Review: Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea


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.

Sidney has just convinced the world that Grace is innocent. Now she wonders if she has helped to free a ruthless killer. Delving into Grace’s past, she peels away layer after layer of deception. But as Sidney edges closer to the real heart of the story, she must decide if finding the truth is worth risking her newfound fame, her career . . . even her life.


Happy publication day to Charlie Donlea! This was a Traveling Sisters group read and we definitely all enjoyed this fabulous book.

Just when you think that all new avenues of thrillers have been exhausted, an author comes out with a new format and blows it out of the water.

This was a super entertaining whodunnit centered around a cold case which is being reopened for a documentary in the likes of Serial.

This book gave me major Amanda Knox/Dangerous Girls vibes – these are all fascinating crime stories and the curiosity will definitely peak your interest in this case as well – what really happened? Is she really guilty? Are the forensics accurate?

The author took some bold moves in his plotting (which I will not mention because, spoilers!) and I have to applaud him. Other readers in our group also loved how he tied in characters from some of his other works, it’s always fun when favorite characters make a reappearance. This is my first book by Donlea, but I will certainly be back for more after reading this fabulous, twisty tale!

Thanks for a fun group read, Traveling Sisters! 4.5 stars

Thank you to Charlie Donlea and Kensington for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


  1. Lindsay · May 30

    Such a great book! Was fun reading this together! Glad we both loved! Terrific review Melis! 💜

    Liked by 1 person

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