Friday, March 15, 2019

Review - The Last Time I Lied

Author:  Riley Sager
Genre:   Psychological Thriller
Publisher:   Dutton
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  384
Date of Publication:  July 3, 2018
My Rating:  4.5 Stars

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. 


It was a game played in a small cabin at a summer camp, Camp Nightingale. Two Truths and a LieThis game was played between four campers, Vivian, Natalie, Allison and Emma. One night three of the girls snuck out. As the youngest then, all Emma could do was watch, ordered by the leader of the pack, Vivian, to remain quiet.

It is over a decade later and Emma has become an artist. The girls were never seen again, and Emma continually paints them in huge canvases, but then covering them with dark and knarled leaves and branches. These paintings have gained notoriety, and have even caught the eye of Francesca Harris White, who is the wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. It has been reopened and Francesca begs Emma to return as a painting instructor. Emma find this a great opportunity to try and discover whatever happened to her friends, once and for all.

Things are just not right at the camp even now. Also, Emma is haunted by the events, especially when it comes to Vivian. Emma discovers clues Vivian left behind. Everyone seems suspect, including the son of the owner. All the while, Two Truths and a Lie cover every aspect of the past and the present.

This book was full of despair and suspense. Sad that three teens apparently died and suspenseful because Emma left no stone unturned during her time back at the camp. 

Riley Sager did a fantastic job of keeping me guessing. In fact, what happened more than midway through the book was truly shocking, and actually gave me pause. I remember talking to someone at this point while reading the book and wondering if it was not just a bit fantastical and whether or not I had the guts to go on. Well, of course I did, and I am thrilled to have done so. The story was already written with superb character development and perfect pacing. That only intensified ad that point, leaving me with a rather insatiable desire to work things out to see who really was responsible for everything strange going on.

Without adding in any spoilers, I want to say something about Emma. She was a truly unreliable narrator, and we got the entire story from her first-person point of view. I admit to doubting her time and again. This plays well to the excellent writing style of Sager. Get me to dislike or distrust a character and you have my attention. I enjoyed The Last Time I Lied and I look forward to Mr.Sager's next book, Lock Every Door. As a matter of fact, I think I am going to backtrack and check out Final Girls.

Many thanks to Dutton and to Edelweiss for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion. 


Riley Sager is the pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer.

Now a full-time writer, Riley is the author of FINAL GIRLS, an international bestseller that has been published in 25 languages, and the New York Times bestseller THE LAST TIME I LIED. His latest book, LOCK EVERY DOOR, will be published in July.

A native of Pennsylvania, Riley now lives in Princeton, New Jersey.


  1. I have this one somewhere on my cloud - I'm so behind! Glad to see your review

  2. I have Final Girls on my TBR. I need to pick it up soon and then move onto this one.
    Gemma @ Gemma's Book Nook

  3. This sounds fantastic. A definite TBR addition.

  4. Ack, memories of haunted summers at New England overnight camps... it's all true! Thanks for the review!

  5. This sounds amazing. I really really need to check this out!

  6. Another book to add to my collection of thrillers. Looks good. Great review.