Riley Sager, the author of the bestselling horror thriller Final Girls, is back with a psychological thriller set at a summer camp. It’s got flashbacks, camp activities, a mystery surrounding a lake, and an unreliable narrator. What more could you want? The Last Time I Lied is going to be the thrill of the summer.
Fifteen years ago, Emma Davis woke up in her cabin at Camp Nightingale to find her three bunkmates gone. They were never found. But now, after years of life as an artist and never quite forgetting what happened at Camp Nightingale, she is back. Franny, the camp’s owner, wants to restore the camp to its former glory, bringing back old campers, many from that fateful summer, to prove that everything is back to normal. But things are not normal, Emma quickly learns. She still needs to unlock what happened to her three bunkmates so many years ago, and her hallucinations of the suspected dead ringleader, Vivian, aren’t helping. Or are they? All of a sudden, the past doesn’t seem so far gone and it’s every camper for themselves. What happened to those girls? What’s up with the lake? And will Emma ever get the closure she needs?
First things first, read this. It’s an absolutely thrilling read. The whole time I kept switching between suspects, trying to piece it together, and I still wasn’t correct. The ending is definitely a little quick but it’s kind of a bombshell and I loved it. It worked for me, made sense even if I never sensed it coming. It’s hard to find a book that keeps you guessing anymore,especially if you’re a frequent reader of the genre.
The summer camp setting of this was really fun! I only ever went to church camp, so it was definitely a different situation but a lot of similarities. Mean girls, latrine shower stalls, cafeteria food, the works. This one had more disappearances and less Bible studies though. I wish we had seen more of the day-to-day camp life and Emma hadn’t snuck off on her own so much, but I kind of get why Sager did that. It made things happen faster, didn’t drag it out, but I feel like the camp setting suffered just a bit.
Overall, I loved this book. I found a motive for everyone. I wondered if Emma was lying to me, or even to herself. I looked for clues everywhere. I was excited about finishing a book for the first time in awhile. I think Riley Sager’s going to be a long-lasting name in horror/thriller fiction and I am so excited about it!