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Summary

In the hottest summer on record, Iron Lake reservoir is emptying, revealing secrets that were intended to stay hidden beneath the water.

Best-selling horror writer Chris Lassiter struggles for inspiration and he's close to never writing again. His life has become an endless loop of nothing but empty pages, personal appearances, and a marketing machine that is systematically destroying his muse. In a desperate attempt to force Chris to complete unfinished manuscripts his agent buys a remote cabin. All Chris has to do is hide away and write, but he's lost his muse, and not even he can make stories appear from thin air. 

Sawyer Wiseman left town for Chicago, chasing the excitement and potential of being a big city cop, rising the ranks, and making his mark. A case gone horribly wrong draws him back to Lancaster Falls. Working for the tiny police department in the town he'd been running from, digging into cold cases and police corruption, he spends his day's healing, and his nights hoping the nightmares of his last case leave him alone.

Contains mature themes.

©2019 RJ Scott (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about What Lies Beneath

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous murder mystery

I read this book and loved it. Less romance ( although there’s plenty of that) and all cold case murder mystery.
Add in Sean Crisden’s excellent narrative and it becomes a compulsive listen. Loved it!

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting story

I enjoyed listening to this book, the storyline and the characters were interesting and I look forward to the next one in the series.

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Small town with a past

Being a policeman in a small town is not what it seems skeletons turning up and multiplying by the day not good but love coming from a man in the woods helps to get throught it all. It holds you as the story unfolds, its a great listen.

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Interesting Story

The concept is interesting and well written. The characters are likeable and the narration is good.

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Cottage in the woods

Sounded promising, but the "insta-love" for the cop in the first 3 minutes and the neurotic screaming female who finds a skull, when out in the woods running, is approached by a strange man and a big dog that jumps up at her is just not logical; she should be more afraid of the living not the dead.

Knew it was time to quit after just 30 minutes, if this writer thinks such incidents create drama, this book will be full of such instances of "silly".

QUIT BEFORE THE SILLY SET IN

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Great Start to This New Trilogy

I’m hooked!
I can’t wait for the next book in this trilling mystery.
Sean Crisden narrates both characters expertly and adds to the emotions and tension.
A great addition to my library.

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Excellent

I think this might be the best RJ Scott book I've read in ages (and since I enjoy all her work that is high praise indeed). It's creepy with suspense and an age old mystery. The romance takes a back seat to the mystery for most of the book but it doesn't suffer for it. I believed in these guys and what they've built. I felt Chris' frustration and understood the worlds in his head and how they encroched on the real world. Excellent setting (the lake was haunting) and a great cast of secondary characters.

Brilliantly performed by Sean Crisden.

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  • padme35
  • 04-12-19

Great Mystery w/Delicious Blend of Danger &Romance

Audiobook Review November 2019:
Yet another audiobook listened to in the same year as my original reading, not something I often do but as 2019 seems to be my year for audio I thought "Why not another one?". So in I went. Even listening so closely after reading, What Lies Beneath is still amazing and brilliant and has left me even more eager for book 2. As I said in my original review, mystery may not be RJ Scott's goto genre but when she includes suspense and mayhem in her story it makes the experience that much better. As for Sean Crisden's narration? Well it's a no brainer that he is spot on with both Chris & Sawyer. The characters Miss Scott has created is a great combination of fiction and reality, when read by Mr. Crisden they come across as not only realistic but also as your next door neighbor. Just an all around great reading package.


Original ebook Review July 2019:
RJ Scott doing mystery . . . when I heard her newest release was going to be a mystery I just knew I had to read. Yes, I know it's an RJ Scott book so that alone made this a must for me but a mystery? That was like adding another layer of icing on top of an already chocolate frosted cake. Mystery may not be her most-visited genre but whenever she's had it within her stories it has always been extra yummy. What Lies Beneath, the first part of her new Lancaster Falls Trilogy, is nothing short of brilliant.

Before I delve into the story I should mention that though I wouldn't label the ending a cliffhanger it does continue into the next entry and as Lancaster Falls is a trilogy I'm going to go out on a limb and say the second one will continue into the third one(that's just my guess). I'm only mentioning this because not everyone likes the waiting period between continued storylines so if that is you then you might want to hold off reading these till the trilogy is complete but trust me you will definitely want to read it so be sure and mark it towards the top of your TBR list.

Now on to Beneath. Talk about a perfect set up: an author having trouble beginning the finale to his trilogy so his agent finds him the perfect place to buckle down and create, he goes for walk with his dog, finds a skull, meets a cop, and eventually stumbles into a new direction for his already established trilogy. What's not to love? Chris the author and Sawyer the cop are not exactly what I would call opposites but their not two peas in a pod either.

