“My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.
Amber wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea. Amber doesn’t remember what happened, but she has a suspicion her husband had something to do with it. Alternating between her paralyzed present, the week before her accident, and a series of childhood diaries from twenty years ago, this brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?”
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney was such a huge book with an impossible to ignore buzz about it earlier this year. I bit NetGalley’s hand off when I realised it was up for request. Little did I know at the time that I would have to wait MONTHS before finding the time to read it. My FOMO* really kicked in when, stood with a very good friend at Harrogate during the Dead Good Reader Awards I happened to mention my suspicion that the lady stood to my left was the author, Alice Feeney. Well, my friend came over all giddy and went up to Alice immediately to introduce herself and commend her on Sometimes I Lie. Yup, FOMO sucks. I shall also mention that just behind Alice stood C. L. Taylor and to our right was the incredible Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books with one of my all-time favourite authors, Steph Broadribb! This is the only time in my life I will ever get to namedrop so please let me have my moment, will you?
But I digress. What I’m trying to get across (and probably failing) is that I was so very keen to read this book but time was against me. That was until I was caught waiting for what seemed like hours at the dentist without a book. And there, sat on my Kindle, was Sometimes I Lie. The responsible book blogger would have opted for their next January blog tour read, but I couldn’t remember what was next so I went with what I wanted to read instead. Plus I was at the dentist and it felt like I was being kind to myself ahead of the agonising filling which was coming my way!
I was immediately suspicious of the main protagonist, Amber Reynolds. Before the reader turns to the first page they are made aware by the cover, by the blurb, that Amber sometimes lies. Now, I am a naturally suspicious person – not helped by mostly reading books about people doing bad, underhand things in order to save their own skin or to enhance their own enjoyment of life. So much so that when my husband was asked as a favour to take a couple of items of clothing to a meeting he was attending overseas for a colleague, I asked him if he’d checked the lining of the suit for any hidden drugs. Am I weird? Maybe. So I was on high alert, trying to work out what, in Amber’s case, was true and what was not. I totally failed. All I did was over analyse everything instead of just relaxing and enjoying the book. My advice to you if you intend on picking up a copy of Sometimes I Lie is don’t scrutinise every little thing – just enjoy it because it’s a corking story.
Amber Reynolds is in a coma. She cannot move, cannot speak, cannot blink but she hears nearly everything that happens in her hospital room. I really enjoyed the way the author has provided the reader with three different viewpoints; Amber’s as she lies uncommunicative in her hospital bed, a look at the events leading up to the accident and diary entries from a somewhat sinister, unknown child 20 years or so ago. Amber cannot remember what happened to put her in the coma. She overhears conversations which confirm she was in a car accident but she was the only victim. So until Amber wakes up and remembers, the incident will remain a mystery.
Chock full of twists that seem to come out of nowhere and leave you wondering ‘how did that happen?’, or ‘gosh, I really didn’t see that coming!’, this is a complex psychological thriller which leaves the reader feeling both a little mystified but also fully satisfied. I loved the character of Amber, even when she was doing odd, unexplainable things. I was still rooting for her. I did manage to work out one aspect of the book about half way through but until my suspicions were confirmed, I did frequently doubt myself.
Would I recommend this book? I would. Fans of the unreliable narrator will adore this twisty, turny read. I spent the entire time I was reading Sometimes I Lie wondering exactly how much I actually knew about Amber and her story. The answer in hindsight, ‘not a lot!’. Complex, intricate, highly original and difficult to put down. I can’t wait to read more from Alice Feeney.
Four stars out of five.
*FOMO = Fear of Missing Out
I chose to read and review an eARC of Sometimes I Lie. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney was published in the UK by HQ on 23rd March 2017 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats (please be aware that the following Amazon links are affiliate links) | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |
Alice Feeney is a writer and journalist. She spent 15 years at the BBC, where she worked as a Reporter, News Editor, Arts and Entertainment Producer and One O’clock News Producer.
Alice is has lived in London and Sydney and has now settled in the Surrey countryside, where she lives with her husband and dog.
Sometimes I Lie is her debut thriller and is being published around the world in 2017.
Author Bio © https://www.alicefeeney.com/