I really thought Last Time I Lied was written by a woman for some reason! I was so shocked when I discovered Riley Sager was a ‘he’…. Useless information, but sometimes you can tell when a male or female has written a book, because of the way they are either pro-woman or pro-man? Just me? I just heard a woman’s voice throughout this book…well literally, because the audio book narrator was female…so there’s that! I just found it interesting when I realise Riley Sager was in fact, not a ‘she’. Boy can I babble??? Let’s get in to the ACTUAL review!
What is Last Time I Lied about?
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.
Characters and the story line
The story line, in a nutshell, is about Emma, returning to Camp Nightingale 15yrs after 3 girls disappeared there. 15yrs after Emma was the last person to see those 3 girls. She goes, so that she can hopefully solve the disappearance of Vivian, Natalie and Alison. The story is told from Emma’s POV in the present as well as 15yrs prior, as the book alternates between the 2 timelines.
The protagonist is Emma, who makes for an interesting character, albeit an unreliable narrator at times! Then we have Vivian, Natalie and Alison…who we meet in the ‘flashback’ chapters.
We also have the extremely wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale, Francesca Harris White, as well as her assistant Lottie and her 2 adopted sons, Chet and Theo. There are quite a few characters in this book, and they all add their own mystery to this story.
I am probably repeating myself, but an audio book is a completely different experience to me. Listening to the characters, really brings them to life for me. It gives me this additional glimpse into their personality, their mannerisms and especially the scene that is being set for me.
Just the first chapter in the book already drew me in, as if I was right there! It really set the scene for some amazing story telling. Perhaps because I hadn’t read the actual synopsis and I was listening to the audio book, I felt like I was listening to a mom, waking up to discover her 3 daughters were missing.
I really enjoyed this book. The pace was consistent throughout….not rushed, not to slow…but every chapter had me wanting more. Every new chapter also brought with it the answer to the mystery the previous chapter ended on. I loved that….not being kept in suspense for too long.
The book really had a huge ‘whodunnit’ sort of theme to it, because EVERYBODY was a suspect to me. The assistant, the owner, one of the brothers, the photographer, the janitor….heck I was waiting for Emma herself to confess! That’s a sign of great storytelling in my mind.
I really was desperate to know what the mystery of Camp Nightingale was and how those girls disappeared. What became of them? Will their bodies be found? Are there bodies to be found?? Even though I listened to the audio book, I’m sure this is a page turner in real life too!
I felt like there was a bit of a wild goose chase with some of the story line. Is a wild goose chase critique though? I mean, the author can’t make it easy for us can he? You decide if this is real critique. 😉
How many stars?
Last Time I Lied has a Goodreads rating of 4.05 stars and I it’s a solid 4 stars for me too! I also really loved the narrator on Audible for this one, she did an excellent job with the story telling. I also loved how she did Theo’s voice….he always sounded so stressed out. lol. This was a really good psychological thriller and I cannot wait to get my hands on another Riley Sager book asap!
Are you adding Last Time I Lied to your ‘must read‘ stack?