Thursday, 14 June 2018

Blog Tour || I Never Lie by Jody Sabra - Book Review.

Happy Thursday everyone, hope you are all having a lovely week. Today I am very excited to be sharing my thoughts on I Never Lie by Jody Sabra, as one of the stops on Canelo's book tour!


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.

About The Author

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.

My Review

Alex South is losing her grip on her life. After a miscarriage and many arguments about her drinking, she left her fiancé and her radio programme in Manchester and is now a news reporter in London. Since an alcohol-fuelled, on-air meltdown, though, her career is in freefall. Her desperation to have a baby has her scrolling through dating apps daily. Then the murders begin.

Three women are found within weeks of each other, their bodies dumped in a park just a short walk from where Alex lives. She's allowed to take the lead on reporting the story and promises herself that the success she's seeing in her career will help her detox and stop drinking. But as the case pulls her in directions she wasn't expecting, her drinking threatens to overwhelm her. She's forgetting things, and it's only when she recalls certain scraps that she realises how close to the investigation she's become...

I Never Lie is narrated by two characters, Alex South and an unnamed diary writer who seems to be obsessed with her. I really enjoyed this structure as the diary entries gave some background and context to Alex's current behaviours. It was quite a unique way of introducing flashback-style chapters to the book and helped amp up the intrigue. In fact, the entire structure of the book was good: the chapters are short so you constantly want to read "just one more", and the action is well-paced, neither racing or dragging along.

This book had me interested from the start. After reading The Girl on the Train and loving the unreliable narrator, I was very excited about this. If anything, I actually thought that Alex's character was even better written. I don't personally know anyone who has a problem with alcohol, but we all have our own vices and it was very interesting to be inside the head of someone who makes constant justifications for their behaviour, and constant promises to themselves to do better but doesn't fulfil them. Alex was at times extremely frustrating, but I loved the sense of frenetic energy that her constant swinging between needing a drink and regretting her decisions gave to the pace of the story. Is she likeable? No, not really. But incredibly compelling reading? Definitely, yes. 

One of my favourite things about this novel was how well-developed the other characters were. They were all so fleshed-out, and there was something suspicious and slightly off about each of them, which made it difficult to know where who to trust. I also loved the idea of dating apps being a tool for a serial killer, it was a really unique concept and a nice reminder that not everyone we meet online is what they seem!

The book did tend to focus more on Alex and her alcoholism than it did on the actual crimes. At times, the murder plotline was completely overshadowed by her need for a drink. I actually didn't mind this, I thought it was a fresh take on the genre but it is worth noting that there is a heavy emphasis on the nature and denial of addiction. This is by no means a police procedural, but it is a highly enjoyable story with twists and turns a-plenty that will keep you guessing till the very end.  

Be sure to check out the other blogs hosting I Never Lie on this tour!

Huge thanks to Ellie at Canelo Publishing for providing me with this copy.

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