Review: Don’t Believe It by @CharlieDonlea @KensingtonBooks


Release: 2018
Publisher: Kensington Books
Genre: Mystery & Thriller

The Girl of Sugar Beach is the most watched documentary in television history—a riveting, true-life mystery that unfolds over twelve weeks and centers on a fascinating question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend, Julian, while on a Spring Break vacation, or is she a victim of circumstance and poor police work? Grace has spent the last ten years in a St. Lucian prison, and reaches out to filmmaker Sidney Ryan in a last, desperate attempt to prove her innocence. As Sidney begins researching, she uncovers startling evidence, additional suspects, and timeline issues that were all overlooked during the original investigation. Before the series even finishes filming, public outcry leads officials to reopen the case. But as the show surges towards its final episodes, Sidney receives a letter saying that she got it badly, terribly wrong…

Is this the thriller of the summer? Oh yes.

Last year, I read and absolutely loved Charlie Donlea’s sophomore book: The Girl Who Was Taken (no, I still haven’t read his debut, forgive me!). When I saw this one was coming out, I was afraid that it would disappoint me, after all, I’ve had similar experiences these past few years. But that didn’t happen. On the contrary, I believe Don’t Believe It to be as great as TGWWT and it’s been weeks since I’ve been so excited about a mystery novel.

This summer hasn’t been my best reading season. As you might have noticed, I’m publishing fewer reviews these days and although I’ve read some books, I haven’t read as many as I would’ve wanted. I actually started Don’t Believe It about a week ago but didn’t read much because I have been watching tv shows obsessively. When I finally picked it up again, I finished it in about 3 hours. And then I told my boyfriend all about it. I’ve noticed that I only do that with books that I absolutely love.

Lately, we’ve seen shows and podcasts like Making A Murderer or Serial rise in popularity. This novel is exactly like those, but in a book format. Sidney is our main character, a documentary filmmaker that decides to focus her next project on Grace Sebold, a woman who was convicted of murdering her boyfriend ten years ago. I loved reading about Sidney’s career (damn Luke!) and, of course, the retelling of the events of Julian’s death.

I admit that my interest in Sidney had a lot to do with my love for this novel. I didn’t only care about the case, I also loved her as a character. My biggest surprise, though, was when the author brought a character from his last novel, which made me love the book even more. And I won’t forget about Gus. My hero.

All in all, Don’t Believe It is one of my favorite thrillers this year and I can’t wait for Charlie Donlea’s new novel. An addictive and twisty novel that couldn’t have ended with a better line.

Many thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review


17 thoughts on “Review: Don’t Believe It by @CharlieDonlea @KensingtonBooks

  1. Diana says:

    Wow, this sounds great and I really like the concept with the documentary angle. At first, I thought this was based on real events. Definitely one that I’d like to read. Glad you enjoyed this one, Annie.


  2. Susie | Novel Visits says:

    Sounds like a perfect summer read! Don’t worry about reading fewer books lately. I think thats needed and healthy sometimes.


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