Book review: Lying Beside You by Michael Robotham

Tuesday, June 28, 2022 Permalink

Lying Beside You is the third in the series featuring forensic psychologist Cyrus Haven and his former client and now-housemate Evie Cormac. Both Cyrus and Evie had tumultuous childhoods so there’s a bond between the pair that has been challenged as past secrets come to light, but continues to grow with each outing in this series.

Evie explains it..

I used to think I was the only conscious being in the universe. That everything existed because of me – physical objects, other people, animals, events – and that if I died everything else would vanish….

Then I met Cyrus and I realised that I wasn’t alone. I didn’t just feel my pain. I felt his. His thoughts. His emotions. His experiences. I wasn’t the only conscious being in the universe – there were two of us. p 28

I love both of these characters equally which is rare for me. And Robotham does a great job of sharing rather than dividing our loyalties so that we’re not forced to play favourites. At least that’s how it feels to me. The books unfold from both points of view. Equally strong and demanding of our attention, both characters flawed yet captivating.

Book review: Lying Beside You by Michael RobothamLying Beside You
by Michael Robotham
Series: Cyrus Haven #3
Published by Hachette Australia
on 29/06/2022
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction, Thriller / Suspense
ISBN: 9780733648151
Pages: 352

Twenty years ago, Cyrus Haven's family was murdered. Only he and his brother survived. Cyrus because he hid. Elias because he was the killer.

Now Elias is being released from a secure psychiatric hospital and Cyrus, a forensic psychologist, must decide if he can forgive the man who destroyed his childhood.

As he prepares for the homecoming, Cyrus is called to a crime scene in Nottingham. A man is dead and his daughter, Maya, is missing. Then a second woman is abducted... The only witness is Evie Cormac, a troubled teenager with an incredible gift: she can tell when you are lying.

Both missing women have dark secrets that Cyrus must unravel to find them - and he and Evie know better than anybody how the past can come back to haunt you . . .

There’s a bit happening here. Evie’s looking for work and dealing with a return to school (despite now being 21). Cyrus has been pulled in to consult on a murder and missing woman but at the same time referred a client on parole who claims to be innocent… and he’s faced with the impending release of his brother who murdered their parents and twin sisters 20 years earlier.

I loved the way Robotham was able to portray the polarity of Cyrus’s feelings here. As a psychologist he logically understands that his brother suffered from schizophrenia when he committed the murders. He accepts his brother is now on medication and has served his time. But he also remembers what he stumbled across after arriving home later than expected when he was just 13 years old.

I found myself annoyed (on Cyrus’s behalf) at Elias’s assumption that his brother will be there to support him, but appreciated that Robotham didn’t have Elias falling over himself with guilt and remorse which would make it easier (or at least simpler) to forgive and accept him. Of course, Evie – the human lie detector – is suspicious of Elias and the pair circle each other warily, uncertain of their place in Cyrus’s life.

There’s a smidge of coincidence as the recent murder/kidnapping is reminiscent of the crime committed by Cyrus’s new client, but it links the past and present. It gives context in relation to the actions of the perpetrator, allowing Cyrus and the police to piece together clues of that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Robotham keeps the action coming here and the pace picks up even more towards the end. I was certainly surprised, not just by some plot twists, but also by the actions of some of our characters.

There’s something about this series that is comforting. Like coming home. I’d not remembered all of the detail from the previous book, When She Was Good, so re-read my review (wishing that I’d included spoilers to help), but it didn’t matter. Cyrus and Evie are substantial enough as characters and ground-down by their histories, and Robotham – of course – is skilled in offering a snapshot of their past without belabouring detail. Newcomers to the series might not have the same level of affection for the characters that ‘we’ devotees have, but they won’t struggle to keep up.

This is easily one of my favourite series at the moment. Perhaps my favourite.

Lying Beside You by Michael Robotham will be published in Australia by Hachette on 29 June 2022.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. 


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