Cover Image: What Lies in the Woods

What Lies in the Woods

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Member Reviews

Girls in the woods, secrets, guilt and murder.

I grew up on the edge of the woods and my friends and I spent years hunting for witches, missing persons and creating strange scenarios where we were hiding from "the murderer".
Nothing like the events in the book happened but we were experts in creating magic and drama.

Since reading "In the Woods" by Tana French, I've been fascinated by mystery/thrillers that involve childhood secrets, murder and decades long guilt.

If you enjoyed "All the Dangerous Things" by Stacy Willingham or "Don't Forget the Girl" by Rebecca McKanna then "What Lies in the Woods" by Kate Alice Marshall is going to suck you in like all the others.

Thank you to Flatiron Books and Netgalley for the e-reader ARC.

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Loved the twists and turns. Very descriptive writing that added to the emotion of the story. This is the type of book meant for discussion in a book club.

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My friend and I chose this as our book club pick and it was such a fun book to discuss! The story alternates between present and past timelines, which I’m always a fan of. It did read a little more YA at times, but it actually helped push the book to a faster pace. The ending and twists weren’t exactly as surprising as I would have hoped, but overall this was such a fun read and we had a lot of fun discussing it!

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I love Kate Alice Marshall's young adult stories and was excited to read an adult. While I didn't love this one quite as much, I did still enjoy it. I think YA horror just really pushes the creep factor while the adult tends to focus on other issues along with just the creep

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I had such a hard time rating this one! I enjoyed it and I really wanted to see where the story went, but I guessed almost all of the twists and was left feeling like I wanted a little more of a surprise at the end for sure.
What Lies in the Woods follows three young girls who put a serial killer behind bars when they were 11 and now- is the wrong person in prison? I think I definitely recommend this, but maybe if you are new to thrillers! I feel like I’ve read so many that it takes a lot to genuinely shock me 🤯 The writing was really good and and the pacing was great and if you’re looking for a quick read, this is it, I just wanted a little more of a shock!

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🌳😵Book Review:
Title: What Lies in the Woods
Author: Kate Alice Marshall
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/4 stars

Up,down, and all around, you'll go with this book. Another story that will make you think you know, but you have no clue. Very twisty. Very eerie. Especially since it involves three little girls and the woods.

Eleven year old Naomi Shaw and her two best friends, Olivia and Cassidy, head into the woods to play the goddess game. Considering they actually had rituals and sacrifices was a tad concerning. This game was magical to these young ladies, so it must be kept secret. Everything that took place in the woods was secret. Unfortunately, one experience in the woods changed the girls forever after Naomi was brutally attacked by a mysterious person and stabbed seventeen times! The attacker is identified by the girls and sentenced to prison after finding out he was actually a serial killer with six female victims.

Twenty-two years later, Olivia wants to tell some of those secrets from their time in the woods. What they thought took place on the day of the stabbing might not be the exact truth, and someone is determined to not let what really happened be revealed.

Published: January 17th, 2023

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This was good but not great for me. I didn't feel that connected to the character but the mystery was compelling.

SPOILER: I wasn't expecting this to be a Slendermam retelling/inspiration. I think it was an interesting twist but I didn't feel there was enough sprinkled throughout the story for the twist to make sense.

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This was such a great read. The mystery had me captivated from the very beginning. The lies, the twists and turns were everywhere and had me guessing the whole time.

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This book kept me captivated throughout. I couldn't put it down. I love how Naomi Shaw, the main character, does not have the full picture of what happened to her and her friends in the woods as children, when she ended up stabbed seventeen times and live to tell the tail. A great serial killer murder mystery!

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Thank you to Flatiron Books & Netgalley for the e-ARC of What Lies in the Woods in exchange for an honest review.

What Lies in the Woods is a perfectly fine book & definitely worth a read if you’re a thriller fan. This was Kate Alice Marshall’s adult debut & it was pretty solid in terms of writing, characters & all that jazz.

Unfortunately, I can’t say I loved it because there was nothing about it that made it stand out in the sea of thrillers. It was just fine.

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The story was superb! A fast paced thriller. I absolutely loved it and couldn’t stop reading it. This book was definitely a page turner and the ending was completely a shock to me! It’s perfect for all readers, especially thriller lovers.

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for my eARC of What Lies in the Woods in exchange for an honest review.

This book is filled with twists and turns and keeps the reader guessing throughout. I felt like I was always one step behind and that kept me wanting to continue reading.

The story at times felt a little prolonged but ultimately, the storyline was well developed.

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Thank you Flat Iron and Macmillan Audio for my copies!

