Don’t Believe It By Charlie Donlea – Book Review


In 2007, Grace Seabold has been tried and convicted of murdering medical student Julian Crist in St. Lucia. She is serving time in Bordelaise Correctional Facility where she maintains her innocence.

10 year later, 2017, she has reached out to documentary filmmaker and old friend Sydney Ryan. Sydney has made a few documentaries in which wrongfully convicted people have gone free due to her investigative style and storytelling. Grace is hoping Sydney can do the same for her.

Although Sydney has produced documentaries that have set wrongly convicted people free, she’s still struggling to get her documentary film career off the ground. She has one more chance to impress the powers that be at the Network in New York, and she’s hoping this documentary will do it. Thus begins Sydney’s quest for the truth on whether Grace killed Julian or not.

Each evidence Sydney uncovers or learns about from the police and people that knew either Julian or Grace is making Grace look more and more guilty. Sydney is now wondering if Grace really did kill Julian. She’s not only conflicted, but she has a duty to her friend and to the Network. For her friend, she needs to prove she’s innocent if she is. For the network, she needs to produce a documentary that will bring it money. And she must do this while dealing with demons of her.


After finishing The Girl Who Was Taken (read my review here), I was anxious for Donlea’s next book and received an advanced copy. Upon reading the first chapter I am intrigued. Reading the second chapter, it was OK. But after that, I became very bored and when Sydney showed up, I really wanted to throw the book out the window. But I couldn’t because then I would be throwing my Kindle out the window, and I can’t let that happen.

I bypassed a lot of pages because I felt the book was repeating things a lot. What Sydney learned from the police is repeated when she writes her story for the documentary. When she visits Grace in prison, she repeats what she learned from the police to Grace with Grace responding with one or two words. Once I reached the halfway point in the book, I felt it was time to stop the suffering, and I did. I stopped reading and went on to something else.

Although I didn’t care for the book, I am not going discourage anyone else from reading it. Of the 20 plus books I’ve read, there’s only been two I actually advised others not to be read. This one is not one of them. But be forewarned that the book does get repetitious at times and you may find the characters not likable or underdeveloped.

Don’t Believe It will be released 29 May 2018. Pre-orders: Amazon | Barnes and Noble


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