Cover Image: What Lies in the Woods

What Lies in the Woods

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Member Reviews

I was immediately hooked and read this in one sitting. I figured out how some things would connect together but there were other things that I did not see coming, which I appreciate as sometimes it's not as fun to read when you figure out who did what and why early on. The ending felt fitting but also a little heartbreaking. 

Kindly received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Something bad happened to a little girl years ago and she has no memory of it, so she relied on her friends to fill in the blanks, but present day, some new things have come to light which has her question the whole truth of exactly what happened. This book was a great psychological thriller with a little bit of horror mixed in. I would definitely recommend!
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Thank you to NetGalley for an early copy of What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall.  This is my unbiased review.  

This novel was such a consuming read.  I was thinking about it when I wasn't reading it and wondered where the author was going to go with this story.  I thought I had it figured out early on, but I was wrong.  I do love when that happens!  

Naomi, Cassidy and Olivia have been best friends since they were little girls.  One horrible day someone stabbed one of them and the other two went for help.  Years later when the man convicted had died, questions still remain.  The girl who was stabbed lost most of her memories of that day and has relied on her friends and people in their small town to fill in the blanks.  Some of that is about to change with new people enter their lives and old secrets coming to light... Overall this was very good and even where I had to suspend disbelief, it wasn't so far that it took away from the enjoyment of a story well told.  This is one I recommend to any thriller/mystery lover!
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What Lies in the Woods is a dark mystery full of red herrings and twists. Naomi is a troubled young woman who survived a horrific stabbing when she was a girl. She and her two best friends, Cassidy and Olivia, were playing in the woods one day when she was attacked by a man and left for dead. Her friends saw it happen and went for help, then identified the attacker, who turned out to be a serial killer. This trauma bonds the three for life..

In the present day, Naomi learns that the man they identified as her attacker has died in prison. She feels a mix of emotions, and is shortly contacted by his son, who is convinced that his dad was NOT her attacker (although fully convinced that he was, indeed, a serial killer). Naomi begins to question her own memories, and returns to her hometown when Olivia calls her in a panic with a cryptic message. There, she finally starts to question her past, her memories, her friendships.

This is a pretty wild ride. It was a lot of fun to read. Good psychological horror.
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This drew me in pretty fast, which is hard for an author to do. The thing is, I slowly was getting less intrigued by the page because it was a bit too drawn out for me. This could have been a lot shorter and accomplished even more. The story was still a good one though and it had plenty of surprises with it's conclusion. This is a sad, dark story that leaves you kind of depressed. But if a book is able to do that, then mission accomplished. Three Stars.

Thank you to Netgalley and Flatiron Books for this ARC.
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Naomi, Olivia, and Cassidy love to play the goddess game in the woods.  They are eleven, and enjoying their summer. But their summer is cut short when Naomi is brutally attacked. She miraculously survives and is able to identify the attacker. A serial killer that was sent away to prison based on all three girls testimonies. The girls are all heroes, and survivors. But they lied about something. Question is: what did they lie about? If the truth comes out, what will happen? 

What I loved :
- I was instantly sucked into this book from Chapter One. I had to know what really happened in the woods. What were they lying about? I couldn’t put it down! I needed to know. 
- The setting gives me the creepy, small town, dark vibes. But I am here for it! I think it adds an interesting layer to the story. Everyone knows everyone. But the town harbors quite a few secrets. 
- Ah, this one kept me guessing all through the end. I couldn’t figure this one out. Which I enjoyed because most thrillers i have read recently have been quite predictable 
- The twists! I can’t get over that ending…

This book is absolutely a murder mystery/thriller. But it also touches base on the dynamics of female friendships. The writing was well done and the pacing was spot on. I spent a whole day sick in best just reading this book. I cannot recommend it enough. I can’t wait to share it with my book club. 4 stars out of 5. Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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Thank you NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the ARC.