Chris may have internal struggles with his writer's block but his sort-of carefree attitude has a lot more to do with his rambunctious dog, Kota, and his determination to have a drink with Sawyer the cop. There's only a few scenes between Chris and his agent on the phone but its enough to get a feel for their relationship and I don't know if either would call the other a friend but I think it reads as a definite friendship which doesn't always come when a book has author/agent scenes, more times than not its contentious bordering on contract-tearing-up so this was a nice aspect to be added to Chris' character. When he starts doing a little research on his own in regards to the case and tidbits he's heard in the small-town-grapevine I was afraid of where it might lead but once again Miss Scott didn't go where I thought and it was a pleasant change of pace.

As for Sawyer, well its pretty obvious something bad happened with his time as a cop in Chicago that helped him come home. Small towns often mean small crimes which as someone who grew up in a small town can be perfectly true but that also means when a skull is found its big news. A skull found anywhere should be big news but lets face it, in larger cities its really only a blip that will most likely fall into the hands of the cold case division. With Sawyer he's been in the big city so he's able to deal with it better than most would but everything that goes with the big cases have made his already existing nightmares bigger and more personal. Watching the pair navigate the newness with the mystery and their individual struggles really adds to their likability and the realism of the characters.

As for the mystery, I won't say any more than it starts with a skull, some bones, and the possibility of who they might belong to. If you want to more, and you definitely will, you'll have to read for yourself because this is a spoiler-free zone. Chris and Sawyer are a delight and I know that sounds odd to say in a murder mystery and it'll sound even odder when I use the word "fun" to describe how much I loved What Lies Beneath but it is fun and entertaining with just enough dark and disturbing mixed with romance and heat to make this an all-around reading gem. I have my theories and I can't wait to get a hold of book two to see if my theories are on track or if I have to come up with completely new ones.

One last thing I need to add and thank RJ Scott for: I loved the size and feel of Lancaster Falls. I can't say all books because obviously I haven't read every book out there but in my personal reading experience, when an author writes about small towns they tend to go either the route of less than 500 or about 5000, yes both those populations are small towns but I grew up in a town that until the 1990 census was only a village, despite the fact that we were the county seat it took hitting 2500 that made a village into a town. I don't recall a population number actually given(I could be wrong, I might have just missed/forgotten it) but Lancaster Falls reads more like where I grew up and for that I thank you, RJ because it just made the story more real for me.

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  • Aethena Drake
  • 12-09-20

Great story. Great narration.

Interesting mystery. Dynamic characters. Excellent setting for the developing mystery. Just enough of a resolution to satisfy the reader for the first book of the story, but enough intrigue to bring the reader back for more. As usual Sean Crisden does an amazing job of narrating. Can't wait to finish the next one!

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  • DJ Brown
  • 31-01-20

Absolutely loved this book

I do really like RJ Scott’s books but this one was exceptional. I have not listened to one of her books in a few months and when I did, I was blown away by her brilliance. I can’t wait to continue this story. Buy this book - you will not be disappointed. I always said that On A Rainy Afternoon was my favourite story by her but this one is right up there.

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  • rafael
  • 23-01-20

An amazing story

I got to tell you I was captivated by as soon as I heard the first sentence. I love Sean crisden but I also loved the way rj’s words just made sense being spoken by his voice. I’mm really sad that we don’t know what happened to KC yet.

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  • Dana Piazzi
  • 07-12-19

Intriguing set up can't wait for more

The amount of mysteries I read before I started reading MM romance was possibly just one. I can't actually remember, but mystery was not my thing, to be sure. I have now read many mysteries from many authors featuring characters that are LGBT. I have really come to love the mysteries as much as the romance. The mystery happening in this book has the possibility to be pretty intense but for now we have the set up.

And there is a lot of set up for this world the author created. Sawyer has returned to his hometown after a pretty bad situation occured while he was an officer in a big city. The town is kind of what you expect from a cliche'd small town. Everyone knows everyone and gossip flows freely. The police captain and the mayor have a good old boys network going on that smacks of bribery and corruption. The mayor's son is addicted to drugs and beats his wife, but he'll never face consequences when it's so much more convenient to sweep it under the rug. There is also a small town pastor who tries to save the town's population by getting them to church. There is something about him and his interest in helping the kids of the town that I find suspicious. Though nothing is really revealed about him, so it might just be me. I do believe that Sawyer's job in this series is to remove the corruption from the town one person at a time, and the mystery might unravel at a slow pace as he stops each person standing in his way.

