Monday, July 20, 2020

The Last Time I Lied Another Engrossing Thriller from Sager

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

With its lush Adirondacks setting and its sparkling lake, Camp Nightingale was once an exclusive summer camp attended by Manhattan's wealthiest young women.  Then, three campers disappeared, never to be seen again.  Its reputation in ruins, the place closed, remaining shuttered for 15 years.  Now, it's reopening.

A first-time camper, Emma Davis was roommates with the missing girls.  She saw them sneak out of their cabin that night.  If only she had followed, maybe she could have stopped whatever tragedy befell them.  A decade and a half later, Emma is still wracked by guilt and grief.  An up-and-coming artist, she has painted the vanished girls obsessively.  Until six months ago, when her muses abandoned her just like they did 15 years ago.  Desperate to paint again and to find out what happened to the girls, Emma accepts a job as an art counselor at Camp Nightingale. 

Just as its man-made lake hides a flooded town, the camp is covering up its own secrets.  As Emma looks into the place's past and present, she discovers some unsettling truths about Camp Nightingale.  The more she digs, the more she realizes just how much danger she's really in.  Someone doesn't want her what really happened 15 years ago.  Emma escaped the camp with her life once—can she do it again?  Or will Emma become Nightingale's next missing woman?

I'm always drawn to a premise involving people returning to familiar places to confront secrets from the past.  Something about that particular setup just seems to guarantee drama, tension, and suspense.  The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager definitely makes good on that promise, offering a tense, twisty story set against a creepy, atmospheric backdrop.  Drama, tension, and suspense absolutely ensue, making for another thrilling page-turner from Sager.  I can't say I liked the characters in this one much, though.  The plot, while exciting, also left some unanswered questions.  For these two reasons and more, I enjoyed my previous read by Sager—Lock Every Door—more than this one.  Still, The Last Time I Lied kept me burning through its pages, eager to find out what was going to happen next.  While I didn't end up loving it, the novel did keep me engrossed and entertained.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of books by Carol Goodman, especially The Lake of Dead Languages, and of I'll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language, violence, mild sexual content, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

6 comments:

  1. I might have to try your readalike books. Thanks for sharing your review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I read this one a while back - can't remember exactly when. Have you figured out that Sager uses some old movies/stories as inspiration for his books? I actually think my favorite of the ones I've read so far was his first, Final Girls. However, I agree that this one reminds the reader of Carol Goodman and Catherine McKenzie.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Books about people going back to old haunts to confront something from their past...or simply to learn more about their family history...always remind me of those horror movies where I'm ready to shout at a character not to open that door or get out of the car at all. LOL Just say no...

    ReplyDelete
  4. I actually think this is my favorite Sager novel. I'm reading his latest now and have Final Girls to read still, so that all may change.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I get torn when I don't love the characters, but I like the storyline of a book. I think plot trumps characters for me though.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have read mixed reviews on this book, but most are good. I have not read a Riley Sager book yet, but I do have this one on my TBR. Great review Susan. I have problems enjoying or connection to a book when I don't like the characters and that may be why some people were not happy with this one.

    ReplyDelete

Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin