The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

"Sometimes a lie is more than just a lie. Sometimes it's the only way to win."

I've recently recognized that a popular trend in the titling of thrillers has emerged amongst my reading list. It seems like every thriller with hopes of becoming the next best-seller has the word "lie" in their titles. Like many of the "girl" books that followed a similar trend after the success of Gone Girl, these "lie" books have had a pretty mixed result for me. Last year saw the breakout of author Riley Sager with his thriller Final Girls. Glowing reviews from many of my trusted blogging buddies and the fact that it had a "girl" title placed the novel on my TBR list. Alas, I never got around to reading it. When I got the chance to read Sager's latest novel The Last Time I Lied (see the word "lie" in the title?!), I eagerly jumped at the opportunity.

As I started reading, I wasn't making comparisons to some of the other "lie" books that I've read. Rather, I kept thinking back to The Broken Girls by Simone St. James. Like that novel, The Last Time I Lied focuses on a main character who is haunted by the events of her past at a community institution for young girls. Unlike St. James, Sager steers clear of the supernatural, writing a story that is even more horrifying in the dark details of its ruthless reality.

Emma has become renowned for her painting. Her series of dark forests on canvas have captured the imagination and renown of some of the art world's biggest names. Her admirers have no idea about the dark secrets that lie beneath the foliage of each painting. They have no idea about the secret that dates all the way back to her time as an attendee at Camp Nightengale. They have no idea that this secret is about to be brought out from behind the leaves and vines that Emma has desperately used to hide them.

To go into any more details about the plot itself would ruin the fun and suspense for anyone planning to read it. Suffice it to say that this is an edge-of-your-seat read that kept me thoroughly engaged and guessing until the very end. Sager shifts between the present and past to reveal details about the characters and mystery surrounding the camp, expertly leading the reader through a maze of absorbing history and misdirection. As a protagonist, Emma strikes the right balance of inner turmoil and outer resolve. She works just as hard to solve the mystery as she does to come to terms with her emotional state. Sager beautifully manifests this internal struggle in the physical imagery of Emma's art. Amongst its other "lie" titled peers, The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager stands out as a top-notch thriller that easily surpasses the generic confines of its promotionally driven name.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads.

(2018, 28)

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 21, 2018 and is filed under ,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

6 Responses to “The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager”

  1. This was one of my favorite books of 2018!

  2. I'm glad that you enjoyed this one. I do really want to read it; I never read the author's previous book, but I hear this one is even better!


    1. I want to read the author's first book too!

  3. This sounds very intriguing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and bringing this one to my attention :)


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