The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

The Last Time I Lied

Riley Sager

A young woman finds herself sorting through lies from the past to find out what happened at her childhood summer camp years ago. The closer she gets to the truth, the more she realizes that closure could come at a deadly price.

Access the hottest new Penguin Random House books months before they hit the shelves.

Sign In or Join Today


Sign me up to receive news about Riley Sager.

Place our blog button on your blog to let people know you are a member of this great program!

In the latest thriller from the bestselling author of Final Girls, a young woman returns to her childhood summer camp to uncover the truth about a tragedy that happened there fifteen years ago.

Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. But the games ended the night Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin into the darkness. 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. When the paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale, she implores Emma to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor. Seeing an opportunity to find out what really happened to her friends all those years ago, Emma agrees.

Familiar faces, unchanged cabins, and the same dark lake haunt Nightingale, even though the camp is opening its doors for the first time since the disappearances. Emma is even assigned to the same cabin she slept in as a teenager, but soon discovers a security camera--the only one on the property--pointed directly at its door. Then cryptic clues that Vivian left behind about the camp's twisted origins begin surfacing. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing mysterious threats in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale and what really happened to those girls, the more she realizes that closure could come at a deadly price.

Advance Galley Reviews

I have mixed feelings about this book. It was a fast read for me and I found myself unable to put it down but the ending fell really flat. I feel it was all over the place and could have had other endings to make it so much better. All in all it’s a good read but not great.

Odd combination of taut thriller and some predictable outcomes makes THE LAST TIME I LIED a mixed reading experience. There are a few too many tropes tucked into this summer camp setting with an unreliable narrator who decides to revisit the scene of an earlier tragedy by repeating her adolescent camp experience fifteen years later. Somehow author Riley Sager still manages to keep the tension high as we wonder why our protagonist is actually doing any of the things she is doing. This is a difficult book to put down, even if you vaguely suspect you know how it will all turn out.

I loved "Last Time I Lied ". It was filled with twists. The haunting summer camp was a great setting. I really enjoyed Riley Sager's "Final Girls " so I have been waiting for this one for months and was beyond ecstatic to get to read it as an ARC. The story moves at a fast pace switching between current times and 15 years earlier when 13 year old Emma'a three cabin bunkmates all go missing. The girls are never found and the summer camp is closed. 15 years later, Emma is an artist haunted by the missing girls and all she can paint is them missing in the woods. The camp is being reopened and she is invited to go back to teach art for the summer. Against her better judgment, she goes back to the camp where she is thrown into the same nightmare all over again. I stayed up until 1am finishing the book as I could not put it down. I give the book 5 stars and highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller.

"The Last Time I Lied" has more twists and turns than a roller coaster ride. From beginning to finish you are left wondering what really happened when three girls go missing. Would I recommend Riley Sager's The Last Time I Lied? Absolutely.

5/5 stars! The ending is what makes a thriller/suspense read; it can certainly save a story (i.e. The Woman in the Window IMO). I was not disappointed with what author, Riley Sager, cooked up for me in his latest The Last Time I Lied. Thirteen year-old, Emma Davis, is at sleep away camp for the summer when two weeks in her three bunk-mates (Vivian, Natalie, and Alison) disappear – never to return again. Fast forward fifteen years later and Emma is invited back to Camp Nightingale for its reopening. Is she crazy for accepting the invitation or just crazy? What really happened that night? Read and find out! Chapters are either the present or fifteen years ago and told from Emma’s POV. The characters that create the narrative – in the past and their present – are rather interesting. I kept changing my mind on who I should be paying more attention to, and what could have happened: I absolutely love when a suspense read keeps me on my toes the whole time.

Hot damn! I got your summer beach read right here! Riley Sager’s thriller is just what you want - an unsolved mystery from a summer camp 15 years ago; a missing insane asylum; an unstable artist; a family of wealthy - and manipulative - benefactors; and two - count ‘em, two! - twists at the end to leave you wondering as you close the cover. Emma has carried the loss of her 3 bunk mates from summer camp since their disappearance one night... along with the burden of the lies she told. She has painted them over & over again... yet only she knows that they’re hidden on every canvas. At her first gallery show, Emma is approached by the wealthy woman who ran the camp... and who wants it to run again, with Emma there. Emma takes the bait, and she’s soon in the same nightmare all over again. Sager deftly hides all the truths & all the lies in this fast-paced mystery. You’ll wonder all the regular things: is she crazy? did she actually do it? is she being set up? Then you’ll take some wild stabs in the dark, trying to guess who’s lying the most - because you’ll never believe any of them whole-heartedly. And at the end, Sager will give you the satisfaction you crave ... and even more. Due out July 10th, The Last Time I Lied is one everyone will be talking about this summer. Put it on your list now, & reserve a day to do nothing but enjoy your favorite beverage & devour this book. My thanks to the author & publisher for an arc of this book.

