Split between the current day, and diary entries from the past year, ‘I Never Lie’ is gripping from the get go. Alex South is a 39-year-old TV journalist, and also a ‘functioning’ alcoholic. When the body of a woman is found in the park near where Alex lives, she is given a chance to redeem herself, coinciding with this story being the biggest of her career so far.
Written in first person narrative from Alex’s POV, we really get the nitty gritty of her daily struggles with being an alcoholic. Trying to keep the balance between being in control of her drinking and moments of sobriety. Jody Sabral is a journalist and this makes the character of Alex all the more realistic and authentic, as Jody knows the environment and how to write Alex. The novel is extremely well-written and I always think thrillers written by women about female characters are much more interesting and less of the ‘male gaze’ than many crime thrillers I have read, written by men. I enjoyed this thriller a whole lot more than your average male-written counterparts. The women are flawed and that makes the novel real. They are not there as plot filler or to add ‘prettiness’ the women are what makes the novel.
The novel keeps the reader guessing, the killer could have been anyone - I was no where near guessing - although not action packed in the usual sense of crime novels, the twists throughout and clues given were far more interesting and a more insightful look into the characters lives and the crimes committed. As well as this, the short chapters added to the quick, thriller genre of the novel, it made the story move along at an enjoyable pace. This thriller really is one of the best I have read. Even though thrillers aren’t my ‘go to’ reading genre of choice.
The pace of the plot of the novel is moderate, however this meant more tension built as you were reading, I read the book quicker as I was so gripped - subsequently this was an enjoyable aspect. The plot is also very much character driven. I found Alex a very interesting and likeable character - I wanted her to get better and to ultimately succeed. This just showcases Jody Sabral’s brilliant writing. The setting of the novel is also perfect as the descriptions of London transported you to where the events were happening throughout the novel, and really felt like you were a ‘fly on the wall’. These vivid and colourful descriptions aided in the authenticity of the story and added to the atmosphere throughout.
I certainly think it is worth a read, if you loved 'The Girl on the Train', then you will really enjoy ‘I Never Lie’. In my opinion, this is better, as the characters are grittier, the descriptive, realistic nature of the settings and the pacing of the novel itself will entice readers further. I highly enjoyed and recommend this book. The characters are ultimately what make it, and the twist at the end combined with me not anywhere close to guessing the killer, made this a very quick and enjoyable read!