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Don't Believe It

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  3,756 ratings  ·  757 reviews
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, ...more
Hardcover, 342 pages
Published May 29th 2018 by Kensington
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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Chelsea Humphrey
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chelsea by: Kensington Books
Shelves: from-publisher
"Don't Believe It satisfies our darkest curiosities as crime fiction readers."

Admit it, you're just as intrigued in the wave created by the media of the onslaught of true crime documentaries today. Whether it's a TV show like Making A Murderer or a podcast like Serial, these investigations into convicts who claim their innocence are a huge hit among viewers (and listeners), young and old alike. Why should it be different for readers? Instead of leaving this to true crime books, authors have begu
Kristin (KC)
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, mystery
*4 Stars* for shock-value

Well, that was a fun and twisty little shocker of a read!

I have to admit, after not entirely loving this author’s previous novel, The Girl Who Was Taken, I went into this one a bit unsure of what to expect.

However, this book proves that each novel an author produces should be treated as an isolated body of work, because there were so many elements of this book that completely blew me away!

Don’t Believe It presents a layered story with exhilarating turns that keep t
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is a good one!

Charlie Donlea jumps on the Serial/Making A Murder train with Don’t Believe It, and boy does he deliver! This is a tightly wound, dark psychological thriller that kept me guessing!

Sidney Ryan has a knack for creating enthralling true crime documentaries. Having successfully created two binge-worthy series, she now has a contract on a large tv network to create a third series. Her subject is quite controversial: Grace Sebold who was convicted 10 years ago for the murder o
4.5 Stars! This was a good one just the way I like my mystery/thrillers!

DON’T BELIEVE IT by CHARLIE DONLEA is a gripping, fascinating, action-packed, and suspenseful psychological thriller novel that I was immediately drawn into and had me totally engaged in the storyline right up to that surprising and shocking ending. This book was so entertaining, enjoyable and extremely hard for me to put down.

CHARLIE DONLEA delivers a well-written, detailed, unique and twisty read here that had me question
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it

Don't believe it, but Donlea pulled the wool over my eyes yet again!

Grace Sebold has been incarcerated for ten years in a St. Lucian prison for the murder of her boyfriend, Julian. Julian was murdered while the couple were on the island for the wedding of Grace's friends. They appeared to be the perfect couple. They were happy, in love and going to attend the same medical school. They had a whole future ahead of them until that fateful night when Julian was killed. Grace has maintained her innoc
The light doesn't often penetrate into the darkest depths of the ocean.

Kinda like that ol' shell game that slides and switches the hidden ball beneath. You thought you knew exactly where it was. Trust me.....you won't.

Being a documentary filmmaker can have its occasional perks if the right story comes along. Just ask Sidney Ryan and her crew. It's feast or famine and very little in between. It's also a cutthroat business that depends on ratings. You gotta stay ahead of the bigger fish or you'll
Christina - Recipe & a Read
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 well, shit, I didn't see that coming from a mile away stars!

Well done Charlie Donlea. Can I get a slow clap!?

This is one of the books of the month choices for the Traveling Friends group and what an amazing pick! I'll let you know right off the bat, my dog has not been fed yet, my laundry remains safely unfolded and I've done a good solid nothing since getting home but read. I.Had.To.Finish.

Don't Believe It is a very well timed, pop-culture relevant tale about the conviction Grace Seabold in
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Don’t Believe it by Charlie Donlea is a 2018 Kensington publication.

St. Lucia-

The perfect place for a spring break excursion, weddings, or marriage proposals. Grace is positive her boyfriend, Julian, is about to pop the question, but their vacation quickly turns into a nightmare. Tragedy strikes before Julian has a chance to propose, and his death is ruled a homicide. Grace is swiftly arrested and convicted of his murder. The case was an open and shut slam dunk. But, in her letters to Sidney R
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not bad Donlea... not bad at all!!! After having read Summit Lake by Charlie Donlea I became a fan quickly.

This is my second book I've read by this author and again have been very impressed by his talent and writing style!

Mr. Donlea has an excellent way of grabbing his readers from page one and taking them on one heck of a ride! I really really enjoyed this one! What I like most is his writing style. The use of symbolism and metaphors is ON point!

Sidney Ryan is a documentary producer. She fin
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4.5 stars! Oh wow - this was good!!!

