Cover Image: What Lies in the Woods

What Lies in the Woods

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Member Reviews

I absolutely loved reading this book! Naomi is such as interesting character to follow as she returns to her small town years after an attack that almost killed her. I did wish for a couple of the side characters to be a bit more fleshed out, to really get a feel for a better impact with the story. 

While slow paced in the beginning, it really picked up the paced about a third of the way through. I couldn't put it down after that! There were so many twists, many of which I didn't see coming. This is by far my fav book from this author and I hope she continues to write in the adult genre! 

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for the review copy.
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4.5/5

Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the ARC!

Naomi, brutally attacked in the woods as a child while her two best friends watched, has struggled her whole life to leave the past behind. After the man who committed the crime dies in prison, the friends are reunited but the threads of the past begin to unravel.

I love the hook of this novel -- "We tried to forget. We didn't tell the story. Not the real one. Not ever."

This thriller had so many twists--some expected, most not--and kept me on the edge of my seat to the very end. The writing is sharp and engaging, keeping the story moving at a quick pace. I had been worried about this being a run-of-the-mill thriller with flat, unbelievable characters, but was pleasantly surprised by this book! Most everyone is layered, flawed in a believable way that served to keep me a tad unbalanced the entire time.

For fans of thriller/mystery, this shouldn't be missed.
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I almost gave up reading this book a few times and found myself wondering about the high ratings on Goodreads, but I am glad that I kept reading. I did not particularly care for the protagonist, Naomi, but the plot twists made up for my lack of connection with the characters. By the end of the book I couldn't wait to find out if my predictions were correct. I would recommend that if you feel like giving up on this book, don't!
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Kate Alice Marshall has written middle grade and young adult books for several years. Now she’s proven herself to be a talented thriller writer as well.

I was pulled in from the first sentence of this book and I never got pulled out. Naomi and her two friends loved to play intricate imaginary games in the woods. One day Naomi is attacked by a serial killer, but she doesn’t die. Twenty-two years later she comes back to the small town she grew up in because of news about this killer.

However, not everything is as it seems, not the past, not the present. Marshall takes the reader through this thriller in an expert way. You will not want to put this book down. You will be surprised, you will be appalled, you will think “I just knew it!” But did you really? Do you really?
This enjoyable mystery thriller will be on the shelves in January. If you are a fan of these genres, be sure to check this out.

A solid 4.5 stars from me.
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wow. This has to be the best thriller read. On my top five for sure. What lies in the woods is told in first person by naomi Shaw and alternates between the present and flash backs. This book has so many twists and  just when I thought there could be no more This author surprises you and throws you in for a loop. besides verity this book kept me at the edge of my seat constantly wondering who to Believe. Who to trust. I was constantly thinking who is telling the truth, the girl who can barley remember or her friends who say they saw everything? This book has so much mystery and suspence and everything about it was perfect! The writing was phenomenal and the twists and plot was perfect!
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A great thriller..kept me up all night and turning pages. Such a great storyline. Unique and interesting. Look forward to more by this author.
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Wow! My first book by this author and their debut adult novel!  I will definitely be reading more. It starts as a bit of a slow burn but really picks up pace and is VERY hard to put down! Lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end. Naomi, Olivia, and Cassidy are three best friends playing goddesses in the woods when Naomi is brutally attacked. She survives and her friends identify her attacker….but they lied about something….read to find out! I’ll be thinking about this one for awhile to come, definitely recommend! 

***Thank you to Netgalley and flatiron books for an eARC***
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Great read! This is the first book that I've read from this author, an ebook gifted from Netgalley. Mysteries aren't my normal genre of choice but the description led me to requesting a copy. I read this in one day-couldn't put it down. The story has a good build up to whodunit at the end.
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Growing up, Naomi lived through a traumatizing event with her two best friends, Liv & Cass, that still haunts her 20 years later; but, the problem is Naomi is starting to question if what she’s always believed to be true about what happened is the fully story. 

There’s really only one word that I can think of to describe this book and how I felt when I finished reading it: WOW. Between the character development, the storyline, and the author’s ability to keep you guessing, this book was amazing. I loved Naomi’s character and how she was unapologetic about the person she was and gave off kind of a take it or leave it vibe but she was also still vulnerable. Ethan started out as the guy you thought was sleazy and just ugh, but turned into the guy you could see yourself rooting for and that’s saying something.

Between the storyline itself and the writing style I thought this book was amazing. The flashbacks to explain what happened in the past weren’t confusing as they can sometimes be and flowed well with the story. Overall I give this book 4.5 stars because I felt like the beginning moved a little slow and wasn’t nearly as engaging as the middle to end. Either way I would without a doubt read more books by Marshall in a heartbeat. 

