Updated: Mar 30, 2020
The October choice for My Night's Book Clubbed (Formerly Random Readers Book Club) was The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager and it did not disappoint. I read Final Girls a few months back and immediately added Riley Sager to my ever growing list of favorite thriller authors. Thrillers are such a fun genre to read and discuss. I love the twists and turns and discussing everyone's theories and opinions. The discussion on The Last Time I Lied was fun and, dare I say, "thrilling." (I know, I know, that was dorky, but I had to throw a pun in there!) A few of the participants had either never read a thriller or rarely delve into that genre, which made it even more fun to discuss. I love when people are willing to step outside of their reading comfort zone and discover a book they unexpectedly love.
If I can influence one person to read a book, my job here is done!
The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager is a thrilling novel about a fateful night, 15 years ago, when three teenage girls went missing from their cabin at Camp Nightingale. Leaving behind their forth roommate, Emma Davis, to live the rest of her life never knowing what happened to them and if she could have prevented it. What started out as an innocent game of Two Truths and a Lie between Emma and the three girls: Vivian (the ringleader), Natalie, and Alison, turned deadly when they mysteriously vanished from Camp Nightingale. Theories circled around for years on the girl's disappearance and the case was never solved. Fifteen years later, Emma is a budding artist. She paints incredible oil paintings of wooded scenery, but buried deep inside her paintings are the three missing girls that she can not move on from. During one of her art gallery openings, Emma runs into the owner of Camp Nightingale, Franny, who invites her to come back to the camp to help with the re-opening. Franny wants Emma to teach the affluent teenage girls how to paint and, possibly, get some closure on the horrible events from years back. Emma accepts the invitation and her world begins to slowly unravel. She uncovers clues that Vivian left behind and embarks on uncovering what happened. Little does she know, her life is still at risk.
Riley Sager is incredible at writing well written, heavily plot driven, thrillers. His characters come to life on the page and I love that they usually have a leading lady star as the protagonist. Though Sager does subscribe to the common thriller cliché: unreliable (female) narrator, he does so in a way that comes full circle at the end and gives the protagonist poetic justice. I found no part of this book predictable. Part 1: Two Truths, was a slow burn, but kept me intrigued enough to keep reading. Part 2: And a Lie, knocked my socks off. The twists were unexpected and there were a couple parts that flat out surprised me. The second to last chapter did have me questioning my thoughts on the book, but in true Sager fashion, the last chapter completely changed my opinion of the book.
I gave The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager ★★★★.5 stars and rank it up there with my list of favorite thrillers. This book gave me 1990's horror film vibes, like "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "Scream." Can anyone else picture 1999 Jennifer Love Hewitt as Emma Davis?? Or is it just me? This book was so much fun to discuss with the book club group and the general consensus was that it was a fabulous read with unexpected twists. We learned that a few of the readers had some nightmares while they read it, so if you get spooked easily, you may want to read it in the daytime 😉 I read many creepy books, so it did not bother me. Not sure what that says about me though..... 😅
If you are looking for a fast paced thriller, check out The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager. Let me know your thoughts on the ending!