After reading If You Tell by Gregg Olsen, I was determined to devour as many books by this author as possible. Unfortunately, Lying Next to Me was not all that I hoped it to be. I’m not sure if I had unrealistic expectations after reading one exceptional book by the author or if it just wasn’t up my alley, but I did not love this book. Ironically, it is rated a lot better than If You Tell on Goodreads.
Synopsis: Lying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen
“Adam and Sophie Warner and their three-year-old daughter are vacationing in Washington State’s Hood Canal for Memorial Day weekend. It’s the perfect getaway to unplug—and to calm an uneasy marriage. But on Adam’s first day out on the water, he sees Sophie abducted by a stranger. A hundred yards from shore, Adam can’t save her. And Sophie disappears.
In a nearby cabin is another couple, Kristen and Connor Moss. Unfortunately, beyond what they’ve heard in the news, they’re in the dark when it comes to Sophie’s disappearance. For Adam, at least there’s comfort in knowing that Mason County detective Lee Husemann is an old friend of his. She’ll do everything she can to help. She must.
But as Adam’s paranoia about his missing wife escalates, Lee puts together the pieces of a puzzle. The lives of the two couples are converging in unpredictable ways, and the picture is unsettling. Lee suspects that not everyone is telling the truth about what they know—or they have yet to reveal all the lies they’ve hidden from the strangers they married.”Goodreads
What I Liked
Although I didn’t love this book, I didn’t hate it either. It took me a long time to get into it, but I kept reading because of the great Goodreads rating. I wasn’t really interested in Adam, the protagonist, but I was hoping to learn more about detective Lee Husemann and her story.
Halfway through the book, things did get a lot more exciting, and that’s when I became committed to finishing the story. The second half of the book was definitely more engaging, and I’m glad I kept reading. The plot felt fresh, and I really didn’t expect it to end the way it did. I’m not certain why I wasn’t as interested in the book as I expected it to be. Clearly, I’m the odd one out as thousands of other people loved this book.
What I Didn’t Like
I had such a hard time getting into the story, even though it started out with a bang. I suspect that the protagonist is to blame. Although it doesn’t seem like the author wants the reader to like Adam, I just found myself not caring about him at all. Plus, I felt like I didn’t even know his daughter, which alienated me even more despite not being someone who loves children. There just seemed to be a disconnect that is hard to pinpoint.
Another thing I didn’t like was the unfinished story of Lee Husemann. Perhaps there is a planned sequel that I don’t know of, but even so, there seemed to be much more there to explore. If there isn’t a sequel, then I’m flummoxed regarding certain details included about her that seemed like they were going somewhere, but then they just didn’t. It felt unnecessary and like a tease.
This was a unique story with exciting twists, but ultimately, Lying Next to Me by Gregg Olsen failed to wow me. I was so unimpressed that I chose a different author for my next read, despite wanting to read more of Gregg Olsen’s books after loving If You Tell. Based on my limited experience, I’m worried that he is only great when recounting actual events rather than creating his own stories, although this seems harsh. I’d have to read more to be able to be sure!