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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Lie by the Pool

Jess Nahikian, Selah Victor, Aaron Shedlock, Michael Crouch

Brilliance Audio

ISBN: 9781662505102

Publisher: Lake Union

Publication Date: 09/12/2023

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars + (ARC)

A desperate woman. An irresistible invitation. An escalating nightmare of secrets, lies, and murder.

Bree’s new home is luxurious and private, with a fancy Beverly Hills address. What a shame it’s not hers. Widowed, penniless, living in her car, and out of options, she’s climbed the fence and crashed in the pool house. All she wants is a good night’s sleep. But when Sophie, the absentee owner, finds her, she gets a whole lot more.

Sophie invites Bree back for a party. When it winds down, Bree can’t resist sneaking upstairs to sleep in a real bed. But the next morning, she wakes to find Sophie’s dead body floating in the pool. As the resident vagabond, she’s both the only witness and the prime murder suspect.

Bree knows she shouldn’t run, but her husband’s death was mysterious, too. If she’s going to clear her name, she’s going to have to work fast. Because the killer is still out there, and she’s next.

My Review

Talented Susan Walter's third novel, LIE BY THE POOL, is a multi-layered, gripping, twisty suspense page-turner thriller of a homeless woman who witnesses a murder while sleeping in a luxury Beverly Hills pool house.

Captivating! I read in two sittings and could not wait to see how this twisty edge-of-your-seat gem would turn out. I loved it and the satisfying conclusion!

Told from POV: (past and present)

Bree (homeless woman)

Carter (son of the homeowner)

Sophie (daughter of the homeowner)

Luke (Bree's husband)

We meet Bree, a pianist from Canada who later moved to New York and married the love of her life, Luke. They lived in LA, California, and now she is homeless. He was a building contractor with a successful business. She was a piano teacher, putting her musical tour on hold. At this point, we do not know what happened to her husband, but she blames herself. There is the mystery of what happened leading her here—not uncovered until towards the end of the book.

She is still teaching piano lessons when she can get work. She is down on her luck. Her car is on its last leg, and for now, the vehicle is her home. The problem is she has difficulty finding a place to park to sleep in her car. She finds free food samples when she can. She either gets pricey parking tickets, gets towed, and, at the latest, someone has broken into her car, knocking out her windows and no money to repair, while stealing all the money she has stored in the vehicle.

Bree finds herself in a Beverly Hills upscale home on Rodeo Drive. No one lives there for now, and she sleeps in the lounge chair by the pool and uses the pool house to shower. She keeps a rock in front of the gate to go in and out and parks away from the home.

The beautiful contemporary home is a temporary place to crash until a woman catches her but does not say anything. The next night, strangely, there is a bag left for her with great food, chocolates, cheese crackers, fruit, wine, and an encouraging note with a Halloween costume inviting her to a party there the following evening.

How could this be? Little does she know what lies ahead.

Sophie is throwing the Halloween party at the house on Rodeo Drive, which her father owns. (Of course, her parents do not know). They are out of town, so she talks her brother, Carter, and pool guy, Jared, into helping her.

However, the power goes out, and Bree winds up later staying over in the house in a bedroom upstairs and, shockingly, the next morning finds a body dead in the pool.

From here, the book speeds up to a high adrenaline-fueled, non-stop action thriller as all the pieces of this mysterious puzzle and secrets are unraveled. It was fun seeing all the characters collide from past to present in this thrilling, well-written, entertaining thriller! Unputdownable.

I loved all the characters, especially Luke and Bree, and I also enjoyed Carter and Sophie's parts and how the book was laid out.

I love Rodeo Drive, LA, Beverly Hills, and have spent a lot of time in Santa Barbara and Montecito—I love the furniture shopping in quaint Ojai! —from Wilshire Boulevard to South Santa Monica Boulevard and the scenic Pacific Highway.

