Review: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

LastTime
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Adult – Thriller/Mystery
Pages: 384
Pacing: Average/Normal
Publisher: Dutton
Published: July, 3rd 2018

 

 

 

 

 

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 – Synopsis from Goodreads.

hearts 4

Review

“Although their eventual fate remains a mystery, I’m certain that what happened to those girls is all my fault.”

I picked up The Last Time I Lied on impulse because I kept seeing it everywhere and it sounded pretty good but I wasn’t expecting anything great.  Thankfully, I was wrong.

I’ve been picking up more and more adult thrillers over the last year or so and it’s always very hit or miss.  Quite a few of the really popular ones, I really have been let down by (Looking at you – Girl on the Train!).  I’m so happy to say that this book was fantastic.  Our main protagonist, Emma is heading back to a place she never wanted to step foot near again – summer camp.  The whole story is based around what happened to Emma (and everyone else) when they were much younger at Lake Midnight.  Emma’s three friends vanished and were never seen again and the mystery was never even close to solved.  The premise sounds very basic, and I suppose it is.  It’s nothing we haven’t seen 500 times before but what makes this story stand-out is Sager’s writing and characters.

I read The Last Time I Lied in a couple of sittings, but every time I put it down, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  I had to know what happened to those girls and who exactly was involved.  I think that is a sign of a good thriller/mystery.  The pacing of this story is enough to keep you hooked but most of the story is very character driven.  I found myself loving someone one minute and wanting to slap them upside the back of the head the next.  It was a very love/hate relationship with most of the people.  I did really like Emma overall, I thought she was fairly relatable – even though her choices were frustrating at times.

I’m glad they didn’t really throw in some big romance, yes there was some sexual tension and some things that got hinted at but it wasn’t the focus of the story, not did it deter it in any way.  This is one I honestly didn’t figure out.  I would be surprised if most had this one pegged.  I was constantly suspecting everyone and just when I thought I had it solved, something else happened and I was unsure again.  The ending was a great surprise and left me with a big smile on my face.  Well-played Sager, well-played.

Melaniesignature

 

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