Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Publication: July 3, 2018
Publisher: Dutton
Source: Publisher / Bought my own copy

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.

At 13, Emma Davis went to summer camp (Camp Nightingale) for the first time. Arriving late, she had to share a cabin with three older girls, Natalie, Allison, and the queen bee…Vivian. They all get along and despite the age difference, Vivian sort of takes Emma under her wing and decides to be her “big sister” for the summer. She even learns how to play Vivian’s favorite game, Two Truths and a Lie. Things aren’t always fun and games at camp however and as the days pass by, deception, lies, and tension begin to run high. Then one night after a heated confrontation, Vivian, Allison and Natalie sneak out of their cabin and are never seen again.

Fast-forward 15 years later and Emma is a successful painter. She has put the past behind her, or at least she’s tried to. That past seems to catch up with her when Franny, the owner of Camp Nightingale invites Emma back to camp. This time as a painting instructor. Against what I think is sound judgement, Emma takes Franny up on her offer and attempts to face her “demons”.

Once Emma arrives, she discovers that things aren’t as they seem at Camp Nightingale. The more she tries to uncover what happened 15 years ago, the more creepy things become. And pretty soon, it looks like someone is holding a grudge and is out to get Emma. Or is she the one lying? It becomes imperative that she find out the truth before it’s too late and something bad happens...again.

I enjoyed reading Final Girls last year and when I saw that The Last Time I Lied was coming out, I was super excited to read it. It did not disappoint. It was entertaining, I was never once bored, and there was always something going on. Riley Sager knows how to create interesting characters and throw them into unique and sometimes creepy situations to draw the reader in and get them hooked. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a good suspenseful thriller. The Last Time I Lied is the perfect summertime read.

RATING: 4 out of 5.

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