Alex is a TV reporter approaching 40. Although she’s still denying it to herself, Alex is also a high functioning alcoholic.
Having left behind her home town of Manchester, and the radio show she presented there, Alex has headed for the bright lights of London and is teetering on the edge of a glittering news career. However she might have just messed up big time by having a very public, drunken rant on live TV. She has hasn’t been sacked yet, so she’s holding on to the hope that she’s going to get another chance to prove herself…but she’s still drinking. Way too much.
When a woman is murdered in a park just down the road from her home, Alex jumps at the chance to be there on the scene almost immediately and bamboozles her dubious editor into letting her bring the story home.
She throws herself into this new opportunity, and is exactly what the channel wants from a news anchor – determined, control and authoritative – the numbers on her Twitter account goes through the roof, delighting her employers and making her really feel like she’s dodged a bullet. More murders are happening and Alex is literally on the doorstep of all the action, getting lots of air time and a great reception from the public. Reports are linking the victims to a dating site – one that Alex has been meeting men on for quite some time, even meeting one on the night the first murder happened. But in the background her drinking is getting even further out of hand – as the days progress she’s even subconsciously stealing booze from people’s houses, shops, anywhere she can get her hands on it, she is drunk more often than she is sober and she keeps having these blackouts where she wakes up with no idea where she is, or how she got there
Resigned to the fact that she does need help to escape from her alcohol dependancy, she keeps telling herself that tomorrow will be the day she will go sober -but tomorrow always seems to be a day away.
The story is told between the present day and diary entries written in 2017 by someone we don’t know, a year or so before. The diary entries are intense, and scary, and we don’t know where or how they fit into the story other than they seem to know Alex, and be virtually obsessed with her. The chapters are short and this leads to you wanting to keep reading, just one more, before turning the light out (or switching off the kindle!). Oh that way madness lies!
In terms of the plot, Alex is an unreliable narrator – we don’t know where she’s been or what she’s been up to, apart from the gaps that are filled in by her various friends and colleagues. I really enjoyed the way Alex’s character was written. I wanted to grab hold of her and shake her, stop her doing what she was about to do, and I was nervous of the person writing the diary entries, as they were clearly not quite right in the head due to the terribly sad life events they had experienced.
The only criticism I would have is nothing to do with the actual book, but the strap line – it set me thinking down a plot direction I wouldn’t have even considered had I not read it, so it seemed an odd choice to me when promoting a book with a ‘twist’.
Title: I Never Lie
Author Name: Jody Sabral
Previous Books (if applicable): N/A
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: 11th June 2018
Book Blurb: 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.
Links to Book:
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 Twitter: @jsabral
*I would like to thank Canelo, Netgalley & the author for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review.