I received this book for free on Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Title: The Last Time I Lied
Author: Riley Sager
Publication Date: July 3, 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.
My favorite book of the year! This was a masterfully crafted thriller that I know I will reread multiple times during my life. The characters, setting and story are so well written and so well done. Riley Sager is now firmly established as one of my favorite authors.
The setting was so brilliantly done that I could see it vividly in my head. I am a lover of horror movies and this book made me nostalgic for Friday the 13th (obviously) but I also kept getting Scream vibes from it. There was one scene toward that end where Sager so perfectly captured Emma’s surroundings that I felt myself tense up and hold my breath.
Speaking of Emma, the characters in this book were amazing. There were so many characters that were suspicious that I couldn’t wait to get to the end and figure it all out. I loved the enigma of Vivan, the mystery of Franny, the intrigue of Theo. Not a single character felt flat and they were all useful at propelling the story forward at a good pace.
The book is told through present day narrative and also flashbacks of 15 years before. The flashbacks fit so well into the story and the slow reveal of what really happened then is so good. Also, the twists. Oh my gosh, the twists. So good and so well done. I’m usually pretty good at picking up on where a story is leading to but all but one were complete shocks to me. I finished this book and actually laid on my bed and just marveled at what an amazing job Sager did at constructing this story.
So, this was obviously the most fan girl book review ever but I am seriously so in love with this book. My favorite thriller of all time. My favorite book of the year. Please read this. If you enjoy thrillers at all (or even just a little bit) this is a book that I cannot (obviously) recommend to you enough. Please read it. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do. Also, since this book doesn’t come out until July 3 and if I have at all intrigued you as to the greatness of this book, consider reading Sager’s debut novel, Final Girls. It is another amazing thriller and definitely in my top five favorites of all time.