I devoured this one on audio in a little over a day. The narrator did an amazing job of getting me into this story and wanting to fly through it to find out what happened. I've seen mostly amazing reviews for this one, and I will say I agree with all the positive reviews. I was certain I had this one figured out, but I def did not! This was a Book of the Month choice so if you were thinking about it, I think its a really solid pick. Great if you love binge worthy and entertaining thrillers.

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The promise of magic, the mercurial mood of your best friend, the danger inherent in the waiting woods, all of these combine to make a tense and compelling look at the way the friendships formed in your childhood will follow you and shape your life. Highly recommend. This one will be great for thriller discussions and reading lists.

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A great thriller that caught me from the very first page. Full of twists and turns this book will keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what is coming next. Highly recommend!

This is my first novel by Kate Alice Marshall. Will be going back to check her catalog and read more. Next up I Am Still Alive.

I want to thank NetGalley, Kate Alice Marshall and Flatiron Books for the e-ARC of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are honest, my own and left voluntarily

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I was not prepared for what I found in this book or how much I loved it. But I so did.

Kate Alice Marshall was the author of a book I also really enjoyed, Rules for Vanishing, which I read a couple of years ago and brought to the show. That book was very, very ghosty. And also, fairly YA in its tone. But really, so, very ghosty/paranormal.

So I think that's what I was expecting here.

That's not what this book is. And it's honestly better for it.

What Lies in the Woods is a smart, fresh take on the "friends went through something awful in their childhood and now are reuniting" trope. Which honestly is a trope I am so, so tired of and I try to stay away from.

But here, we get something much more interesting. This book is a deep dive into memories and trauma, what we "remember" and what leads us to believe we know the truth of a situation.

This book is twisty, too, but not in the way we normally think of twisty. It's not filled with big huge bombshell moments like a popcorn thriller would be. No, this is smart crime fiction, so we're fed clues along the way that lead you to think you might just be able to figure out what really happened all those years ago in those creepy woods. My theories would start out as sparks and then I'd be super sure I'd figured it out and then some other small, subversive piece of info would come up and my theory was shot to hell. But that's not because of red herrings, it's because I hadn't thought of some possibility. Man, Marshall is so smart and she got me time and again.

But she let me play along and y'all know that is my favorite kind of crime fiction.

Also, a word here about another old saw for me: pacing. I am so tired of books with mushy middles. Where things just spin needlessly for 100 pages at the center. You do not get that here. This book is perfectly paced. The action isn't over the top, but we are constantly journeying forward, finding out new pieces of info to add to the case journal I was keeping in my mind. This was so fun.

If you like Catherine Ryan Howard's books, I think you are going to really enjoy this one. I absolutely did.

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*4 stars* Thank you Netgalley for the arc. I will continue to read whatever Kate Alice Marshall writes. She does amazing atmosphere and character development.

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Thank you Netgalley for the ARC!

This was my first time reading this author and I’ll definitely pick up more of their work in the future.

I enjoyed the dual timeline mystery element of the story and I was surprised by the several twists throughout. The book switches between a trio of young girls who are best friends and the aftermath of what happened to them when they were younger.

4/5 stars!

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Naomi and her two best friends—Cassidy and Olivia—believed in magic twenty-two years ago. The girls lived for the magic of the woods, the cover of the trees, the feel of nature. Creating a Goddess Game, the three girls could always be found in the woods. Until one day, Naomi Shaw is found covered in blood and stab wounds. Cassidy and Olivia witnessed the entire attack, eventually using their recollections to put a known serial killer behind bars.
The three girls are seen as heroes and survivors, but when the serial killer dies in prison, the truth threatens to come out. A web of lies and false memories rise to the surface as Naomi returns to the place she swore she would leave forever.
Reminiscent of many Slenderman retellings, What Lies in the Woods is definitely my favorite thus far! I could not put this book down. The writing style and character development was beautifully done. The mystery was so enticing. There was even a touch of romance added in, which created a relief during the most difficult parts.
I found myself highlighting so many parts of this book, as well. Marshall writes such hauntingly beautiful sentences. She really allows you to feel empathy for the characters. Their deepest fears and inner thoughts are so beautifully conveyed, the reader can't help but cry alongside each character.
Of course, the final reveal was the best part! I was audibly gasping as I was devouring—and I mean DEVOURING—the last pages. I could not read fast enough! I was so entranced, I found myself skipping sentences and hurriedly running back to reread what I'd skipped. It's been a long time since I've read a book that I've been so completely lost in. I highly recommend this one!

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What Lies in the Woods is a phenomenal thriller from start to finish. Filled to the brim with twists and a captivating plot, this one is sure to keep readers hooked. The characters are well-developed. The story is incredibly fast-paced. This is one not to be missed! Highly recommended! Be sure to check out What Lies in the Woods asap.

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