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Saturday, 15 April 2017

‘Sometimes I Lie’ by Alice Feeney

Published by HarperCollins,
23 March 2017.
ISBN: 978-0-00822-535-3

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

At the beginning you know where you are with this novel: Amber, the protagonist and narrator is lying in a hospital bed in a coma. She doesn't know what has happened to her. She is an unreliable narrator.

And that is the only time you do know where you are with this novel..... how deliciously it is plotted and how it twists and turns... Amber's memory is sketchy and unreliable to say the least, and she is unsure what it was that put her in hospital in the first place. Her sister Claire and husband Paul regularly visit her, but can she trust what either of them say to each other or to her? She does know it is important to get to the truth about what has happened to her.

The book has a before, where we are told of the events leading up to the incident that left Amber in hospital, a now, where we are told the story from Amber-in-a-coma point of view, and a long time ago section, told through Amber's childhood diaries.

Sometimes I Lie is gripping and very clever in its construction and misdirection - more than once I had to go back and check I hadn't missed anything. The writing is excellent, lean, with not a word wasted. All the characters around a vulnerable Amber are dysfunctional and believable and I was suspicious of every one of them at some point. It's a book about people who don't trust one another, it's a book about how our childhood can affect our adulthood – nature versus nurture if you like – but above all, it's a book about lies - the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we tell each other.

A fabulously fresh take on the psychological thriller genre.
Reviewer: Mary-Jane Riley

Alice Feeney is a writer and journalist. She spent 16 years at the BBC, where she worked as a Reporter, News Editor, Arts and Entertainment Producer and One O’clock News Producer. Alice is a Faber Academy graduate from the class of 2016. She 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.

Mary-Jane Riley wrote her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter. She was eight. It was about a gang of children who had adventures on mysterious islands, but she soon realised Enid Blyton had cornered that particular market. So she wrote about the Wild West instead. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two decades. Then, in true journalistic style, she decided not to let the facts get in the way of a good story and got creative. She wrote for women's magazines and small presses. She formed WriteOutLoud with two writer friends to help charities get their message across using their life stories. Now she is writing psychological suspense, drawing on her experiences in journalism. The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley was published by Harper Collins/Killer Reads. Her second book, After She Fell, also published by Killer Reads in April 2016.  To read the review of Killer reads click here

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