Liz Nugent’s Lying in Wait is a twisted read that pits a son’s determination to unravel a family secret against his mother’s dangerous possessiveness and psychopathic machinations. Nugent’s latest is a character drama, a coming of age story, a domestic suspense, and a psychological thriller all wrapped up in an engaging and disquieting read.
Nugent’s writing style is simple and straightforward with seeming little nuance in sentence structure but with surprising, subtle psychological depth. The characters are gritty and realistic, and the parent-child relationship is explored in all its thorny glory. Obsession is rampant on the pages: a beautiful young woman desperate to find her missing sister; a sensitive young man certain he knows the truth about the body buried in the garden; and a woman who is as crafty and poisonous as a spider and whose devotion to her son has spiraled into something far more unstable. This is a detailed study of narcissism and denial, of psychosis and borderline personality disorder.
Numerous threads are woven together to create a tangled tapestry of secrets, lies, and guilt. Tragic and appalling, shocking and disturbing, Lying in Wait is an eery read that will leave the reader chilled to the core. And perhaps thankful that most can use the term “crazy” lightly and humorously when it comes to their mothers.
Recommended for fans of psychological thrillers with a domestic backdrop and a character drama pace