This story follows Sidney Ryan, an up and coming filmmaker who specializes in true crime documentaries revolving around old murder cases. She takes on the case of Grace Sebold, an acquaintance from school who was convicted of murdering her fiancé while on vacation ten years prior. Grace has been sitting in a St. Lucian prison for the last decade claiming her innocence. Sidney is determined to uncover all details relating to the case and present them in a ten e
A destination wedding to a lovely tropical island. Good friends since childhood, all gathering to celebrate this joyous occasion. Picture perfect...until one unlucky member on the guest list is killed and another accused of the crime.

Grace has been sitting in prison for over 10 years! She insists on her innocence and now pleads with her former friend Sidney for much needed help.
Coincidentally, Sidney happens to be the successful host of a documentary series that reviews previous crimes. And in
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
The last 40% of this book is mind-blowing—I had to go back and reread passages to make sure I read what I thought I did!!!

See my review here!

This is my first book by Charlie Donlea, and what a fantastic introduction to this author!!! This book already drew me in with the premise, but the writing and the way the story was executed kept me engaged until the very last page. This is a book that is fueled by the plot. Some thrillers take place mostly in the minds of the characters, but this book is a
Diane S ☔
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sydney is an up and comer in the television business. She tackles legal cases with a questionable outcome. Her last three documentaries have proven that the innocent have been imprisoned, securing their releases. Grace Sebold has sat in prison in St. Lucia for the last ten years, convicted of the murder of her boyfriend. insisting all the while that she is innocent, she contacts Sidney. Sidney decides to investigate the case, and do so while making a new type of documentary. The audience will fi ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
This contemporary mystery novel was IMPOSSIBLE for me to put down - I finished it in one evening. It's the fascinating story of a documentary maker digging to the bottom of a ten year old murder on St. Lucia in the Caribbean.

We open with a chilling retelling of the murder itself, high up on a cliff overlooking the ocean, from the point of view of the murderer. The murderer is lying in wait for Julian Crist, who was planning a romantic meeting up on the bluff with his girlfriend, Grace Sebold. W
Michael David
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read
Now here’s a book that kept me on my toes and in a state of constant surprise!

Sidney Ryan has made a bit of a name for herself after producing two documentaries that ended up exonerating two separate people from prison...found guilty of crimes they never committed.

When former classmate Grace Sebold reaches out to Sidney from a prison in St. Lucia, she is intrigued. She remembers hearing about the 10-year old case when Grace was accused, and ultimately convicted, of killing her boyfriend while a
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: The blood was a problem. I knew it as soon as I felt it spit across my face. It streamed from his hairline and ran along his jaw until it dribbled onto the granite bluff, first in sporadic red blots like the leading raindrops of a coming storm, and then in a continuous stream, as though a spigot had been plugged into the spot on his head where I had struck him and had opened wide. It was an error in judgment and strategy, which was a shame because up to now I had been perfect.

Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
4 show stoppping stars to Don’t Believe It! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

My first read from Charlie Donlea was engaging and propulsive and a fabulous Traveling Sister group read to boot!

The Girl of Sugar Beach is a popular documentary covering whether Grace Sebold murdered her boyfriend while on spring break in St. Lucia. When the book opens, Grace has been in prison for 10 years, and Sidney Ryan agrees to produce the documentary in an effort to (hopefully) prove Grace’s innocence.

Sidney quickly becomes a pseu
Julian Crist has made the hike up Gros Piton in St. Lucia, and set the scene for a beautiful proposal. The champagne is open, the flutes are chilled, the sun is setting...but he is killed before he can propose.

His girlfriend, Grace is convicted and is still proclaiming her innocence, 10 years later.

She, and a close friend, Ellie Reiser have been reaching out to filmmaker, Sidney Ryan for years, hoping that she would look into her case. As Sidney begins her research, she decides to film a docume
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Don't Believe It was a Traveling Sister Group read.

Charlie Donlea boldly writes a well-layered entertaining fun story here with well-plotted twists and turns and he knows when to introduce characters just at the right time. I really liked the idea of the documentary being part of the story however for some of us in the group it did overshadow the mystery.

Some of us who read The Girl Who Was Taken was very happy to see a character from that story cross over to this one and loved how they fit in
Holly  B

The premise sounds familiar-a documentary about someone accused of murder (and says she is innocent). I thought this one started off strong, with a high level of suspense, but quickly fades as the book progresses.

