REVIEW: The Last Time I Lied


The Last Time I Lied
by Riley Sager
Published by Dutton
Released on July 3rd, 2018
ADULT FICTION—Mystery, Thriller

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12 hours, 13 minutes
Fifteen years ago, summer camper Emma Davis watched sleepily as her three cabin mates snuck out of their cabin in the dead of night. The last she–and 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 NYC art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings.. They catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of the very same Camp Nightingale–and when Francesca implores Emma to return to the camp as a painting counselor, Emma sees an opportunity to find closure and move on.

Yet, it is immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by surfacing memories, Emma is suddenly plagued by a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca, and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian apparently left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. And as history begins to repeat itself and three girls go missing again, Emma must face threats from both man and nature in order to uncover all the buried secrets–including what really happened all those years ago.


I read this book around the time it originally came out, and while there were details about it I remembered, this book called to me and allowed me to re-read it as if I was reading it for the first time again. That’s an experience I don’t hold too often with books (thank you ADHD), but this book always delivers.

Writing Style –

I’m not sure what it is about Sager’s writing style that has me completely enraptured. Maybe it’s the prose in the way it’s depicted and scripted, maybe it’s that he crafts the image into the words as the paragraphs progress, or maybe it’s just the evident talent unfolding across the pages. Either way, I’m a complete sucker for his writing, and it never fails to draw me in.

Plot –

The plot of this book is meticulous, strong and twisty. Sager wrote this book to be unguessable, and for someone like me who is able to predict things fairly easily, even years later I was still second-guessing who did what.

World Building –

I don’t focus on this often outside of fantasy or sci-fi novels, but Sager’s world-building within the camp, and even outside of it, was admirable and dreamy. You could practically smell and taste the senses as they were described on-page, and you could perfectly imagine the scenes. I almost felt like I was able to reach into the pages and touch the water of the lake.

Characters –

There was little I didn’t like about each of the characters. Even though the villain of the story had little page-time, it was easily discernible how they came to be that way and what lead to their actions at the end of the book. Along with that, I truly loved how Sager made Emma into a realistic and relatable character. The only thing I disliked is how some of them talked from time to time–it sometimes came across as too poetic, and it was a little hard to follow along to.

Overall –

Once again, I really adored this book. The Last Time I Lied is a favorite of mine, and it will continue to stay that way. I just hope I can get the same reading experience the next time I pick it up. For that, I rate it 4.25 stars.

Separators (1)

DELETERiley Sager is the award-winning pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer who previously published mysteries under his real name.

Now a full-time author, Riley’s first thriller, FINAL GIRLS, became a national and international bestseller and was called “the first great thriller of 2017” by Stephen King. Translation rights have been sold in more than two dozen countries.

Riley’s next three books, THE LAST TIME I LIED, LOCK EVERY DOOR and HOME BEFORE DARK, were instant New York Times bestsellers. His upcoming thriller SURVIVE THE NIGHT will be published this summer.

A native of Pennsylvania, Riley now lives in Princeton, New Jersey. When he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, cooking and going to the movies as much as possible. His favorite film is “Rear Window.” Or maybe “Jaws.” But probably, if he’s being honest, “Mary Poppins.”

Twitter: @Riley_Sager.


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