Monday, 3 September 2018

Book Reviews: Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager & All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson.




Hot on the heels of a successful exhibition, artist Emma Davis should be on top of the world. Instead, Emma feels like a fraud, her paintings borne out of a tragedy that happened fifteen years earlier. Emma resolves to move on with her life and her work – but she can’t let go. She can’t stop thinking about Vivian, Natalie and Allison – three girls who disappeared without a trace from their shared cabin at summer camp fifteen years ago. These girls dominate every aspect of Emma’s life – her work, her dreams – most of all her nightmares. Even now, all these years later, Emma can’t stop thinking about the missing girls of Camp Nightingale. She also can’t stop thinking about all the lies she told in the aftermath of their disappearance. 

When Emma is presented with an opportunity to return to the newly opened Camp Nightingale as an art tutor, she knows she shouldn’t go – deep down she knows that re-visiting her past is a bad idea. But Emma also wants to move on with her life; she’s determined to resolve the mystery of the missing girls of Camp Nightingale, so that she might finally lay the ghosts of her past to rest. 

Emma might want to let go of her past, but there’s just one problem: Emma’s past is very much not done with her yet. 

Inspired by Picnic at Hanging Rock, Sager’s follow up to the excellent Final Girls is slow moving at times, but its killer denouement and delicious final twist make Last Time I Lied a mystery that is definitely worth checking out. 


3.5 Stars -- Good read. I enjoyed it pretty much. Worth checking out. 
Published July 12th 2018 by Ebury Press. 
Received for review.


*****





Harry Ackerson is just days away from college graduation when he receives news that shocks him to the core: Harry’s father has fallen to his death from the cliffs near his house in Maine. Grief stricken, Harry returns to Maine to lend support to his step-mother during this tragic time. Once home, Harry learns the police believe his father died by suicide. But Harry knows that’s not true. It can’t be. Bill Ackerson had everything to live for, not least a happy home life with his beautiful, much younger, wife, Alice. The news of his father’s possible suicide is something that doesn’t sit right with Harry. It just doesn’t add up. Guess what? Harry’s hunch is correct. Bill Ackerson didn’t fall from those cliffs. He didn’t commit suicide either. No - judging from the marks on Bill Ackerson’s head, Harry’s father was quite clearly, brutally, murdered. But why? 

As Harry begins to conduct his own investigation into his father’s murder, he’s distracted by one thing: Alice. Now, grief does strange things to people, but it’s fair to say that Alice’s behaviour towards her step-son in the aftermath of his father’s death is more than a little odd. Not that Harry’s complaining. After all, beautiful Alice is hard to resist. After all, Alice always gets what she wants. 

If you’re a veteran of Peter Swanson’s novels (The Kind Worth Killing, Her Every Fear) then you’ll know that this author writes thrillers that are wickedly twisted and often feature female protagonists that, though rotten to the core, you’ll find yourself rooting for (Lily Kintner, anyone?!) Alice is no different. She’s a woman with a complicated past, let’s say. And that's just for starters.... 

A compelling thriller that kept me hooked from start to finish, All the Beautiful Lies is yet another winner from master of mystery Peter Swanson. 


Up next from Peter Swanson: Before She Knew Him releases March 2019.


Four Stars -- Very good read. Liked it a lot. Recommended.
Published April 3rd 2018 by William Morrow.
Received for review.

***** 

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