Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Review: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

The Last Time I Lied
Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she--or anyone--saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings--massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it's immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp's twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.

In the new novel from the bestselling author of Final Girls, The Last Time I Lied follows a young woman as she returns to her childhood summer camp to uncover the truth about a tragedy that happened there fifteen years ago.

Hardcover, 371 pages
Published July 3rd 2018
by Dutton Books
5/5 stars

This is my first time reading a Riley Sager book, he comes highly recommended - which elevated my expectation level.

This book started out giving me a clear image of a flawed, emotional scarred Emma. A painter whose internal issues reflect on the canvas. Fifteen years ago at Camp Nightingale, a traumatic event is the root for her issues. Today the two worlds collide.

This story is told my Emma in present day but the author has a knack for weaving the backstory smoothing into the narrative. Being back at Camp Nightingale is hard enough for Emma, not everyone is happy to see her again. She is forced to revisiting ghosts and on a mission to finally figure out what happened and put the past to rest.

The Last Time I Lied is a well-written psychological thriller, it was hard to put down (only took 2 days to read), full of interesting characters (both likable and others not so much). A good mystery has me dawning my sleuth cap hoping to figure everything before the big reveal. Well my goodness I drew a blank, I'd figure something out and wham that theory gets blown to smithereens. So hats off to the author for keeping me guessing right to the end.

So needless to say I will be reading more of Riley Sager, his new book Home Before Dark is in my hot little hands right now.

My copy was obtained from the local public library.

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