What Lies in the Woods

Kate Alice Marshall


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.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) Look at me reading books that are not ARCs! AND, it paid off beautifully. Should I be reading ARCs? Absolutely. Did reading this on the beach on vacation attribute to it’s 5 stars? Probably. Everything is better at the beach!

A group of 11 year old girls are playing in the woods when one is attacked and stabbed. After surviving, one of their eye witness accounts sends a killer to prison. But they lied.

First off, this hooked me from page one. Oh those characters were so broken and easy to connect to. We have Naomi as the POV, the one who was stabbed as a child. Her story is horrific and brave, even years later. However, on the inside she is raging and confused.

“That’s the thing about trust, isn’t it? You gather all the evidence you can, use your brain, weigh character and past actions. But the final inch of it– that’s faith. Trust means believing in someone. It’s not just a conclusion. It’s a choice.”

We are taken through a story expertly mapped out with twists and turns. While I guessed a few points, I was very far away from guessing most. I suspected every single character at one point and just couldn’t stop thinking about it. The emotions of desperation and loneliness came bleeding through the pages, forcing me to feel them. But the end? There was no guessing that ending. The many layers kept me up just thinking about it to put all the pieces together. Brilliant.

Ultimately, I couldn’t get it out of my head. I needed to read, I needed the conclusion, it had gotten under my skin and there was no shaking it off. Best kind of thriller out there!

This was my choice for Book of the Month for January. To get your own copy or start receiving BOTM, click the link here for a coupon!

General content summary: F words= 20+, C word= 1, language, previously young girls come out of woods covered in blood, a young girl is still in woods and is found breathing, a death (cancer, no details), face scars and more from previous attack, previous f/f relationship (no details), alcohol (multiple, alcoholism), previous pregnancy in college, cigarettes, details of a serial killer’s victims (their lives and their murders, sexual assault), previous child physical abuse (few details), skeletal remains found, body found in water (some details, bullet wound), previous suicide attempt (pills, another with blood), previously a mother left her family (husband and child), f/f marriage, self harm (to use blood for a ritual, young girls), intimacy (no details, multiple), promiscuity (multiple mentions), previous intimacy (teens, statutory rape), physical violence (injuries, blood, head injury), sexual harassment (young girl and teen boy, molestation), funeral and grief, mental health (delusions, depression), previous infidelity, gunshot (death, wounds, blood).

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

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