“My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.”
So begins the compelling psychological thriller “Sometimes I Lie,” that asks, “Is something really a lie if you believe it’s the truth?”
Rotating chapters present three points of view. In the “Now” chapters, Amber, the protagonist, is in the present lying comatose in a hospital bed after a mysterious vehicular accident. She is not able to speak, but she can hear the conversations of anyone who enters her room. The “Then” chapters are flashbacks to the weeks preceding Amber’s accident. We become familiar with Paul, her frustrated writer husband, her near-perfect sister Claire and her snarky boss at the radio station where she is employed as the host of a talk show. The “Diary” chapters are entries from Amber’s diary when she was nine years old. Many entries are about time spent with her friend Taylor. The journal entries connect with Amber’s present life in remarkable ways. This dazzling thriller is puzzling and completely unpredictable because the reader soon realizes that all three of these POVs are unreliable.
A number of the intriguing twists and turns in this multi-tiered mystery leave the reader breathless and in a quandary. It is impossible to separate fact from fiction because this is a tale of a pathological liar who builds her whole existence by taking life from others. The new revelations which pop up throughout the book draw the reader into second-guessing and reaching empty early conclusions. Blackmail, forgery, hidden video cameras, rape, poisoning and arson are just some of the threads woven through the complicated plot.
Feeney’s debut novel is fast-paced and filled with masterful flip-flops. The quick read is spun so skillfully and shockingly that it is hard to put down.
Alice Feeney is a writer and journalist. She spent fifteen years with BBC news, where she worked as a reporter, news editor, arts and entertainment producer. Flatiron Books is the publisher of this 279 page book.