Ah, yes, the mystery! It does take a little while into this book to grasp the exact nature of the mystery. At first, it seems like one person might have met an untimely end in the river, when Chris finds a skull in the dried up riverbeds, but the amount of bones also found in the area end up revealing that there is more than one skeleton buried beneath the water. It is very intriguing. And one of them might be someone that Sawyer used to know. By the end of this book, there is no real answer to who might have hidden the dead bodies under the river, or why their deaths were covered up so as far as the mystery goes, this is a very open-ended ending. But I am very intrigued and am definitely interested in the future books of this series.

I don't want to forget to talk about the two main characters and their budding romance. In the beginning of this book, both Chris and Sawyer are kind of dour. Both dealing with problems with a seriousness and emotional void that doesn't really endear either of them to me at first. Chris's care for his pet, and Sawyer's love for his niece slowly starts humanizing them for me, and as they spend more and more time with each other, they finally seem like more than automatons. What Sawyer went through in Chicago, really was horrible and I felt bad for him as he finally let someone in on how that affected him. Chris seemed really down at first, and I suppose it was warranted because his crippling writer's block was threatening to end his career. He also seems to express his desires at least when he pursues Sawyer. By the end of this story, I was definitely more in touch with both characters and am eager to see what happens with them in the future books.

Last but not least, I want to mention the narration. I have enjoyed Sean's narrations in the past, so I was confident his narration of this book would be great as well. I did mention in the last paragraph about how gloomy the characters were and how I felt unaffected by them at first. Experiencing this book as an audiobook first without reading it does leave me to wonder if the characters are as bleak as I felt they were narrated by Sean Crisden. Was it how they were written or his narration? I was even feeling a little morose listening to him, at least in the beginning. As the two men spent time together, and started to brighten up a little, the narration changed to reflect that. It's hard to say how I feel about the narration because while it might have reflected the characters accurately, it had me feeling kind of blah for part of the time.

Overall, I would absolutely recommend the ebook and/or audio and I think there will be really interesting finds to come and hopefully a little more happiness for these characters as well.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-05-21

LOVED IT

I love a good plot driven book with secondary romance. As always Sean was excellent. I will be getting the other audio's on this series.

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  • Sue 🎧
  • 17-02-21

loved it - need more !!!

Would I listen to it again: absolutely ✔
Did the story keep me engaged: completely ✔
Was I invested in the characters: totally ✔

📖 This book had me hooked from Chapter 1. It was the fastest 5 hours I can remember and I wish it had been longer. The characters are engaging, the pace was good and the plot is intriguing. I wish RJ would write the actual story Chris is writing .. his words were giving me chills.

🎧🎧 Sean Crisden is among my favorite narrators. He's a master storyteller and his rhythm, cadence of voice, the way he builds tension and makes clear what is inner monologue, are all present as he brings 'What Lies Beneath' to life. Each character had his own voice and personality which comes through in the narration and I was completely immersed in the story. 👍👍

I'm diving straight into book 2. 😊

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  • AvidReader
  • 22-01-21

Good Book ... Great Audio!

I thoroughly enjoyed he book when I read it a while back so when the audio became available on Audible I couldn't resist. Any time I enjoy a book and then find the audio (especially when it is narrated by Sean Crisden) I can't resist.

A thoroughly enjoyable mystery . . . but you have to read the other Lancaster Falls books to get the whole story!!!

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  • Troy
  • 15-04-20

So exciting

Man, this book had me hooked from beginning to end. RJ Scott did a fantastic job with everything. Sawyer and Chris had amazing chemistry from the start. Its easy to convey lust but there was more here than just sex. Their attraction and feelings for each other were obvious. The mystery was also well constructed as was the sub plots and supporting characters. I wish book two was already in audio because I can't wait to find out what happens next.

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  • R Keebler
  • 02-12-19

Loved the narration



I enjoyed the narration of this book. Sean Crisden made me want to meet the characters especially Sawyer. His interpretation of ‘Koda, Chris’s dog was cute and entertaining. The narration added to the depth of the story.

The following is the review I wrote after reading the book.

Sawyer returned from the big city to be a small town cop. A small town like any other. Full of life, laughter, lies, secrets, and bones, so many bones.

Chris is a successful writer with a severe case having no words. Banished to a cabin in a small town, he needs to come up with his next book. While looking for inspiration he meets Sawyer. They begin a tentative relationship which quickly turns very real for both men.

Sawyer is juggling too many things. Trying to keep his little town on the straight and narrow has become impossible. Falling in love definitely wasn’t in the plan.

I read this book in one sitting. As always this author has written a story with a nice romance and great characters. This books also includes a hint of evil. The author left the story with basically a HFN and many unanswered questions. Wouldn’t really call it a cliffhanger as I was satisfied with this book but really want the next one.