The Last Time I Lied

I’ve been on a bit of a Riley Sager kick since buddy reading Home Before Dark. I read Final Girls and wasn’t crazy about it but still wanted to try another of his books, and I’m so glad I did because I really liked The Last Time I Lied!


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.

My Thoughts

4/5 stars

I really enjoyed this book! It was very mysterious, thrilling at various parts, had a sympathetic yet unreliable narrator, and a great setting in the woods. 

I liked the fact that I couldn’t trust anyone, even Emma. Especially Emma! Everyone had a secret and seemed to have ulterior motives for their actions. I’ll admit that I got a little irked with how often a chapter ended with Emma thinking something about how she lied, or her guilt over the past, or the secret she’s never told anyone, etc. and just left us hanging. But I’ll admit that it did a good job of building suspense, no matter how repetitive it got. 

The setting was SO PERFECT for this book. A girls’ camp in the middle of the woods in the middle of nowhere? Um, yes! Sign me up! The ghost story combined with the real tragedy created a very spooky atmosphere which was only amplified when three more girls went missing. 

I loved the snippets of history woven in with the suspense. The secret history surrounding the camp made things even more creepy but also added an unexpected element of realism and broader intrigue to the story. I think the physical evidence of this history compared to the lack of evidence surrounding the original missing girls grounded the book a bit and gave it some more depth and direction. 

This book felt sort of like a spiral, with Emma being (relatively) sane in the beginning and then slowly unraveling as the book progressed. It added such a sense of urgency to the book, introducing some thrill to the suspense and mystery. I loved not correctly guessing what really happened to the girls, and there were plot twists up to the very last few pages. 

I can’t say a whole lot about this book without going into spoiler territory and I don’t want to do that, even for minor things, because it is such an enjoyable read when you don’t know any of the surprises. I’d definitely recommend giving this a read. It’s fast-paced, will keep you guessing, and gets pretty dark at times. I loved the suspense and the cast of shady characters. I’m glad that I tried another Riley Sager book after not liking Final Girls and will definitely be reading more from this author!

2 thoughts on “The Last Time I Lied

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