Sager, Riley “The Last Time I Lied: A Novel”, Dutton, 2018
“Two Truths and a Lie”
In “The Last Time I Lied” by Riley Sanger, a young woman returns to her childhood summer camp to uncover the truth about a tragedy that happened there fifteen years earlier.
Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group played games all the time in their cabin at Camp Nightingale. THowever, he games ended the night when Emma watched the others sneak out of the cabin into the darkness. The last anyone saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her and signaling Emma to be quiet.
Fifteen years later, Emma is a artist in the New York art scene. Her paintings are based on her past and she creates massive canvases filled with dark leaves and trees that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale, she begs Emma to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor. Emma sees this as an opportunity to find out what really happened to her friends all those years ago and agrees to do so. She finds familiar faces, the same cabins and the same dark lake. We learn that the camp is opening for the first time since the disappearances.
Emma is assigned to the same cabin she slept in as a teenager and she discovers the only security camera on the property pointed directly at its door. She remembers the cryptic clues that Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins and ass she digs deeper, Emma soon finds herself sorting through lies from the past while at the same time facing mysterious threats in the present. She realizes that the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale and what really happened to those girls, the more expensive closure will be.
As you can understand from what I have written here, this is a thriller and because of that I am limited in what I can say about the plot. As I read, I was on the edge of my seat yet could not stop reading even though this kind of thriller is far from new. The tension never stops and the conclusion knocks you out.