Skip to Main Content

About The Book

'A thrillingly dark and atmospheric tale, richly evocative of its time' JOHN BANVILLE
'This isn't just a mystery novel: it's a window into a vanished world' TANA FRENCH
'Gripping and brilliantly atmospheric' RODDY DOYLE

Some stories demand to be told. They keep coming back, echoing down through the decades, until they find a teller . . .

Dublin, 1943
Actress Julia Bridges disappears.
The last sighting of her is entering the house of Gloria Fitzpatrick, who is later put on trial for the murder of another woman whose abortion she facilitated.
But it’s never proved that Gloria had a hand in Julia’s death – and Julia’s body has never been found.
Gloria, however, is sentenced to life in an institution for the criminally insane, until her apparent suicide a few years later, and the truth of what happened to Julia Bridges dies with her.

Dublin, 1968
Nicoletta Sarto is an ambitious junior reporter for the Irish Sentinel when the bones of Julia Bridges are discovered in the garden of a house on the outskirts of Dublin.
Drawn into investigating the 25-year-old mystery of Julia’s disappearance and her link to the notorious Gloria Fitzpatrick, the story takes Nicoletta into the tangled underworld of the illegal abortion industry, stirring up long-buried secrets from her own past.

As much a murder mystery story as a look at a young woman’s struggle to succeed in a man’s world, Where They Lie is a beautifully atmospheric debut that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

'Atmospheric and absorbing, an ambitious young journalist finds herself at the heart of a corkscrew tale she never knew existed. A dark and turbulent journey to unexpected truths’ VAL McDERMID
‘A dark, gorgeously-written thriller, its tap root deep in a past so vividly evoked, you can see and smell and feel it’ NICCI FRENCH
‘Atmospheric, authentic, and almost unbearably poignant. Like the best historical fiction, Where They Lie transports the reader back in time while holding up a mirror to the present. A must-read’ ERIN KELLY

About The Author

Claire Coughlan worked as a journalist in Ireland for many years. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from UCD and lives in Co Kildare with her husband and daughter. Where They Lie is her first novel.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (February 1, 2024)
  • Length: 384 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781398521704

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

Praise for Where They Lie:

'The mysteries surrounding Nicoletta intertwine grippingly with the mysteries within her, but what makes Where They Lie special is its keen awareness of Dublin's layers of light and shadow. Coughlan digs deeply into the dark side, Ireland's horrifying record around women and childbearing but at the same time the book brings to life, in fine, tender, vivid detail, the rich atmosphere of 1960s Dublin' Tana French

'This is a stunning debut. Original characters, complex issues, excellent twists. Claire Coughlan is an author to watch' Jo Spain

'Beautifully written, utterly absorbing. It’s hard to believe Coughlan wasn’t right there in 1960s Dublin observing the world she describes in such word-perfect detail. A stunning debut' Andrea Mara

'Lost myself completely in this cracking debut. Rich, complex, and beautifully written. Just gorgeous!' Andrea Carter

'A wintry Dublin sets the scene for this complex, haunting mystery. Coughlan writes with such confidence and heart as she draws us into both journalist Nicoletta Sarto’s world, and the women who came before her. Packed with suspects, intrigue, and deep emotional truths' Caz Frear

'Steeped in atmosphere, time and place, and as emotional as it is gripping, this is a blistering debut' Tammy Cohen

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images