• books

    Book review: The Last Time I Lied, by Riley Sager

    The Last Time I Lied, by Riley Sager“The time for lies is over.”

    Or is it?

    I absolutely love unreliable narrators. It’s fun retracing my steps to see all the ways they fooled me, the reader. I love guessing at whether they’re being truthful and if not, whether they even realize as much. It adds a delightful layer of mystery to a standard whodunit and increases the tension as I try to decide if I should in fact be suspicious of the hero/ine, rather than cheering them on.

    The Last Time I Lied uses the concept of an unreliable narrator to further the drama surrounding an unsolved disappearance as murky as the waters of the lake at Camp Nightingale, where a trio of teen girls vanishes without a trace. The last person to see them is thirteen-year-old Emma Davis, who watches the girls tiptoe out of their shared cabin late one night, never to return.

    Fifteen years later, Emma—now a breakout darling in the art world—returns to Camp Nightingale as a painting instructor at the behest of the owners. But what are their hidden motives for inviting her to return? Emma certainly isn’t showing all her cards, as she still suspects foul play in the disappearance of the girls. She hopes this trip will give her a chance to dig deeper into the mysteries of the camp.

    What secrets is the elderly Franny hiding? What about her sons, one of whom Emma originally accused of harming the girls? Other players lurk on the edges–staff, former counselors, fellow campers now returning as instructors.

    And maybe…Emma herself? Emma swears she’s done telling lies, but is that a lie, too? She has quite a few dark secrets of her own, as it turns out.

    I rocketed through this book in one sitting, and I suspect you’ll have trouble putting it down too: it’s hard to guess what’s going to happen until the very last pages. Sager is a master of red herrings. The way the book switches between past and present also ratchets up the tension, as new truths and falsehoods are slowly revealed.

    My recommendation: if you love twisty thrillers like Gone Girl, full of darkness and unreliable characters, do yourself a favor and clear out a weekend to binge-read this book! Just make sure you have a frozen pizza on hand, since you won’t want to stop reading to cook dinner.

    The Last Time I Lied, by Riley Sager (384 pages); thriller, mystery, suspense. Find it on Goodreads and don’t forget to follow me while you’re there for more book updates and reviews!

     

    Love thrillers? You may also want to check out The Silent Wife, by A.S.A. Harrison.

  • books

    Book review: The Escape Room, by Megan Goldin

    The Escape Room, by Megan GoldinThe Escape Room intrigued me because of the premise: four hotshot investment bankers are lured to an abandoned office complex under the premise of participating in a team-building “escape room” exercise. Instead, they’re locked in an elevator, where clues and hints about their pasts create an atmosphere of suspicion.

    Who among them knows more than they’re letting on? Is it Vincent, alpha male and full of secrets? Sylvie, bitter over the unfair assessment of her worth versus that of her male peers? Or could it be Sam or Jules, both cash-strapped and desperate to outshine the competition in a season of small bonuses and large layoffs?

    And what does their plight have to do with a long-gone colleague named Sara, whose POV is intercut with the elevator scenes?

  • books,  Christmas,  Top Ten Tuesday,  winter

    Top ten wintry reads

    This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt (from That Artsy Reader Girl) is all about wintry/cozy reads…so here are ten of my wintry reads for your perusal. All take place largely in winter or in cold climates (or involve a theme of winter or Christmas in some way). FYI: these are best enjoyed with a mug of hot cocoa, a fluffy blanket, and a pet to cuddle, if possible!

    Top ten wintry reads

    The Snow Child by Eowyn  Ivey / The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden / The Man From Beijing by Henning Mankell / Abandon by Blake Crouch / A Gift From Bob by James Bowen / The Blue Fox by Sjon / Hold The Dark by William Giraldi / House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy / Voices by Arnaldur Indridason / Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

  • books,  Christmas,  gifts,  holidays,  Top Ten Tuesday

    My top ten bookish gifts for the holidays!

    Top ten bookish gifts for the holidays!

    (photo by Madara Parma)

    This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) is a freebie, so I thought it was a perfect time to roll out my guide to the best bookish gifts to wrap up this holiday season! Giving a new book is great, but if you’re scratching your head on what title to pick out (or worried about buying something they already have, or may not enjoy), here are some other bookish gifts including apparel, decor, and more.