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What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall

What Lies in the Woods

by Kate Alice Marshall
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Quick take

Haunted by a killer lie from their youth, a group of friends begins to unravel when one member starts asking questions.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FemaleFriendship

    Female friendships

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy


  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Rural_update


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Whodunit



They were eleven when they sent a killer to prison . . . They were heroes . . . but they were liars.

Naomi Shaw used to believe in magic. Twenty-two years ago, she and her two best friends, Cassidy and Olivia, spent the summer roaming the woods, imagining a world of ceremony and wonder. They called it the Goddess Game. The summer ended suddenly when Naomi was attacked. Miraculously, she survived her seventeen stab wounds and lived to identify the man who had hurt her. The girls’ testimony put away a serial killer, wanted for murdering six women. They were heroes.

And they were liars.

For decades, the friends have kept a secret worth killing for. But now Olivia wants to tell, and Naomi sets out to find out what really happened in the woods—no matter how dangerous the truth turns out to be.

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Content warning

This book contains mentions of sexual assault.

Why I love it

I was lucky enough to read an early copy of What Lies in the Woods which had me hooked me from the first page. I am still struck by the opening line: “There is a wilderness in little girls.” I love books about strange little girls and who they grow up to be, and I devoured this one in a single sitting.

It’s a novel about three girls who survived an attack and whose testimony put a serial killer in jail. Years later, one of the girls has something to confess, but some secrets are worth killing to keep. This book follows what happens when our past catches up with our present, revealing the secrets buried in our friendships. It contains a hint of magic as well as mystery, and this story is a reminder that our memories can make liars of us all.

I read a lot of thrillers, and this one really stands out from the crowd. It’s beautifully written and impossible to put down, clever and deliciously dark. Kate Alice Marshall is an exciting new voice in the adult thriller genre, and I know BOTM readers will love What Lies in the Woods as much as I did.

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