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Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for I Never Lie by Jody Sabral. Before I share this fab extract here’s the blurb:

I Never Lie Cover FINALIs she the next victim? Or is she the culprit…? Alex South is a high-functioning alcoholic who is teetering on the brink of oblivion. Her career as a television journalist is hanging by a thread since a drunken on-air rant. When a series of murders occur within a couple of miles of her East London home she is given another chance to prove her skill and report the unfolding events. She thinks she can control the drinking, but soon she finds gaping holes in her memory, and wakes to find she’s done things she can’t recall. As the story she’s covering starts to creep into her own life, is Alex a danger only to herself – or to others?

This gripping psychological thriller is perfect for fans of Fiona Barton, B A Paris and Clare Mackintosh.

Published by Canelo it’s available now from:
Amazon(UK)Kobo(UK)Google Books(UK)Apple Books(UK)

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Extract

2

It’s a little after eight o’clock. I spread out in bed and stretch my body like a cat, hoping to fend off the cramp in my legs. I really need to drink more water. I check my phone for any messages or news alerts. It’s the first thing I do every day: check the headlines to see if there’s a gem of a story out there to pitch to the editors. I work freelance at the moment because no one is giving out staff contracts in my industry, which has its own worries. But such is the world we live in now. There just isn’t any security.

It’s a little difficult checking the headlines on the smashed screen, which I really need to fix, and I will, soon. There is a long list of notifications awaiting my response. Most of them are from the dating site I subscribe to, COMEout. It’s already buzzing.

Mr Right sent you a message at 06:34

Hey, morning, gorgeous. Sleep well?

Big Bad Ben sent you a message at 07:48

Can I be your slave?

It’s crazy the number of people who are looking for love online before breakfast. The era of social media has changed the game. Mr Right can spell and punctuate properly, which is a win. When I first started using dating apps, I was surprised by just how many people are unable to string a proper sentence together. Education in this country has really slipped.

I have thought about quitting online dating, just as I do constantly about drinking, but I can’t do either because I’m running out of time on the fertility scale. And even though the drinking isn’t helping that side of things, it helps me in other ways that are just as important. It fulfils something in me. The void left by Greg and our unrealised plans.

I’ve switched the kettle on, but the vodka bottle that was in the bedroom is now in my hand. I consider the coffee option but give up just as quickly. Hair of the dog is a much quicker and easier cure. It’ll help put me right for the day.

I’ve been in London a year now, but developing a network of friends has been challenging. There’s Annabel, who worked as my producer for a few months until she had a baby. We’ve stayed in touch, in the hope that one day I’ll have a playmate for her little ball of happiness. Then there’s Charlie, my good-looking, well-meaning neighbour, who like me wants to have a child. Such is life approaching forty. I really should get out more, join some local clubs, but work is so demanding. Not that I mind. I love my job. So I reply to Mr Right because it’s the simple option. Much more straightforward than meeting people in real life. It’s immediate, and I like that.

Not bad, thanks. How are you this morning?

His status shows him online, but a reply never materialises. Thankfully my phone rings, which stops me obsessing about it.

Happy birthday, Alex!’

Annabel! Thank you.’

Baby Marlow is cooing in the background.

So how’s it feel to be another year closer to middle age?’

Not bad, considering.’

Does that mean you’re shagging someone?’

I didn’t wake up alone today.’ I don’t divulge the details of my initiation into the world of bondage.

You go, girl. Did he have good genes?’

Not bad. Bought at TK Maxx for a third of the original price.’

We both laugh at that.

What I wouldn’t give to go shopping and buy some new jeans. This little one is an economic black hole. I can’t remember the last time I treated myself.’

I feel a pang of jealousy at this flippant complaint. What I wouldn’t give to spend money on my own child. I stroke my stomach, remembering with fondness how happy I was carrying Greg’s baby, a year ago. It’s crazy really, how much life can change in a year. I’m okay, I’m getting over it, but I still think about him sometimes. It’s a process. Letting go, that is. Of what you thought was going to be your life forever. I take another swig of vodka. It helps kill those thoughts. Living in regret is the last thing I need.

Got any plans? Anyone else in the picture?’

Well, actually… I have a date later.’

No stopping you, is there? Same guy?’

Annabel and I haven’t seen each other since she had the baby, but we talk as if we are next-door neighbours. Such is life since we connected on Facebook. She knows what I ate for lunch and I know how much sleep she’s had.

Someone else. Met him on a dating site. We’ve been chatting for a few weeks. He wants a family.’

That’s a good start, but don’t you think you should be careful about meeting men on dating sites right now?’

I am careful.’

Yeah, I know you are. I’m just saying. There’s been another murder. Have you seen the news?’

No?’

They found a woman in Hackney this morning. Not far from where you live. Twitter is going nuts. That’s the third in the space of a month, which kind of implies it could be a serial killer, doesn’t it?’

Are they connected? Have they said that?’

Not yet, but it’s all over the news. She was found in a park, left for dead, or at least that’s what people are saying on Twitter. Just like the others.’

Where in Hackney?’

London Fields. Switch the news on.’

Annabel is still talking, but I am only half listening. I grab my pink and green silky Chinese dressing gown off the antler-shaped hooks nailed to the wall and leg it to the lounge, stepping over piles of laundry and boxes I still haven’t unpacked to reach the TV. The screen takes a moment to warm up, but when it does, I see my main competitor, Laura MacColl, standing in front of a white forensics tent. The strapline reads: BREAKING NEWS: WOMAN FOUND DEAD IN HACKNEY, LONDON. There is no more information.

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I never lie blog tour photoJody Sabral is based between the South Coast and London, where she works as a Foreign Desk editor and video producer at the BBC. She is a graduate of the MA in Crime Fiction at City University, London. Jody worked as a journalist in Turkey for ten years, covering the region for various international broadcasters. She self-published her first book Changing Borders in 2012 and won the CWA Debut Dagger in 2014 for her second novel The Movement. In addition to working for the BBC, Jody also writes for the Huffington Post, Al–Monitor and Brics Post.
Follow Jody on Twitter @jsabral

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour

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