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All booksHorrorThe Last Time I Lied
The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
Horror

The Last Time I Lied

Repeat author
Riley Sager is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include Final Girls and Lock Every Door and Home Before Dark and Survive the Night.

by Riley Sager

Quick take

A summer camp shuts down when four girls go missing. 15 years later, we find out the chilling reason behind their disappearance.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_NonLinear

    Nonlinear timeline

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Scary

    Scary

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Puzzle

    Puzzle

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy

    Creepy

Why I love it

Brianna Goodman
BOTM Editorial Team

When The Last Time I Lied arrived on my desk this past May—my first reading assignment as the newest member of the BOTM editorial team—I knew it was a book I’d stay up all night to finish. As someone who’s never attended your classic sleepaway camp, I find stories about this iconic summer pastime particularly absorbing. Think Lindsay Lohan in The Parent Trap, or the adorable preteen runaways in Moonrise Kingdom. There’s drama, raging hormones, but by summer’s end, enemies become friends and campers leave feeling pleasantly nostalgic … right?

Well, not so much at Camp Nightingale, where Emma Davis witnesses the disappearance of her three beautiful-but-damned cabinmates. Fifteen years later, haunted by their presumed deaths, she returns to the camp to seek closure. But from the start, Emma realizes she is being watched, and that beneath the camp’s summer-fun veneer lie disturbing secrets about its origins … and about what happened to her friends.

What I love about this thriller is that everyone is suspect. Is the handsome son of the camp’s owner a possible love interest or killer? Is his mother’s desire to reopen the camp admirable or sinister? And what about Emma—can we even trust her? Racing through this book is like arriving at the last crossword clue and realizing your letters are wrong and you’ll have to start from scratch. It’s unpredictable, addictive, and contains all the ingredients of a perfect camp drama: female friendships, lifelong memories, and one absolutely terrifying crime.

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Synopsis

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 15 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.

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Member thoughts

All (24903)
All (24903)
Love (16471)
Like (7819)
Dislike (613)
25194 ratings
  • 65% Love
  • 31% Like
  • 2% Dislike
  • East meadow, NY

    Could not put this book down, it had the right amount of suspense that kept me hooked the whole read. The twists and turns at the end left me questioning everyone and completely speechless. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Brodhead , WI

    The author did an excellent job of making me question everyone, including not so obvious suspects. And just when you thought it was all tied up? Bam! Another twist! A really great book!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️????

  • jonesboro, GA

    First and foremost I loved Theo and Em’s chemistry. This really brought back memories of when I played ‘truth or dare’ & ‘two truths and a lie’. I was always truth cause some teenage girls are mean.

  • Oklahoma City, OK

    Not completely “scaredy cat emoji” but def chilling. Chilling enough to have to put down before bed and look at happy things on instagram. Being the 2nd book I’ve read of hers, I’m a fan Riley Sager.

  • Conway, AR

    I’m an avid reader, a book a day normally and usually books don’t affect me like this one did. This is the BEST book I’ve read in a long time. It kept me on my toes and THE ENDING. OMG. So, so good!!

  • Colorado Springs , CO

    After reading final girls,which I loved,I thought this book couldn’t possibly be better...I was wrong!I loved all the flashbacks and Emma&Vivian’s storyline.I didn’t expect the ending at all! Loved it

  • Bountiful, UT

    My favorite of Riley Sager’s books, but it’s a tight race. I never saw the final twist coming, and was engaged the whole time. The unreliable narrator is imperfect and intriguing. One I’ll read again.

  • Monroeville, PA

    I picked this up because of how much I enjoyed the other Sager books I’ve read, and it DIDN’T disappoint. I didn’t have it figured out and even as it was climaxing, I still got it wrong! Great story!

  • KENTS STORE, VA

    This story is outstanding. It was easy to get sucked into the story, dying to learn more and figure out with Emma what happened 15 years ago. Whenever you thought it was figured out another twist happened

  • Brooksville, FL

    Wow! Riley Sager sucks you in from the very first page. I couldn’t put this book down and the twists and turns just kept on coming. Between Final Girls and this one.. he’s quickly my favorite author.

  • Denver, CO

    The twist at the end was amazing! Once I got within the last 100 pages, I couldn’t stop. I spent the whole book guessing what was happening and I never got it right. So I’ve to be shocked at the end!

  • Mingo Junction , OH

    The book was really good and I couldn’t put it down! Full of interesting turns and I couldn’t guess who was innocent. It was a great ending and a very original book. Never read a book quite like this.

  • Lorena, TX

    This book delivers in much the same way as Sager’s first. It has suspense, mystery, and sometimes a little fear of what is going to happen next— Oh and the perfect amount of twists up to the very end.

  • West Columbia, SC

    Absolutely loved how realistic the mean girl asthetic was! I was nervous about it at first but after reading the first 2 chapters I couldn’t put it down. Didn’t see the ending coming it was great!!!!!

  • Havre, MT

    The best Sager book I’ve read. Like all his books, once you pick it up don’t plan on putting it down until you’ve reached the last page. This one had me guessing - and second guessing - everything.

  • Spring Valley, WI

    I’ve read all three books by Riley Sager and this is my favorite. Thrilling, suspenseful.. just when you think you’ve figured it out, Sager adds another layer to the puzzle to keep the mystery going!

  • SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA

    I am speechless. This book is amazing and heartbreaking, but mostly very chilling. I would’ve loved to see Viv’s POV throughout the ending and just read about what she was like throughout the years.

  • Bradenton, FL

    The beginning took a little bit to pick up for character building, but it was a roller coaster ride after that! It didn’t end how I thought it would and I hope there is a sequel to explain the ending!

  • Dracut, MA

    Riley Sager does it again! I love all of his books and this might be my favorite. I’be been in a reading slump and this thriller is exactly the fast paced page turner I needed to get back into reading

  • Shady Side, MD

    I have read all of Sager’s books and loved all of them! I lived all the twists in this book and never knew what the truth was. Every time I thought I figured it out there was some other twist. Love it

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