What an engaging plot that kept my interest! Started a little slow for me but gathered momentum towards the second half. There are a lot of characters to keep track of...everyone in the small town seemed to be a possible suspect in the attack of an 11 year old girl in the woods. It got a little confusing towards the end when the truth was slowly revealed but it all came together nicely. Enough information was given by the author to solve a couple of the mysteries but nice ending. Would definitely recommend.
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This was a great suspense book. I loved the interpersonal dynamics and surprises along the way. I am not a huge fan of intense police involvement, and this book gave offered just enough.
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What Lies in the Woods is a chilling story with not only unpredictable twists and turns but also intense, multidimensional characters. The novel tells the story of three girls who lie and send a man to prison for attacking one of them in the woods. As the book progresses, the true story unfolds and the darkness in the different characters is revealed. Present throughout the story are themes about loyalty, trust, and self-preservation.

This book has a unique plot that progresses in a very gripping manner. Kate Alice Marshall does a fantastic job of giving the reader enough clues and information for them to piece parts of the story together themselves, while also delivering a shocking and intense ending. 

I’ll admit, it took me a second to get into the rhythm of reading this book. There is a great deal of information presented in the first few pages and it was a little overwhelming. Once I figured the characters and story out a little better, it then became intriguing. I also noticed there weren’t chapter titles or numbers which definitely made the information seem more dense at the beginning of the book. That being said, as the story progressed and I became more hooked, the structure didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading What Lies in the Woods by Kate Alice Marshall. The characters were engaging and unexpected. Each one brought something unique to the story and had purpose. The plot was suspenseful, creative, and well crafted. After finishing this book, I was emerged in the ending and it made me want to immediately reread everything and see what clues I had missed reading the first time through.
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I received an ARC of, What Lies in the Woods, by Kate Alice Marshall.  Naomi and Cass have  a lot of secrets none of them good, what will happen when if the secrets come out?  It was a nice read, but it would be better without the swearing.
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One of the best ones of the year. I enjoyed this tremendously. Pick it up and it won’t disappoint you.
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Wow! This book truly surprised me with the many twists it included! I had to reread a few sections because I was so shocked with what had just happened. Thanks to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for the ARC!
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This book blew my mind! I just finished it and I can’t even comprehend what happened at the end!
Let’s backtrack to the beginning where the rollercoaster first began. The very first page sent us on a ride of a lifetime to a magical forest where three best friends; Cass, Liv, and Naomi pretended to be goddesses by crafting potions from leaves and flowers. They played a “Goddess Game” and gave offerings to their new friend Persephone that was found in a tunnel beneath a big rock. They swore to each other that they would never tell anyone about their discovery. 

One quiet summer, darkness took over their magical forest and sent the girls running for help. Liv and Cass escaped the woods drenched in blood but Naomi was on the forest floor left for dead. Naomi was saved, she was stabbed 17 times but she was alive! 
Together, three girls identified the suspect and sent him to prison for life. Twenty years later he died in prison and Naomi is left rethinking her past. 
It turns out her small town of Chester has been keeping a BIG secret from her and her friends know about it too. 

I love how the author brought in so many characters from Naomi’s past, and pinned them as possible suspects. I couldn’t quite figure out who the real villain was and I felt like the author brought in so much mystery and helped us peel away the layers of clues but also kept us in the dark until the explosive end! 
Naomi shouldn’t have been digging around to find the truth because some people would KILL to keep it buried! 

I highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a great thriller. It was mysterious, heart pounding, and kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time. This is one of my favorite books I’ve read this year!
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This was definitely a step above your average thriller/mystery. The twists just keep coming, and the end, woah! I was interested and engaged the entire time! And I really look forward to more by this author if this is what I should expect!
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3.5 Stars
One summer twenty two year ago changed the lives of three young girls forever. Naomi Shaw and her two best friends always played in the woods. Games full of magic and mysticism, trying to hold on to their childhood just a little bit longer. Then tragedy struck, Naomi was attacked in the woods. The other two girls were witnesses and then everything spun out of control. The girls identified a wanted serial killer as the man who attacked Naomi. He’s then convicted and sent to prison, the only problem is they lied. That lie catches up to them as adults after the killer dies in prison and Olivia decides she can’t keep the secret any longer. Naomi is determined to try and find out what really happened in those woods, but will they all make it out of the woods a second time?
I did enjoy this story, the characters were well written and the storyline was interesting. The suspense builds from the beginning and is pretty consistent to the end. I did find that there were a bit too many twists and too many character reveals in this one. Toward the end it gets a bit confusing as to who did what and when. The ending was good, although a little abrupt. All in all I thought this was a decent mystery and would recommend it.  Thank you to Netgalley and Flatiron books for the opportunity to review this novel.
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When Naomi Cunningham was a child, she survived a murder attempt out in the woods near her home. As an adult, this event in her life has left her with serious physical scars and just as painful mental scars. 

Her best friends Cass and Liv witnessed the attack, but Naomi doesn’t remember what happened to her. So when her friends identify the attacker, she supports their story. 

They wouldn’t lie… would they?

What Lies in the Woods is a well written, intense story of survival, betrayal, and and how one moment can change the lives of so many people. 

This book has a whole lotta twists and while I did guess the big plot twist around 29% the book does a fantastic job of making you doubt yourself. You’re so incredibly suspicious of everyone and everything- this book makes you so paranoid! 

The characters are written with a nice individual flair that helps you immerse yourself in the book. Naomi is self-aware (to an extent), damaged, and flawed- yet she is still a sympathetic, engaging character. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron books for the eARC! What Lies in the Woods is out January 17th 2023.
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I’m baffled. Heads empty. While I saw one of the twist coming I didn’t see the other one coming like it did. The pace? Love. Characters? Loved (and hated). The twists? Love.  The ending? While ambiguous for a certain character I loved. The reveal?? omg be prepared.
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What lies in the woods is a tale
Of three unlikely friends who share a tragic event.  
One leaves their small town and doesn’t seem to be able to straighten out her life.  The other two stay and live day by day….or so it seems.  

When they come together again, it seems to be difficult to understand the why’s of the past.  
And now one of them is dead.  And there’s more…..

Twists and turns you won’t see coming.  You think you finally have it all figured out but do you?
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From the start it's an edge of your seat roller coaster of " who done it/what really happened that day in the woods".  Just when you think you have it figured out, another clue/memory is revealed that sends you spiraling towards another theory. 

When little girls believe in magic, they will play all sorts of games.  While completing on of their magic rituals, one of them(Naomi) is stabbed.  All the girls point to the most likely person. A man suspected of being a serial killer.  He fits the description of the man her 2 friends saw and they want to keep what they were doing in those woods hidden. 

Their testimony is the only thing that can put the serial killer away, but the victim lies, she never saw his face.  Fast forward 20+ years, the serial killer is dead, someone has figured out she  lied that day and one of her friends it tired of hiding what they were doing in the woods.   In a small town, some secrets like to stay hidden, but Naomi is determined to figure out what happened to her that day, at all cost
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This was a great mystery. The story centers on Naomi, who was attacked in the woods as a child while playing with her 2 best friends. Their testimony put away a murderer but after he dies in prison 20+ years later, Naomi begins to question what really happened, and returns to her hometown to investigate. 

The author did a fantastic job of creating red herrings and I changed my mind more times than I can count about who the villain was. When it was all revealed, the truth was both heartbreaking and believable. There was so much more to the story than just the attack on Naomi, and the author weaved it all together brilliantly and tied up the loose ends. I also felt that the friendship between the girls was authentic and that the author wrote beautiful prose that captured the spirit of young girls. I was frustrated with Naomi regularly but I also felt like I had to cut her some slack based on the traumas that she had experienced. I immediately decided on the choices I hope she makes after the book ends :)

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and appreciated the many twists and turns throughout. I’d recommend it to those who read mysteries and psychological thrillers, and am going to track down some more books by this author. I’d give this 4.5 stars. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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