Release date: July 10, 2018
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.
Last summer I had the pleasure of reading Final Girls, I absolutely loved it’s campy vibe and horror movie like situations and scenes, and it’s tense thrilling premise. I’ve been so anxious to get started on my copy of The Last Time I Lied but I was a tiny little bit apprehensive, what if this wasn’t quite as good? It does happen sometimes unfortunately, but I have to say I was once again impressed with Sager and am definitely a firm fan.
This definitely had some similarities to FG, another amazing atmosphere that’s on the campy side (and no that’s not a pun since it’s set in a summer camp haha) an old mystery that wasn’t solved and a plot that was compelling. What’s different is that this is much less gory and graphic, it’s still creepy but it doesn’t rely on slasher type murders but rather paranoia and that creepy feeling of being watched that worked so well for me.
I have to admit that I wasn’t immediately drawn in to this, not fully invested at initially. However, once I was hooked I was alllll in! This flips from present day as Emma heads back to Camp Nightingale and fifteen years ago during her first time there. I was initially more interested in the past timeline than the present which I think was part of my issue because those chapters were spaced out and it was mainly told in the present day. BUT THEN. Something changes and it was one of those moments where I had to reread just to clarify. Or maybe reread four times like my friend Chelsea at The Suspense is Thrilling Mebut who’s counting? Excellent execution and very well played, several things happened in the last half of the book that I in no way ever saw coming and I was knocked on my ass, some real stunners! You guys know how picky I am about endings and this one was good, satisfying as hell, I thunk Sager has another smash hit on his hands.
The Last Time I Lied in three words: Eerie, Intricate and Deceptive.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.