By the time I finished this book I was really pleased at how much I enjoyed it. While I liked the author's previous book, Final Girls, I can admit it did have some flaws preventing it from being that perfect read. This book however pretty much checked off all of the important qualities I look for in a good thriller/mystery. A summer camp setting always creeps me out in books and movies, and I mean that in a good way. I loved the pacing of the back and forth timelines as it never felt like the story was dragging on and on and it was fun learning more about what happened fifteen years ago and how it related to the present day story. I really liked the main character and the rest of the people at camp made for an interesting list of suspects. The story is complex enough in which I think it would be difficult to predict everything that happens but if you are like me you'll be happy if you figure out one piece of the puzzle. All in all, I had a really fun time reading this book! I recommend this book especially if you liked Final Girls as I think this one is even better. A good summer read! Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.

I've been hearing nonstop good things about Riley Sager ever since the release of Final Girls, and even though I love a good thriller/mystery, I was hesitant to try it. Would it live up to the hype? Would I like it as much as everyone else? Those were the questions on my mind. Now that I've read The Last Time I Lied, Riley's second book, I'm mad at myself for being so stubborn and reluctant, because this book is EXCELLENT! After finishing it my thoughts were something like this: "Wow....Wow....WOW..." The best word to describe The Last Time I Lied? Intoxicating! When I sat down with it, I only planned to read a chapter; however, as per usual, that ended up being a straight-up lie, as I ended up reading the ENTIRE book in one sitting. It's just that good. The Last Time I Lied alternates between current times and 15 years ago. Riley did a fantastic job of weaving the two timelines together, and I loved how both included mystery as well as suspense. I also liked how the timelines played off each other, as it really brought the book together. Emma is an interesting main character. From the first chapter, it's easy to see that Emma's been carrying that night with her for years. She's still so incredibly torn up about it and even a tad obsessed - all of her paintings involve that night. She also feels incredible guilt - guilt for her role that night, guilt for putting the blame on someone out of anger rather than true reasons, guilt for living while three other girls died. I felt for Emma. I couldn't even begin to imagine what it would be to live like that, especially when there was no real closure. Over the course of the book, Emma starts to heal from that night, reestablishing friendships along the way. I enjoyed seeing Emma come out of this cloud, and I also liked seeing her bond with the three young girls she was in charge of at the camp. It brought out a new side to her - a big sister side. I also liked the addition of the secondary characters. They all had their own secrets to hide. Some had better intentions than others. However, they all had a role to play. The plot here is well constructed. Riley did a fantastic job of building up what happened that night as well as the mystery that still remained. There were several times in which I thought I had everything figured out only to be proven wrong. The setting also brought a lot to the book. It was eerie and creepy, and what made it even better was how fleshed out Riley made it. I had no problem picturing the camp. In all, The Last Time I Lied is perfect for fans of thrillers, especially those who love a campy feel; however, be prepared to be shocked throughout. The curveball at the end? Deliciously evil! My jaw dropped.

Thank you First To Read for the advanced copy. What a read! Such a quick pace you didn't want to put it down & the flow between the flashbacks was perfect!! Stayed hooked through all the twists and turns. I'll be looking forward to future novels by Riley Sager!!

This was a really great thriller, the kind that keeps you up trying to finish it and going off in tangents to guess what's real and the true story of the disappearance of 3 teen girls at Camp Nightingale all those years ago. I figured out part of the mystery but was still surprised at the ending. A lot of going over the same material and somewhat unrealistic, but still well worth the read. Recommend for a summer read.

Loved this book! I couldn't put it down!!

***Thanks to First to Read for providing me a complimentary copy of THE LAST TIME I LIED by Riley Sager in exchange for my honest review.*** 5 STARS Emma’s three camp bunkmates disappear into the night, leaving her behind. Now, fifteen years later, the camp is reopening and she’s asked back as an art instructor. Hoping to for closure, she returns. Emma isn’t always honest. Vivian, one of the missing girls taught her two truths and a lie, a game that became a way of life for Emma. The closer she gets to solving the mystery, the closet danger lurks. I was so excited to get an ARC of THE LAST TIME I LIED and the story didn’t let me down. Sager piqued my curiosity from the blurb, present confronting past to solve a mystery. Rich girl camps hold the same allure as boarding schools and sororities for me. The sisterhood, secrecy and mischief ordinary girls like me could only imagine. As an adult, I still romanticize these experiences even though I realize the introvert in me would be miserable. But I digress. Emma is such an interesting character. At thirteen, she wants to keep up with the older girls, drawn in by Vivian, the leader who takes her under wing. In the aftermath of the girl’ disappearances, Emma suffers from mental illness. As an adult, she still struggles with PTSD. Her (very incompetent) therapist thinks she should be over it. Hello? How does anyone get over losing three bunkmates, presumed dead but never found. Time doesn’t heal that wound. I had no shortage of theories and suspects, all wrong. Sager threw in a twist in the end that made THE LAST TIME I LIED perfect. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.


More to Explore

  • Final Girls

Copy the following link