Length: 371 pages
Author: Riley Sager
Publisher: Dutton Books
Release Date: July 3rd, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
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.
WELL, THAT WAS THRILLING.
Thank you, I’ll be here all week.
ANYWAYS. This really was a fantastic thriller. Probably the first one in awhile to really capture my attention AND hold it the entire time.
What really worked for me was the setting. The creepy camp where girls disappeared? Totally works. I found myself spooked at times and really questioning what was happening and how reliable the narrator was. The blame rotates well and makes it hard to figure out who truly did what.
The final reveals were practically a blindside. I had my eyes one character who I assumed was the culprit and was surprised when the truth started rolling out. It was WILD. The background information and history woven behind the camp added so well to the overall vibe of this mystery.
And those last few pages? Sealed the deal. It took this book to a whole other wicked level and I was freaking out and loving it.
I usually have a hard time staying invested in thrillers, by about halfway I start to skim for the final reveal. I felt The Last Time I Lied, held my attention well and was letting out just enough details to keep me going while also adding some odd and bizarre antics to the story.
Overall audience notes:
- Thriller / Mystery
- Language: some
- Romance: kisses / make-outs
- Violence: a scene where a character “peeks in” on a love scene, physical altercation, murder
- Content warnings: mental illness, gas-lighting