Watching from the Dark

Random. Feb. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781984818072. $27. M
Aidan Poole logs onto his computer and waits to Skype with his girlfriend, Zoe. He can see Zoe’s apartment, but she’s curiously offscreen. From his vantage point, Aidan notices Zoe’s front door opening and hears footsteps. Then, the sounds of a violent struggle in the bathroom, followed by someone exiting the apartment. While Aidan is terrified for Zoe’s safety, he’s hesitant to contact the police—eventually doing so cryptically and anonymously. The next morning, DCI Jonah Sheens and his team find Zoe dead. As the investigation begins, Sheens and his team discover that kindhearted Zoe was surrounded by a complicated network of friends, each of whom has something to hide. They also learn about Zoe’s tumultuous, on-again, off-again relationship with Aidan, who continues to behave strangely despite his alibi. Readers follow each member of Sheens’s team as they work the puzzling case. The present-day investigation is intercut with flashbacks to Zoe’s life leading up to the murder, showing her as a fully developed character, not just a murder victim.
VERDICT Lodge’s second “Jonah Sheens” mystery (after She Lies in Wait) is a compelling police procedural with a well-drawn cast of characters.

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