I love the musical elements as my ex-husband was a pianist, so I am familiar with all the references. I adore stories of FBI, crime, mobsters, and whistleblowers —this was tops, and I loved everything about LIE BY THE POOL and the author's style!

For fans of Robyn Harding's The Drowning Woman and Kaira Rouda! I cannot wait to see what the talented author comes up with next! I love the title and the cover. I am looking forward to listening to the audiobook narrated by Michael Crouch (favorite), Jess Nahikian, Selah Victor, and Aaron Shedlock.

Thanks to Lake Union and NetGalley for a gifted ARC in exchange for an honest opinion.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 Stars

Pub Date: Sept 12, 2023


“The most fun I’ve had reading a thriller in a long time! Lie By The Pool is a delicious page-turner you will finish in one sitting. Full of juicy twists, a wildly original plot, and nerve-shredding tension, Lie by the Pool catapults Susan Walter into the top echelon of thriller writers.”

―David Ellis, New York Times bestselling author of Look Closer

“Susan Walter, in her signature shifty thriller style, weaves a story of blind ambition and intersecting lies as four people and their secrets collide in Beverly Hills. Sit by the pool with her and turn the pages. But keep an eye on who’s in the cabana.”

―Judy Melinek & T.J. Mitchell, New York Times bestselling authors of the Jessie Teska mysteries and Working Stiff

“Get ready for a sleepless night! Lie by The Pool is a blistering, fast-paced thriller, confidently plotted and executed. Walter’s trademark verve for cinematic, propulsive storytelling shines in this L.A. story that will hold you in thrall until the very last page. Fiendishly clever!”

―Paulette Kennedy, bestselling author of The Witch of Tin Mountain

“I decided to forgo all of the movies on an international flight and read an advance copy of Susan Walter's Lie by The Pool instead. What a good choice! This book is better than any on-screen thriller. A seamless, exhilarating plot that draws you in so immediately and completely, you feel like you're living Bree's nightmare instead of just reading it. In a genre that can seem glutted by stale ideas and stock characters, Walter brings us something fresh, fast-paced, and utterly fantastic.”

―Lindsay Moran, bestselling author of Blowing my Cover

“A page-turning Beverly Hills tale with characters to root for and suspect all at once. Susan Walter is simply the master at luring readers in with breezy prose and then walloping with a killer twist. Dive in and enjoy the ride!”

―Wendy Walker, bestselling author of What Remains

“With alternating perspectives told by compelling characters, you'll find yourselves turning the pages to get to the bottom of this skillfully rendered mystery. The perfect summer read!”

―Katie Sise, Amazon Charts bestselling author of Open House and The Break

“A thriller that thrills, crime fiction that is criminally good and feels like the real thing. A rich ensemble of characters, and protagonists that you hope don't wind up dead… because danger lurks around every twisty corner.”

―Ken Pisani, author of the Los Angeles Times best-selling novel AMP'D

“Susan Walter has a knack for writing thoroughly entertaining stories that keep you flipping pages. Fun and fast and full of surprising revelations. What a pleasure to read!”

―Bruce Cameron, New York Times bestselling author of A Dog’s Purpose and Love, Clancy

“Wow. What a terrific read! Walter's third novel is a vivid suspense-thriller that's filled with surprises. An involving character study with a touching love story at its center. Great work, extremely enjoyable!”

―Gary Goldstein, award-winning author of The Last Birthday Party and The Mother I Never Had

About the Author

Susan Walter is the author of Good as Dead and Over Her Dead Body. She was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After being given every opportunity but failing to become a concert violinist, Susan attended Harvard University. She had hoped to be a newscaster, but the local TV station had different ideas and hired her to write and produce promos instead. Seeking sunshine and a change of scenery, she moved to Los Angeles to work in film and television production. Upon realizing writers were having all the fun, Susan transitioned to screenwriting, then directing. She made her directorial debut with the film All I Wish starring Sharon Stone, which she also wrote. For more information visit







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