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10 / 30 books. 33% done!

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44 / 165 books. 27% done!
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
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<i>Reading</i>
Swimming in a Sea of Stars by Julie Wright

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<i>Listening</i>
The Tobacco Wives by Adele Myer



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