Rating: 4 Stars
Another good thriller by Riley Sager. Last Time I Lied is the story of Emma, whose first stay at summer camp was cut tragically short 15 years ago. After dreaming of going to the exclusive Camp Nightingale for the longest time, Emma finally got a chance when she was 13 years old. Unfortunately, all three of her much older roommates disappeared without trace after just 2 weeks.
Fifteen years later, still traumatized by the events of that long ago summer, Emma is unable to move on, and keeps painting the three missing girls and hiding them in her paintings. It is evident that she has some unresolved issues that are hindering her creative process and making it impossible for her to move on in life.
When the owner of Camp Nightingale decides to reopen the camp, and invites Emma as an instructor, Emma sees the opportunity to find out what happened to her friends and lay the matter to rest once and for all. But there might be other motives attached in both the owner’s invitation, and Emma’s acceptance of it. For Emma is not as truthful as she seems, and her guilt makes her suspicious of everyone else around her.
The camp is a spooky place, haunted by its past, and things are not made easy with all the rumors and scary stories going around about the land surrounding the camp. The instructors and the family of the owner are all suspicious of Emma and her intentions. In these circumstances, the air is fraught with tension and each page brings a new twist to the tale.
Like all good thrillers, most of the action in this book takes place at night when everything seems more sinister and scary. When Emma fails in every attempt to solve the mystery of the disappearance, the reader also runs out of possible scenarios. As both the past and the present become clearer, it’s difficult to decide whether to trust Emma’s narrative or not.
I liked the end because it was unexpected, yet it made sense. Though in all fairness, it is hard to swallow so many red herrings and dead ends. I had fun reading this book. It is not true psychological thriller, nor is it a mystery in the strictest sense. It is a pleasing mixture of both which makes it a good read for fans of thrillers.