They were eleven when they sent a killer to prison . . .
They were heroes . . . but they were liars.
Naomi Shaw used to believe in magic. Twenty-two years ago, she and her two best friends, Cassidy, and Olivia, spent the summer roaming the woods, imagining a world of ceremony and wonder. They called it the Goddess Game. The summer ended suddenly when Naomi was attacked. Miraculously, she survived her seventeen stab wounds and lived to identify the man who had hurt her. The girls’ testimony put away a serial killer, wanted for murdering six women. They were heroes.
And they were liars.
For decades, the friends have kept a secret worth killing for. But now Olivia wants to tell, and Naomi sets out to find out what really happened in the woods—no matter how dangerous the truth turns out to be.
The Sexy Nerd's Review. . .
Something wicked this way comes. Living a fantasy—demons and dragons; a prince who rushes in to save the day. Make-believe is a little too real. These are the words that live inside the heart and soul of three eleven-year-old girls. They called it the Goddess Game, Naomi, Cass, and Liv. Can you imagine playing out in the woods where your imagination can soar and while playing one of the most heinous crimes takes place and forever changes the lives of those three young girls one summer day? When the Goddess Game was over, Naomi came out of those woods, barely, with her life. Someone had viciously attacked her, leaving her face riddled with scars that she would carry for the rest of her life.
Cass and Liv had to become Naomi’s memories for that day. When she came to in the hospital, she didn’t recall anything much other than the pain of the knife searing through her face and body. Naomi depended on her best friends to fill in the gaps that were extremely blurry in her mind’s eye. Cass, Liv, and Naomi advised their hometown that a serial killer was Naomi’s attacker, Alan Stahl. They saw him viciously attack Naomi that awful summer day. Stahl was accused of the crime and sent away to prison, where he lived the rest of his days until his final breath.
The three best friends decided to meet up to celebrate, of sorts, Stahl’s death. The nightmare he imposed upon these friends’ lives were finally over—or was it? Naomi goes home to visit her father, a man she hadn’t seen in quite some time. Her personal mail had been collected there and he gladly gave to its rightful owner. Naomi begins thumbing through the junk mail until she comes across a letter that was handwritten personally to her. She opens it and finds that someone knows what really happened all those years ago in the woods. Someone knows that the man she and her friends accused of attacking her, was all a lie. But how could anyone besides the three of them know this? And that, readers, is where this story takes you down a path of lies and twists and turns.
What an incredible story. I couldn’t get enough of these characters’ lives. It’s a story you will want to invest your time in. My one issue with this story was the length of it. I’m not a fan of overkill or long stories that clearly could have ended many chapters ago—unfortunately, this story was one of those, but again, I loved it, but wished it weren’t so long. My readers know that’s a huge pet peeve of mine, but that doesn’t mean you will not enjoy the story.
The Sexy Nerd gives What Lies In the Woods four Goddesses to run, play and hide. This was really a wonderful way to end my 2022 reads. What Lies In the Woods goes on sale Tues., Jan. 17, 2023, at your favorite book retailers or wherever books are sold. Until next time, Nerds, you know what to do!