*Thank you #NetGalley & Flar Iron Books for providing me with an ARC for my honest review*
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I loved this book! It was a little bit of a slow burn at first but once it got going I couldn't put it down. There are so many twists and turns in this book. Some I predicted but a few surprised me. This was the author's adult debut and I cannot wait to see what else she comes up with.
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Naomi used to believe in magic and goddesses at the age of 11 with her two friends Liv and Cass. But when Naomi is attacked by a serial killer one day in the woods, her whole life changes. At just 11 she sends a killer to prison, but the question is, what she wrong? Naomi is called back to her hometown by her two friends because it is time to tell their secrets. What really happened in the woods all those years ago? And why does it seem like there is still magic holding them to the woods?

I enjoyed this book! I was interested in it from the beginning and I read it fairly quickly. The dynamic of Naomi was interesting because while you dont necessarily "like" her, you can definitely see why her life is as complicated and hard to read as it is. My only complaint about this book was the ending was a tad predictable, as the friendship of the 3 girls was very similar to a popular true crime case that happened near me. The similarities are what made me drop my rating. But if you dont keep up with the news or crime you may not know. All in all I would rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I would recommend it to people.

Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for a copy of this work in exchange for my honest review. All reviews are entirely my opinion.
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What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall
Publishing Date - 01/17/23
Rating (4/5) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thank you Netgalley and Flatiron Books for the ARC. The numerous twists and turns made for an unexpected ending. Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Looking forward to reading some of her other books in the future.
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The twists just keep coming with this book! It was amazing! Naomi was 11 years when she playing in the woods with her two best friends. She was almost stabbed to death by a known serial killer at the time. Her best friends were witnesses at the trial and stood by her side into adulthood. Naomi returns home after her almost killer dies in person. From here things begin to unravel. Does she remember the events of that day as they really happened? Are her friends telling her the truth? Whatever the truth is, she’s about to find it.
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This thriller had excellent pacing, that leads the reader along for a wild ride. The characters are fully fleshed out, and enough subtle clues are given throw out, that the ending makes complete sense. I enjoyed this mystery, and will be purchasing for my library collection.
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After a traumatic attack when she was eleven, Naomi has tried to put the past behind her. She's a survivor doing her best to pick up the pieces, but when the man who attacked her dies in prison, the secrets she's been keeping over the past two decades threaten to shatter her once and for all.

A slow-burn mystery with lots of twisty paths and darting shadows. The main character is flawed but sympathetic. This is the kind of book where the less information you have going in, the better your reading experience will be.

Recommended for readers who enjoy Gillian Flynn vibes and small-town secrets, and for anyone who ever played in the woods as a child.
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I received this book as a ARC from netgalley in exchange for my honest review.


I absolutely loved this book! Every-time I thought I knew what happened it would take a twist. This book sucks you in from start to finish. It does talk about suicide so keep that in mind. But would I suggest thriller lovers to read this… YES!! It keeps you guessing and on your toes.
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I love Kate Alice Marshall's YA and MG books, so I was super excited to dive into her debut adult title. And in the end, this thriller is pretty freaking great. Yes, there's one 'twist' that I saw coming right away, but the rest of them were solidly unexpected, though pretty clear in hindsight. I very much enjoyed the MC and her narrative voice, and the borderline-Twin-Peaksy mill town in rural Washington was a suitably dark and claustrophobic setting for the story.
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Love a good thriller? Every had a unique friendship? Been or know someone who has been betrayed? Then look no further and read what lies in the woods by Kate Alice Marshall. This book has all the things to be a great book which it is!  The story is about Naomi Shaw who survived the attack of a serial killer. Naomi Shaw and her friends are not as innocent as they seem . They have dark secrets that are beyond the surface. This book has it all. Without giving away any spoilers.  Let just say this book has a lot twist, It is dark, surprising, and unpredictable. It has an ending that no one could have protected.
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I'm still spinning a bit from all of the delightful twists and turns in Marshall's novel, What Lies in the Woods. Told in the 1st person POV of Naomi Shaw, survivor of a childhood attack so vicious she is permanently marked by physical and emotional scars, the story follows her return to her hometown and the site of the violence committed against her when the man who was convicted of the act dies in prison. What follows is a reckoning of not just the actions of Naomi, her two best friends, Liv and Cassidy and the extended cast of characters who bore witness but of the lies they've told and kept hidden all this time. The details are meted out just slowly enough to build suspense but quickly enough for the pace to be propulsive and pulse-quickening, and the last quarter of the book is filled with revelations that flip everything the reader thinks they know upside down and around in circles. 4.5 stars from me for this fast and satisfying, well-written read!
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This was my first thriller for the Fall season and it was a good way to jump into things. I read this book in less than 24 hours and I definitely did not see the twists coming! There were multiple different twists and turns within the book that you never got bored. Life lesson to never play in the woods!

These friends have been best friends since a young age but they never realize there is always secrets not shared. Chester is your small town gossip where people always find out the truth about you even if you don’t know it yourself.

Many thanks to NetGalley for the digital copy of this read
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