Unravelling Oliver

by Liz Nugent

Crime Fiction Book of the Year 2014

Oprah Magazine chooses Unraveling Oliver as one of 25 must-read Irish books...

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Unravelling Oliver is included in the 50 Great Irish Novels of the 21st Century at the end of 2020

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Oliver Ryan is a handsome and charismatic success story. He lives a life of enviable privilege and ease with his wife Alice. Enviable until, one evening after dinner, Oliver attacks Alice so viciously that he beats her into a coma.

'I expected more of a reaction the first time i hit her'

Oliver is stunned by his own actions. In the aftermath, as everyone tries to make sense of his astonishing act of savagery, he tells his story. So do those whose paths he has crossed over five decades. What unfolds is both tragic and monstrous, a story of shame, envy, breath-taking deception and masterful manipulation.

Only Oliver knows what he had to do to get the life he craved, and to which he felt entitled. But even he is in for a shock when the past finally catches up with him.

'Unravelling Oliver' won the Best Crime Novel award at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards 2014.



'...highly entertaining and aesthetically satisfying novel - a book that stretches the limits of crime fiction...'

Washington Post

'Pitch-black and superbly written'

Ruth Ware - New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10.

'Dark, captivating psychological thriller’

People Magazine

‘Everyone should grab it the second it appears’


'Nugent tells a brilliant tale—taut, horrifying, chilling. Characters are vividly drawn... complex and fascinating. It is a dark tale, but there is enough dark humor to keep the reader from sinking in too deeply. The difficult part is tearing yourself away from it. If you like psychological thrillers, “Lying in Wait” is perfect.'

Fredericksburg Free Lance Star

'I absolutely loved this astute, psychologically complex crime novel.'


'This novel takes a turn for the devastatingly dark.'

BuzzFeed Community

'Though we know Lydia and Andrew Fitzsimmons’ big secret by the end of the first sentence of Nugent’s book, it’s why they did it that initially remains a mystery. The secret may be out, but the intrigue remains.'

Brit + Co

'LYING IN WAIT is one of those novels that keeps readers in a permanent state of imbalance. Just when you think you have things figured out, Nugent throws everything off-kilter again. Readers who first encountered Nugent’s work only recently will be thrilled with this new-to-us thriller --- and will be thronging for even more of her excellent work to make its way across the pond.'