Where They Lie

The thrillingly atmospheric debut from an exciting new voice in crime fiction

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Pub Date 20 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 15 Feb 2024
Simon and Schuster UK | Simon & Schuster UK

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'A thrillingly dark and atmospheric tale, richly evocative of its time, especially for those of us old enough to remember 1968' JOHN BANVILLE

Dublin, 1943
Actress Julia Bridges disappears.
The last sighting of her is entering the house of Gloria Fitzpatrick, who is later put on trial for the murder of another woman whose abortion she facilitated.
But it’s never proved that Gloria had a hand in Julia’s death – and Julia’s body has never been found.
Gloria, however, is sentenced to life in an institution for the criminally insane, until her apparent suicide a few years later, and the truth of what happened to Julia Bridges dies with her.
Until . . .
Dublin, 1968
Nicoletta Sarto is an ambitious junior reporter for the Irish Sentinel when the bones of Julia Bridges are discovered in the garden of a house on the outskirts of Dublin.
Drawn into investigating the 25-year-old mystery of Julia’s disappearance and her link to the notorious Gloria Fitzpatrick, the story takes Nicoletta into the tangled underworld of the illegal abortion industry, stirring up long-buried secrets from her own past.

As much a murder mystery story as a look at a young woman’s struggle to succeed in a man’s world, Where They Lie is a beautifully atmospheric debut that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

'A thrillingly dark and atmospheric tale, richly evocative of its time, especially for those of us old enough to remember 1968' JOHN BANVILLE

Dublin, 1943
Actress Julia Bridges disappears.
The last...

Advance Praise

'A thrillingly dark and atmospheric tale, richly evocative of its time, especially for those of us old enough to remember 1968' JOHN BANVILLE

'This isn't just a mystery novel: it's a window into a vanished world' TANA FRENCH

'Gripping and brilliantly atmospheric, and Nicoletta Sarto, the novel's protagonist – the way she talks, the way she thinks – is a great invention' RODDY DOYLE

'Atmospheric and absorbing, an ambitious young journalist finds herself at the heart of a corkscrew tale she never knew existed’ VAL MCDERMID

‘A dark, gorgeously-written thriller, its tap root deep in a past so vividly evoked, you can see and smell and feel it’ NICCI FRENCH

'A thrillingly dark and atmospheric tale, richly evocative of its time, especially for those of us old enough to remember 1968' JOHN BANVILLE

'This isn't just a mystery novel: it's a window into a...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781398521704
PRICE £16.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

Absolutely astounding, dublin in the 1960s brought to life with a female reporter tracking down the story she was made to uncover. The intricacies of her city and working mind set the pace and the story ebbs and flows windingly. The story sharp tongued and set at a brisk pace, definitely one to read in 2023, unmissable.

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A thriller who makes you wonder who did it. Nicoletta Sartos is as reporter from the Irish Sentinel. The story line has a twist to it, and it makes you want to read it more to find out who did it, and how the story line ends. This book would be ideal as a movie.

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This is a dark Irish-noir novel set in 1960’s Dublin when women were beginning to assert their independence. Nicolette Sarto is a junior reporter for a Dublin newspaper covering a story which she hopes will lead to a promotion. There are so many twists and turns that you feel disorientated at times but I found myself cheering for Nicoletta and willing her to overcome all her problems. I’m not sure that the romance side was needed, or believable, but overall a very good read.

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Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.

I found myself really pulled into the plot of this book. The characters and their back stories are just as compelling as the core mystery they're out to solve. One thing I never like is when too much time is spent away from the main plot and moving it forward. The author never did this - time was spent exploring back story for the characters, but never at the expense of pace of the main plot.

The book is beautifully written, describing the locations in Ireland in depth and colour that it makes you feel like you're immersed in the story and standing right there with the characters.

There's more than one twist in this book and one of them really came out of left field. I wasn't expecting to be surprised when reading this. It almost lulls you into a false sense of security. But the revelations were really satisfying.

A truly enjoyable mystery with a great cast of characters. Can't wait to read more from this author.

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I really enjoyed the mystery of this books, the twists and turns are what made it enjoyable for me as it kept me guessing and surprised me which not many books do anymore.

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Where They Lie was one of those wonderful books that I started to read with no expectation and feel that it will definitely be one of my books of the year.
It's set in Dublin in 1968 when junior reporter Nicoletta Sarto is covering the story of Julia Bridges, an actress whose body has just been discovered, 25 years after her disappearance.
It's a beautifully atmospheric novel really immersing the reader in the winter of 1968 in Dublin and what it was like to be a young woman reporter at the time. It is an intense read covering many issues but centre stage is the wonderful creation of Nicoletta. It's a compelling novel with a twist that I did not see coming but it fitted seamlessly into the plot. I felt that this was a highly original novel that I absolutely loved and would highly recommend.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this digital ARC.

