Sometimes I Lie, the debut novel by Alice Feeney, was a book that I was virtually bombarded with last year when it was released in the UK. I watched in jealousy as all my book blogger friends abroad devoured this psychological thriller and I patiently waited for the North American release. Now that it is here, I am pleased to report that Sometimes I Lie was worth the wait!
The novel opens with the introduction of Amber who is in a coma and unable to communicate with the world around her. All she knows for sure is that she is, indeed, in a coma, her husband does not love her anymore and that sometimes she lies. From the first pages, I was pretty much hooked. I appreciated Fenney’s slow release of information and I was eagerly awaiting more clues so I could try and figure out the wrongful parties. How did Amber end up in a coma? Was her husband involved? Maybe her sister? Perhaps her co-worker nemesis? I loved how Feeney kept me on edge and slowly drew me in.
Told mainly through the perspective of Amber, partially in the present as Amber listens to those around her in the hospital and in the past, in the events leading up to the “incident” that put her in a coma, I enjoyed that Feeney was able to keep things fairly chronological and that I didn’t have to do a lot of guesswork to when things happened or read past pages to reorient myself. Her writing style is pretty straightforward and to the point. Aside from a few diary entries from Amber’s youth, I appreciated that it took place all in the present. This was a change from the past few psychological thrillers I have read in which we go further into the past and then shoot back to the present continuously. I also love myself a good, ol’ unreliable narrator.
I have read a few reviews that claim the story is filled with too many of the classic thriller clichés but I personally did not mind this. Was there a lot going on? Sure. Did it work for me? Absolutely. I liked having a little bit of everything thrown in! And I loved the final twist.
Overall, I was impressed with this debut and I will absolutely read more from this author!!