I was engaged for the first half of the book and wanted to know more- was Grace innocent? Sidney becomes convinced she is and starts producing a documentary (sound familiar)? The story becomes somewhat like a police procedural as she investigates and uncovers more clues and possible
Sarah Joint
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the perfect group read: you'll have plenty to discuss, lots of theories to share, suspicions to talk about... and you're probably wrong on all of them. Don't Believe It cemented Charlie Donlea's place on my must-read list. It's laid out in a unique way, sharing details about the making of a documentary interspersed with scenes from the finished product. It reads like you're really there watching it unfold, which ups the tension and keeps you on your toes. Imagine a documentary series tha ...more
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5-3.75 Stars

Grace and Julian went for spring break to celebrate their friend’s wedding, but then Julian’s body was found and two days later, Grace was taken into the custody and charged with her boyfriend’s murder! Ten years later, Grace asked her old friend, Sidney, to help her with looking into her case. So Sidney started filming a documentary. But the thing is Sidney, herself, doesn’t know if Grace is innocent or guilty! So is Grace really innocent? Why is all evidence against her? Why is s
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 twisty, thought provoking stars!

Wow oh wow! This was my first Charlie Donlea book and boy, was I impressed! Being a fan of true crime stories, the concept of this book was pure genius to me. Although not true crime, it certainly read like one and and kept me on the edge of my seat! In the little time I had to pick it up, I found it difficult to put down. The plot was fresh and I thoroughly enjoyed playing detective from the get-go. Just when I thought I MAYBE figured out what was going on, I
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea is a thriller read that follows up and coming filmmaker Sidney Ryan as she revisits and old murder case to make a documentary. Sidney hopes to bring justice to innocent people convicted and have their sentences overturned through her work.

For ten years Grace Sebold has sat in a prison in St. Lucia after being convicted of murdering her then boyfriend. Grace has written to Sidney over and over through the years always proclaiming her innocence and how she was wr
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Kensington books for sending me a copy of Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea. OMG guys!!!! This BOOK!

So, I had not read anything by Mr. Donlea but once I received Don’t Believe It I wanted that to change. I quickly one-clicked for one of his other novels, Summit Lake, which I absolutely loved! After reading Summit Lake I KNEW this one would be good. It wasn’t just good, it was great! So so awesome!

So what’s it about? Sidney Ryan is a documentary producer. She finds inmates who were
Louise Wilson
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
A filmmaker helps clear a woman convicted of murder, only to find she may be a pawn in a sinister game.

Sidney Ryan is a documentary producer. She finds inmates who are wrongly accused of crimes. She has received many letters from Grace Sebold and Grace's best friend Ellie, that Grace is innocent. Grace has been accused of killing her boyfriend and has been in jail since being convicted ten years ago. Sidney's documentary will feature over twelve weeks. She brings in top experts to try and get th
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: public-library
Ten years ago, she was convicted of murder.  Motive, opportunity, and physical evidence proved it.  She sits in prison, guilty as sin.  That's not to say she doesn't vehemently protest her innocence to any and all who will listen.  Those secrets you hold so close to your heart will get you every time, believe it or not.  

Author Charlie Donlea knows what he is doing.  Deftly plotted, inherently readable.
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
4.5 boy this was good stars
You can find my reviews here: https://yayareadslotsofbooks.wordpres...

Zipping through a book...can anything tell you better how much you are liking a book? From page one to its conclusion, Mr Donlea had you going as he moved his characters around a chessboard of lies, delusions, innuendoes, and allusions.

Grace Sebold and her soon to be fiance, Julian, are in St Lucia scheduled to attend the wedding of a friend, when tragedy strikes. Julian is found washed up on the wel
Ten years ago, Grace Sebold was convicted of murdering her boyfriend, Julian Crist, while they were attending her friend’s wedding in St. Lucia. She reached out to Sidney Ryan for help, a true crime documentarian of rising fame whose work was directly responsible for helping to free three wrongly convicted people. After some preliminary research, Sidney decides that maybe there’s something to Grace’s claim of innocence and develops the network series, The Girl of Sugar Beach, which chronicles he ...more
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Charlie Donlea is the USA TODAY and #1 Internationally bestselling author of SUMMIT LAKE, THE GIRL WHO WAS TAKEN, DON'T BELIEVE IT, SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS, and THE SUICIDE HOUSE. His latest thriller, TWENTY YEARS LATER, will be released in January 2022. He resides in Chicago with his wife and two young children.

He spends a part of each year fishing with his father in the far reaches of Canada, where

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