The thrilling next instalment in the award-winning Cyrus Haven series sees Cyrus reckoning with his own dark and shocking past.

When a man is murdered and his daughter disappears, forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven must decide if Maya Kirk is running, hiding, or a hostage. Cyrus understands how killers think better than anyone; after all, he’s a survivor.

Evie is a troubled teenager with an incredible gift: she knows when someone is lying. She is working at a Nottingham bar when a second woman goes missing, a nurse with links to Maya Kirk. Both women have a secret they have tried to hide, but the past is never history.

Evie witnesses the second abduction, glimpsing the driver, but only two people believe her. One is Cyrus. The other is the killer.

My Review

I almost don’t know where to start with this review. Lying Beside You is the third in the Forensic Psychologist and Criminal Profiler Cyrus Haven series, so a little background information won’t go amiss.

When Cyrus was a child the most traumatic event possible occurred that would change his life forever. His father, mother and twin sisters were murdered. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the killer was his paranoid schizophrenic, older brother Elias. Nine-year-old Cyrus wasn’t there at the time or he would have been another victim.

Twenty-one-year-old Evie Cormac lives with Cyrus. He takes care of her. He discovered her as a troubled teenager living in a children’s home and became her guardian, though she is now an adult, so no longer needs a guardian. Evie also suffered a traumatic childhood – there are references to her sister and her mother, but I would need to read the first books to find out more. I know that Evie Cormac is not her real name and her identity is protected. Her best friend is her dog Poppy. She also has a special gift – she knows when people are lying to her.

Elias is serving 20 years in Rampton Secure Psychiatric Hospital, but he is now due for release. He has proved himself ready to return to the community, which means he can manage his condition, including taking his meds. He has two distinct personalities going on – one which killed his family, and the other who was unaware at the time. Cyrus has agreed to monitored visits, first an afternoon, then a weekend, with a view to Elias coming to live with him.

You are a better man than I am, Cyrus Haven, because there is no way I would allow him to live with me, not just because I would fear for my own life, but what about Evie? What if he stops taking his meds? Would she be safe? Not something I would put to the test. You might be able to forgive him, Cyrus, but the public must still be protected.

In the meantime, 67-year-old Rohan Kirk has been savagely murdered and his daughter Maya is missing. Is she also dead or has she been abducted? Evie is working at a Nottingham bar when a second woman goes missing, a nurse with links to Maya Kirk. Both women were hiding a secret, but the past always catches up with you, especially in psychological thrillers.

Mitch Coates, accused and imprisoned for the assault of his neighbour, has also been released from prison, still claiming his innocence, but they all say that, don’t they. Cyrus has hired him as a handyman and Evie believes him when he says he didn’t do it.

It takes a skilled writer to link such complicated storylines so seamlessly, and Michael Robotham is a master of his art. Brilliantly written, sharply observed, perfectly researched and effortlessly witty, Lying Beside You is as good as it gets.

Many thanks to The Pigeonhole, and my fellow Pigeons for making this such an enjoyable read.

About the Author

Two-times Gold Dagger winner (2015 and 2020), twice Edgar best novel finalist (2016 and 2020) and winner of the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger (2021), Michael Robotham began his writing career as an investigative journalist working across Britain, Australia and America. Later he became a ghostwriter, collaborating on 15 ‘autobiographies’ for politician, pop stars, soldiers and adventurers. Twelve of these books became Sunday Times bestsellers.

Michael’s psychological thrillers have been translated into twenty-five languages and his Joe O’Loughlin series is currently in development for TV by World Productions. A six-part TV series based upon his standalone novel The Secrets She Keeps was aired on BBC1 in 2020.

Michael has twice won the prestigious Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger for Good Girl Bad Girl (2020) and Life or Death (2015). He has twice been shortlisted for the Edgar Award for best crime fiction novel in the US, and twice won the Ned Kelly Award for Australia’s Crime Novel of the Year. Having twice been shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, he won the thriller prize with When She Was Good (2021).

Michael lives in Sydney with his wife and a diminishing number of dependent daughters.

His website is: www.michaelrobotham.com

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