Lying Beside You
reviewed by Carolyn Scott
In this third instalment of this excellent series featuring forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven, Cyrus is called to the scene of a murder by his old friend Detective Lenny Pavel. A pensioner with brain injuries who lived with his daughter had been brutally bashed to death and now his daughter Maya is missing.
Lenny wants Cyrus’ opinion on whether Maya could have killed her father or whether she has been abducted by the killer. When Cyrus points out signs of an intruder breaking in to the house, the police know that they are now in a race against time to find Maya.
Evie, the damaged and troubled teenager who Cyrus took under his wing is now twenty one and lodging with Cyrus while she completes her school exams. To make a contribution to the household expenses, she decides to get a part-time job as a waitress in a bar. One night she helps a seemingly inebriated woman, Danielle, leave the club and get a share ride home. However, Danielle never made it home that night. The driver of the share ride she booked said she wasn’t waiting for him when he arrived to collect her, so whose car did Evie see her get into and is Danielle’s disappearance linked to Maya’s?
In addition to assisting the police find the missing women, Cyrus has other problems to deal with at home. Twenty years ago his older brother Elias, killed their parents and sister during a schizophrenic episode when Cyrus was only nine and has been incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital since. Now his doctors have agreed he is ready to be released and knowing he must learn to forgive him, Cyrus has agreed to Elias living with him while he becomes used to a world he has never known. Cyrus seems to be a savior of lost souls as he has also taken in a homeless handyman he hired, a man on parole following a prison sentence for a sexual assault he claims he didn’t do.
The narrative alternates between Cyrus and Evie, giving us their points of view on all that is happening. With so many new people entering her life, Evie’s innate ability to know when someone is lying serves her well in knowing who to be wary of and who to trust. Her relationship with Cyrus is still evolving as they become more comfortable with each other. Evie may be twenty one, but often still behaves as a difficult and moody teenager while she learns to navigate in the world. Cyrus recognizes that she still has a lot of growing up to do and is so understanding and patient with her as he gradually building her trust.
Robotham is a superb plotter of suspense and this is a riveting and gripping read. Well plotted, with plenty of wrong turns until Cyrus stumbles across a link between the missing women and a previous case. If you’ve read the previous two books in the series you won’t want to miss this, and if you haven’t you’ll want to start at the beginning to fully enjoy the characters and their relationships.
With many thanks to Little, Brown Group for a copy to read.