Suspense | Thriller

Book Review: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
Published March 2018 (US)
Flatiron Books

I won’t tell you much about the plot of Sometimes I Lie other than the barest of details.

Amber Reynolds is in a coma, but can still hear the activities of those around her. While the doctors, her husband, and her sister Claire bustle around her, worrying over her condition, Amber tries to figure out how she got there.

We jump to different periods of time. One is the present, in which Amber lies comatose. Another is the recent past, revealing the events leading up to the present. A third is during childhood.

There are several twists in this story. For the first huge twist, I had to pause and think through the particulars for a few moments. Since it was confusing, I needed some time to reconcile who is whom and what is what.

From there, the plot gets so thick it’s custard-like.

Developments, conversations, and twists happen quickly and maliciously (these characters are not easy on one another). Instead of feeling emotionally knackered, my brain was doing gymnastics to keep up.

Perhaps we spend too long in the not knowing and in needless dream sequences. It was juuuust on the verge of becoming annoying when Feeney finally revealed all and tied it together.

After the final twist, all I could think was, “Wait…what?”

I had to check out the Q&As from readers on Goodreads to figure out what the final twist meant. After that, I had to let the story sit in my mind for a few more moments.

It’s upon reflection that Sometimes I Lie shows its brilliance. The rich character development, the evil, the suspense; it’s superbly crafted.

It makes me very much look forward to Feeney’s next novel (a follow-up?), Sometimes I kill, coming January 2019.

If you, like me, finish the book still feeling a bit confused, sit with it for a bit. Think through the implications of every twist. It’s quite clever in hindsight.

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