Mystery/Thriller

Review: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

A thriller about an up-and-coming artist who is haunted by a past incident at a summer camp.


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After loving Final Girls, I was very excited to read the latest book by this author!

The Last Time I Lied book cover

The Last Time I Lied

by Riley Sager

Published June 3, 2018 by Dutton
ISBN: 1524743097

Data from Goodreads

Summary (Goodreads): 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.

My Review

This novel has a very different vibe to the Final Girls, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing … but I enjoyed the latter to this one.

The Pros: What worked for me

  • The author stayed true to their writing style, keeping it dark and eerie. I also liked that the story flitted between past and present.

The Cons: What I didn’t like

  • I just didn’t like any of the characters. There was nothing that really drew me to them or made them unique; they were your stereotypical summer camp girls, all trying to fit in and be part of a clique. The only character I was interested in was Vivian, but even that would be a stretch
  • While the reveal for the ending was definitely not what i was expecting, it wasn’t enough to make the story worth it.

Even now, as I’m writing this review, I’m confused by my thoughts. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thriller, but it just didn’t capture my interest and I mainly finished it just so I could say I had read it to the end. There are tons of positive reviews for this novel, so maybe this was just a me-thing but I definitely preferred Final Girls to this one. For those reasons, I’m giving this 2.5/5 stars.

Happy reading ~

4 thoughts on “Review: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

    1. I totally agree with you on that! The only reason I still push through with reading some of these books is because I feel guilty that I am too harsh in my opinions – and sometimes, the plot can make up for a crappy character. The character here wasn’t the worst I’ve encountered but she wasn’t my favourite by any means.

  1. Hmmmm I have seen this book a lot, but since I DNF’ed Final Girls halfway through and am veeeeeeeeeeeeery picky with thrillers these days, I think I will skip out on this one. Your review is a confirmation to do so for me.

    1. If you didn’t like Final Girls, I’m fairly confident you won’t like this one. While there is definitely an improvement in the writing style, the story itself was worse for me than Final Girls. Hopefully you’ll find a better thriller to read!

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