Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday #Review - The Lying Game by Ruth Ware #Fiction #Mystery

Series: Standalone
Format: E-Book, 384 pages
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Source: Edelweiss/Publisher
Genre: Fiction / Mystery

From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game.
On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister...
The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”
The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).
Atmospheric, twisty, and with just the right amount of chill that will keep you wrong-footed—which has now become Ruth Ware’s signature style—The Lying Game is sure to be her next big bestseller. Another unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

Ruth Ware's The Lying Game is a story that combines both Mean Girls, and Pretty Little Liars into a twisted psychological mystery that really pushes the meaning of what makes a person truly good, or truly bad. The story features
four women (Kate, Fatima, Thea, & Isa) who were best friends at a boarding school called Salten. Upon arrival at the school when she was 15, both Isa and Fatima were immediately drawn into a game Kate & Thea called The Lying Game.

The rules of The Lying Game were simple: Tell a lie, Stick to your story, Don't get caught, Never lie to each other, Know when to stop lying. But, after a terrible event happens, and things spiral out of their control, all four are soon expelled from the school. While they've each has gone their own ways, found new schools, and careers, and in Fatima and Isa's case, they now have children and husbands, they've never forgotten about The Lying Game, or what happened 17 years ago that irrevocably changed their lives.

When Kate sends a three world text to each of her friends, "I need you," it begins a dark journey back to not only Salten, but memories that would have been better having been buried forever. For Isa, who is a new mother, it means traveling with her newborn baby Freya and rediscovering the person she really was. A person that I didn't like much at all. It means uncovering the fact that these four young women were piss-talking, acerbity, insincere, trash talking hooligans who took liberties on everyone they encountered both at the school, and in the town, by mocking, teasing, ridiculing, and scoffing at anyone who was targeted.

Kind of like Pretty Little Liars in many ways, The Lying Game digs deep into a mystery that has gone largely unsolved. Until all of a sudden a body resurfaces, and then questions, and accusations, and fingers start to point towards Kate and her group. Especially Kate who still lives close to her former school. But, 17 years ago, the four made a solemn vow not to discuss what happened, and kept the secret from everyone, including their own families. Neither Isa nor Fatima has ever told their spouses. This is a story that is told in Isa's perspective, and alternates between the present and the past. 

One of the main reasons I rated this book as I have, was the creepy atmosphere that Ware creates. It is vivid, and completely strange. Part of the story takes place in a run-down Mill that has seen better days. When the water rises, things become even more dangerous. The mystery within this story is a pretty solid one. I could have fingered all four of these characters, plus several others, as being the one responsible for what happened 17 years ago, and really not been all that wrong. This Lying Game changed each of their lives, and in some instances like Kate, not for the better. The author does a good job of creating a realistic environment where anyone could be someone responsible for doing something horrific. 

Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer, and is the internationally bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Woodand The Woman in Cabin 10. She is married with two small children. Visit her at or follow her on Twitter @RuthWareWriter.

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