these well-written and developed characters, I somehow forgot it was supposed to be a psychological thriller... and I was thinking to myself, what a wholesome novel, full of characters navigating life. 

And then BAM!, we are confronted with the murder that was outlined at the beginning of the novel that we have just been working through the back story to get to. I had no idea who the killer could have been, because there were quite honestly, many suspects. 

I feel like the mystery of who did it was drawn out perfectly and the story tied itself off efficiently. I liked how the beginning of the novel tied in cleanly to the end of the novel and gave the impression of closure for many of the characters.

I think that this has been a very satisfying and gripping read and I would definitely be open to reading more of this author's work in the future!

<i>I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher of this advanced digital copy for the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for an honest review!</i>
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This is a well-crafted and captivating murder mystery. It is a slow burner but it kept me interested and entertained.

Jane is a teacher at a high school. She plays by the rules and is a quite normal teacher. Elena is young and pretty and does not care so much about rules. She is the new English teacher and the pupils love her way of teaching.  But she is in conflict with the schools authorities and she is involved with another teacher who is quite a womanizer. Then one day she turns up dead. What happened to lovely Elena?

This story is well told and quite complex. There are quite a few characters and they are all very well crafted with all their flaws. The writing style has a flow to it that just keeps you entertained. I enjoyed this book very much. Just go into it blind and you won’t regret it.
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‘She Lies Alone’ is a fantastic murder mystery told from the perspectives of Jane, the science teacher and Amy, the school accountant and I loved it. Not only was it an intriguing and a well constructed mystery, it had me guessing until the end. The two POV’s were brilliantly written. I’ll confess to even trying to work it out while doing mundane tasks like cleaning the house. It had my brain ticking away. 

I loved Jane’s character and in fact, I found her really refreshing. She’s the one who obeys the rules and is passionate about chemistry but her life is missing something. She was so well rounded and intelligent. Then there’s Amy, a woman in her forties who’s coming out of the other end of a painful divorce while trying to raise a rebellious teenager. Again, her character was so relatable. Her daughter Phoebe also plays an integral part in everything and then there’s the sinister happenings - which I won’t talk about here. No spoilers - haha. 

The setting was the icing on the cake. A lot of the scenes are based in the high school classroom, staff room and the the ‘Geeks and Goblins’ event. Loved the school setting and the entangled relationships between all the characters. It made for an exciting and unpredictable read and a fast moving one at that. 

I’d recommend this book to psychological thriller lovers and those that enjoy a good helping of drama. This promises both and delivers too. A fantastic read with a big whopping reveal that will have you saying - OMG!
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This book was good, not great. A bit above average for me. Also, the ending was super confusing. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy in exchange for review.

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This book is just an okay read for me. The beginning (prologue) was done well but the story keeps dragging until the murder happened. It was too long and it makes me feel a little bored until the murder occurred—my pace of reading increase after that until the end. 

I liked Jane. For me, she’s the one more reasonable person in this book. I want to know more about Rowan’s history but didn’t get it. The ending just nice. 

Overall, this one is not the best thriller I have read. More drama than a thriller. If the fast-paced storyline right after the epilogue, it would be nicer.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was really not for me and a DNF at 38%,apologies but was not enjoying the story and found it more drama and no real thriller and was not keen on. any character in the book
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I'd like to thank the author, publisher and Net Galley for providing an e-book copy of this book in exchange for my review.

This was a new author for me, and overall I enjoyed the book.  It was a quick lightweight read, but some of the plot lines were a bit disappointing and underdeveloped.  More drama than thriller, for my reading tastes.  I'd try another book by this author again, though.
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She Lies Alone by Laura Wolfe is one of the best psychological thrillers I have read recently. The book opens up with a terrible murder of a high school English teacher, Elena Mayfield, who is well liked by many. The story is told by a few different POVs and the characters are all well developed and likable.  That list of suspected grows as the story develops.  The plot execution is excellent. Highly recommend!!
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Twisted and gripping . Once I started I was complety hooked and I didn’t want the story to end !! A thrilling read that seemed so original and well crafted !!
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She Lies Alone opens with the discovery of the body of one of the main characters, Elena. The novel then moves back in time before the murder to reveal the stories of the other main characters, Jane and Amy. The story is told from their viewpoints. Jane is a chemistry teacher who plays by the rules and befriends Elena as she starts as an English teacher at the same school. They become friends quickly and Jane tries to help Elena stay out of trouble with school administration. Elena quickly falls for Nick, who Jane is already friends with, and they become a trio. The relationship is forbidden, but Elena is a rule breaker and Nick is smitten. Amy, a recent divorcee, has also started working at the school doing administrative tasks and struggling to provide for her kids after the divorce. She’s resentful of her ex and how everything seems to be coming up roses for him and she’s worried as I it appears her daughter, Phoebe, is struggling in her friendships and turning to a troubled dark horse teenage boy, Rowan. After the story catches up to the murder, everyone is a suspect and the story takes a couple of small twists.

I felt that this was a pretty lightweight story and some of the plot lines were underdeveloped and unresolved especially Phoebe’s story and Rowan’s history. It was an easy read and held my interest, but wasn’t as gripping as I would have liked. It’s a slow build, but less thriller, more drama.
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A compelling thriller told through multiple points of view. This book delves into the drama at a prestigious school amongst teachers, administrations, parents and students. Drama that eventually leads to a murder where everyone is a suspect. I thoroughly enjoyed this one! I wasn't sure where it was leading and didn't guess who the killer was, which is a rarity for me. Will definitely be reading this author again!
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