What’s it all about?:
Is she the next victim? Or is she the culprit…?
Alex South is a high-functioning alcoholic who is teetering on the brink of oblivion. Her career as a television journalist is hanging by a thread since a drunken on-air rant. When a series of murders occur within a couple of miles of her East London home she is given another chance to prove her skill and report the unfolding events. She thinks she can control the drinking, but soon she finds gaping holes in her memory, and wakes to find she’s done things she can’t recall. As the story she’s covering starts to creep into her own life, is Alex a danger only to herself – or to others?
This gripping psychological thriller is perfect for fans of Fiona Barton, B A Paris and Clare Mackintosh.
What did I think?:
First of all, thank you so much to Ellie Pilcher for inviting me to take part in this blog tour and to Canelo Publishers for the free digital copy of I Never Lie in exchange for an honest review. As soon as I received the invitation to review this novel from Ellie and read the synopsis, I immediately knew I had to accept. It felt a bit “Girl On The Train-esque” and I do adore an unreliable narrator so this novel was a must read in my eyes. Now I normally hate comparisons to famous books like Gone Girl and Girl On The Train but let me assure you, the publishers have not promoted it in any way as being similar to these blockbusters, it’s completely my own interpretation of an alcoholic female character as being somewhat familiar territory. Luckily, I was delighted to discover that the alcoholic lead is the only thing that I Never Lie has in common with Girl On The Train. This book stands completely on its own as a gripping story of a troubled woman trying to get back on her feet (and being hopelessly in thrall to her addiction) and it was a thrilling, highly enjoyable read.
Jody Sabral, author of I Never Lie.
As with most mysteries/crime fictions, to say too much more about the synopsis would be giving far too many spoilers about the novel and I’m certainly not one to ruin things for everyone! Our female protagonist is Alex South, journalist flying high in her career until one live drunken report which threatens to ruin everything for good. You see, Alex is an alcoholic who was already drinking excessively when living in Manchester with her boyfriend but after a devastating miscarriage and break-up, she moved to East London where she continues to deny she has a problem at all. When a body is found in a park close to her home, she seizes the opportunity to revive her career and begs for the opportunity to investigate and get involved. Then the bodies of further women are found who have been killed in the same manner and when Alex continues to be lead journalist on the story and begins to blackout from drinking binges, she begins to realises that there may be far more demons that she has to face other than the ones in the bottle.
Jody Sabral has had a lot of experience working as a journalist and this completely shines through in her writing. Not in that it’s matter-of-fact and quite clinical in the story-telling but in her knowledge of the industry and how processes work, particularly in the field of crime reporting. The narrative itself is intriguing and although it isn’t action-packed, I don’t think it needs to be to tell an exciting story. The whole novel is much more character focused which I really love in a good mystery and is much more about Alex’s internal struggles and colourful past rather than vivid descriptions of murder scenes. Alex is not particularly likeable and sometimes I did get frustrated and just wanted to shake her but she felt completely believable as a normal person with flaws and a seemingly unconquerable addiction.
One of my favourite parts of I Never Lie had to be the diary extracts from an unknown woman which are interspersed with Alex’s story. Who is she and what connection does she have to Alex and to the murders in East London? Jody Sabral is an expert at slow, gradual reveals, red herrings and unexpected twists and just when you think you have it all figured out – you find you’re completely wrong. I’m definitely excited to read something else by this author!
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):
Jody Sabral is based between the South Coast and London, where she works as a Foreign Desk editor and video producer at the BBC. She is a graduate of the MA in Crime Fiction at City University, London. Jody worked as a journalist in Turkey for ten years, covering the region for various international broadcasters. She self-published her first book Changing Borders in 2012 and won the CWA Debut Dagger in 2014 for her second novel The Movement. In addition to working for the BBC, Jody also writes for the Huffington Post, Al–Monitor and Brics Post.
Find Jody on Goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6648584.Jody_Sabral
on her website at: https://jodysabral.com/
on Twitter at: @jsabral
Thank you once again to Ellie Pilcher and Canelo Publishers for inviting me to take part in this blog tour, I’ve had a wonderful time doing it. I Never Lie was published on the 11th June 2018 and is available as a e-book. If you fancy some more information don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops on this blog tour for some amazing reviews!
Link to I Never Lie on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40046711-i-never-lie?ac=1&from_search=true