Review | The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

Last Time I LiedThe Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
Dutton | July 3, 2018

About the Book: 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.


Okay, so Riley Sager is a man.

Nothing wrong with that, I was just positive this author was a woman. There was something about the writing style, the name, and the fact that the story is always told by the POV of a woman. It’s not. Riley Sager is a man. You know what they say about assumptions, I guess.

What an author he is. The Last Time I Lied was captivating and spooky. As an ex-camper myself, I really felt the atmosphere, the cabins, the lodge… not so much the flooded valley turned man made lake, but everything else was spot on. We even had the “scary” legend at my camp, which happened to be near a prison.

The atmosphere of camp, and camping, is likely why so many awesome scary stories are set there.

In addition, I love Riley Sager’s way of telling the story in a past/present format. The flashback chapters in The Last Time I Lied were fantastically done, and both versions of Emma (13 year old Emma, and 28 year old Emma) were equally compelling. I didn’t feel drawn to one over the other, which can be hard to do.

It was more than being drawn into the story. I liked Emma. I loved how she was nervous, and she could be intimidated, but she still spoke up and stuck up for herself. Emma wasn’t perfect. She made bad decisions, both at 13 and again at 28, but who in the hell doesn’t? She was a character I could get behind and support, and that made the story even better.

Then there’s the plot.

Holy bejeezus, did Riley Sager take me on a ride!

Finishing Final Girls I was mostly surprised, but only mostly. There was always this niggling thought in the back of my head, probably because at one point or another I suspected every character was the killer. Even Quincy! Anyone and everyone was a suspect. When you read a book like that, you can only be mostly surprised.

That was not the case when I finished The Last Time I Lied. I was absolutely stunned.

The final chapter left me dazed.



Sitting next to my husband on the couch I’m pretty sure I actually cried out, my pupils dilated, while I held my hand to my mouth. I need someone to read this book so I have someone, anyone, to talk to.

If you’ve read this book, please comment below.

(If you haven’t, probably stay away from the comments, just in case.)

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

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