Sometimes I Lie
by Alice Feeney
Publication Date: March 13, 2018
Pages : 258
Synopsis from Publisher:
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?
When I started this blog, I assumed I would have difficulty writing reviews for books I did not enjoy. Surprisingly, the reviews I struggle with are actually for the books I love. I struggle because many of the aspects I enjoyed cannot be shared for fear of giving away the plot, thus ruining for the story for those who have not read the book. I found myself in this exact situation after reading Sometimes I Lie.
Amber Reynolds is in a coma. While her body has failed her, her mind is still active and she struggles to remember how and why she is now unconscious. Amber is aware of her surroundings; she hears those around her discussing her situation but she is unable to respond. Trapped inside her own body, Amber fights to wake up, she is certain danger is still very close.
I noticed a very interesting dynamic in Sometimes I Lie. The best way to describe it would be a cat and mouse dynamic. However, it took me a while to figure out who was the cat and who was the mouse. All of the characters have a sense of malice and ill intent, even Amber, the supposed victim. The story is filled with unreliable narrators, which was just fine with me. Feeney did a fantastic job keeping the story allusive yet addictive. I have sometimes found allusive story lines frustrating, I begin to grow impatient waiting for the story to become clear. Sometimes I Lie was aloof but in the best way possible.
“Some people appear happy on the outside and you only know their broken inside if you listen as well as look.” This statement appears towards the end of the story and for me sums up much of the premise of Sometimes I Lie. To all who know Amber, from the outside she seems perfectly fine, maybe even boring. Those who surround her seem to take her words at face value but never assume anything deeper is going on with her. I could not help but draw parallels to Amber’s life in a coma and her life when she was conscious. In some ways they seem to be almost the same.
Feeney uses childhood diary entries to give readers a glimpse into Amber’s past. There are also flash backs to Amber’s life leading up to her being in a coma, as well as a current timeline of Amber’s life in a coma. This unique three dimensional method was new to me and I throughly enjoyed it. Readers will think they have figured out the mystery because so much of Amber’s life is revealed through the three perspectives. But I can promise, that even the most seasoned of crime fiction readers will be stumped. The way Feeney was able to provide so much character background but was still able to hide the true villain was nothing short of amazing.
Throughout the story there are many twists and turns, each one more shocking than the one before. After some of the twists, I had to stop reading and regroup to make sure I really understood what was happening. Sometimes I Lie has now set a new standard for my future psychological suspense reads. Fans of Clare Macintosh should add Sometimes I Lie to their list of must reads.
Murder and Moore Rating :
5 out of 5 Stars