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Dublin 1968
Nicoletta Sarto is a junior reporter for the Irish Sentinel and want to get to the head of the game and prove her male colleagues wrong. When she get involved investigating the body of actress Julia Bridges being found after disappearing 25 years earlier. Gloria Fitzpatrick was given a life sentence for a murder but instead went to institution for the criminally insane but committed suicide later. The whereabouts of Julie’s body was not known until now.
Nicoletta’s investigative journey leads her, to Gloria Fitzpatrick but, Julia’s past working in a local theatre and an underground abortionist. Nicoletta also finds out about her own past and things about her childhood she was not aware of.
Thank you, Simon and Shuster UK, for a copy of ‘Where they lie ‘by Claire Coughlan. I am really surprised how much I enjoyed this and how good this book is. As the cover of the book doesn’t give anything away.
I got straight into this intense, atmospheric read. This has an original storyline and characters, and it flowed well. It has great twists and turns even though some of the subjects in it where a bit difficult to read. As this is a debut novel, I can’t to read more from this author and see how they develop. 4 stars from me.

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Dublin 1968 - Ambitious junior reporter Nicoletta Sarto, from the Irish Sentinel, becomes entangled in a 25-year-old mystery when the bones of Julia Bridges are unearthed near Dublin. As she delves into Julia's disappearance and her connections to the infamous Gloria Fitzpatrick, Nicoletta unravels the clandestine world of illegal abortions.

This is a captivating and original novel with a fantastic ensemble of characters - highly recommended.

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Set in Dublin in 1968, this is the story of an unsolved disappearance, and decades later, of a young journalist who is determined to find the truth. The story moves smoothly between the time zones, and holds the reader’s attention with some unexpected twists and turns, this is really excellent story telling, convincing characterisation and a strong sense of place - a first book from a new writer who deserves to do well.

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Thanks to Netgalley and to Simon & Schuster for a review copy of this book. Set in late 60s Dublin this novel is an atmospheric thriller that evokes the dark underside of Dublin at a time when women struggled to have a career, especially in the male dominated world of journalism, as well as showing the difficulties women faced navigating a strict, religious society who allowed women no mistakes.

Nicoletto Sarto, a junior reporter for an Irish newspaper is attempting to gain a promotion and secure a respected position within the newspaper, despite her parents’ disapproval. They would rather she help out in their shop and settle down like any good daughter would. But Nicoletto is ambitious and despite the fact that the senior reporter with who she’s been having a relationship has just had his wife reappear on the scene, she’s trying to keep her head in the game and takes on the job of investigating and reporting on the discovery of the skeleton of Julia Bridges in the garden of a prominent Dublin man’s home. While trying to uncover the truth of what happened to Bridges Nicoletto finds herself drawn into a hugely tangled web of relationships, underground abortions and events that she never expected, as well as shocking truths that have her questioning everything in her life.

A fine debut novel Coughlin who creates and absorbing and page-turning suspense novel that sits comfortably alongside the Banville Quirke novels or even Tana French novels. Great reading for a cosy afternoon.

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Stunning and thrilling! This is set in 1960's Dublin and is atmospheric and darkly captivating from the outset. Nicoletta is a junior reporter who sets out to solve a mystery. When the body of murdered actress Julia Bridges is discovered 25 years after her disappearance and Gloria Fitzpatrick convicted of her killing and sent to an institution, Nicoletta sets out on a quest for the truth. As ever the past holds eye opening hidden secrets and this story is captivating and full of twists. An addictive read.

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Such a riveting read right from the start. A young reporter trying to crack her biggest story so far whilst struggling with her private life. She has no idea what’s coming!
The story is set in the 1960s in Ireland and there seems to be a naivety about life at that time, for our protagonist.
I was captivated by the story and how it gradually revealed itself and the heart of the story came as a real surprise. There were so many characters involved in this story and it seemed each one knew something and had played their part so it was down to our reporter to bring the threads together and the ending was excellent; it was very cleverly done and worded. Loved it.

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An absolute page-turner! The kind of book that you pick up with the intention of reading just a few chapters and yet find yourself hours later, glued to your seat in front of a cold cup of tea, having just devoured the entire thing in one sitting. I loved it.

Where They Lie is a beautifully atmospheric novel set in 1960s Dublin and following a young journalist, Nicoletta Sarto, as she investigates the disappearance and murder of Julia Bridges back in the 1940s. Claire Coughlan skilfully brings to life the realities of life as an independent career woman in both time periods, with all the misogyny and prejudice that brings, and issues surrounding abortion, miscarriage and still-birth are handled with so much empathy and sensitivity.

And then under all that is a classic crime mystery - an immersive whodunnit with complex characters, multiple plot twists and perfect pacing that just keeps you gripped from start to finish. I can't recommend this book highly enough - an absolute must read for 2024. (And dare I hope that we might see more of Nicoletta Sarto in future novels?)

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I adore Claire Coughlan., I was so looking forward to reading the new novel and am so grateful to have access. The characters always feel so relatable and the sense of loss and great hope are always balanced in the end. Thank you.

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I thoroughly enjoyed Where They Lie by Claire Coughlan and read it over the course of a day. I really liked the plot and it kept me on the edge of my seat to the very last page. I can’t wait to read more from the author in the future!

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thank you to the publishers for letting me review this book .

Wow ,my brain is mashed I can say this book is now living rent free in my mind I don't think i'm ever going to be able to get it out .
the plot was insane but in the best way , did i think i knew what was coming yes , but nope not a clue , the rug was well and truly pulled from under my legs . Also every plot twist i was like jaw dropping .

the characters were so well thought out to the point i loved them and then finding out some of them are dark and evil i want to grab them . the hate for them made my blood boil .

If you're a lover of historic thriller then i will say now READ IT !! you will love it .

i wish i had more stars than 5 but wow amazing 5 thrilling stars

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