Last year brought us Riley Sager's debut novel The Final Girls which was a brilliant read. So does Last Time I Lied live up to its predecessor? Most definitely!

The novel changes between what is unfolding in the present, and then back to 15 years ago when Emma first stayed at Camp Nightingale. This switching timeframes meant that the undeniable tension that Sager created from pretty much the outset, was enough to keep me hooked right until the end. Emma was, understandably, a flawed character - made vulnerable from the disappearances of her three bunkmates on her first summer camp. She was likeable of course, but the questioning over her mental health could make her a slightly unreliable narrator - at times it is easy to question just how much you trust her and how innocent she is. This is made ever more questionable with the disappearance of her three new bunkmates/charges, when the weaving in and out of the present timeframe brings with it some quite obvious parallels.

The other characters are as well defined as Emma, even though some of them are merely only supporting ones and aren't as well developed, I still have quite a clear picture of them built up in my mind. Their interactions with Emma were almost like a trail of breadcrumbs which lead me down various paths of thoughts and suspicions. Needless to say most of these paths ended up in a dead-end! For, to be clear, there are plenty of twists and turns to keep most of us guessing just what fate had, or has, in store for the girls.

And then there is Camp Nightingale itself. And where Riley Sager excels in character creation, he matches it in the descriptions of the setting. I got a real sense of the remoteness of the Camp, and of its beauty, though I was especially intrigued by the campfire stories of its past and its creation. The "ghost stories" alluded to, add an air of not only mystery, but an underlying danger which pervades throughout Camp Nightingale and its acres of surrounding woodland. It is quite creepy at times, particularly the bird scene which was almost Hitchcock-esque in its painting, and left me feeling decidedly disturbed. The quest to find Emma's new friends, along with the slow, steady unravelling of the mysterious disappearance of the girls 15 years-ago, is thrilling and oh so perfectly executed.

I really thoroughly enjoyed Last Time I Lied; it's another corker of a book. Published by Ebury Press on 10th July 2018.