Happy Day after July 4th! Holidays are great, aren’t they? But not in the middle of the week? All holidays that fall on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday should AUTOMATICALLY be observed on a Monday or Friday. I mean, seriously–how can you truly enjoy a holiday that falls on a Wednesday? Other than not having to wake up early or drive in morning traffic, a Wednesday holiday cannot be enjoyed fully. Just sayin’…….
I have recently rediscovered my love of romantic suspense and mystery/thrillers and made a point to pick a couple of reads for July in these genres. Here is my first read of July:
At age 13, Emma Davis’ parents decide to send her to the exclusive summer camp for girls, Camp Nightingale. She arrives a bit late and is placed with 3 girls who are older and have established friendships, Vivian, Natalie and Allison. Vivian, the obvious alpha of the group, takes young Emma under her wing and shows her the ropes. She also shares some of the folklore surrounding the camp, the people who currently own it and what had allegedly happened to the previous inhabitants of the area. Just a short time into her stay, however, tragedy befalls the camp when Vivian, Natalie and Allison disappear and are never found.
Fifteen years later, Emma is an up and coming artist who is showing her work for the first time. Her over-large canvases depicting beautiful, haunting forest-like scenes have a secret only Emma knows. All the canvases start out, in some way, with the girls who went missing at Camp Nightingale. They’d never been found and Emma suffered greatly after returning home. The camp was forced to close as well, due to the financial payouts to the families of the missing girls.
That’s all about to change, however. Franny Harris-White, owner of Camp Nightingale has decided to re-open the camp in the hopes of putting the past to rest. She has approached Emma to join her as a camp counselor and teach painting over the summer. Emma is, of course, hesitant, but also sees this as an opportunity to also put the past behind her and maybe do a little digging of her own and find out exactly what did happen to those girls all those years ago.
This book was crazy good. Alternating between events past and present, Sager spins his tale and drops little breadcrumbs along the way that send your mind in different directions. You’ll think you’ve figured it all out, until he sends you down another path and you realize how far off base you actually were. Painful and emotional at times, Emma relives those days 15 years prior as she attempts to stitch together the clues she finds. She, herself, having to live with the cost of her actions as she learns just how much her one lie affected so many people.
The Last Time I Lied will keep you guessing even as the facts are brought forth and you race toward the inevitable conclusion. When you get there, you will sit in awe. Sager takes the mind of a teenage girl’s manipulation to a whole new level.
Next week: Awaken The Darkness by Dianne Duvall.