The Lying Game
The text message is just three words: I need you.Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her now.Something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three best friends she hasn't seen for years, but has never forgotten. Theirs is no cosy reunion: Salten isn't a safe place for them, after what they did.At school the girls used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. But for some, did the boundary between fact and fantasy become too blurred?And how much can you really trust your friends?

The Lying Game Details

TitleThe Lying Game
Author
Formatebook
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 15th, 2017
PublisherVintage Digital
ISBN1473545994
ISBN-139781473545991
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Fiction, Mystery Thriller

The Lying Game Review

  • Liz Barnsley
    May 30, 2017
    I’ve loved both of Ruth Ware’s books to date and The Lying Game was probably the one I banged through fastest – once I was in I couldn’t get out again, sucker as I am for a good tale that involves school clique cover ups and future consequences. This author writes some of the twistiest tales out there and I’m never quite sure where she’s going until she gets there.In The Lying Game we have four close friends who have hidden a horrible secret for years and now it is going to come back and haunt t I’ve loved both of Ruth Ware’s books to date and The Lying Game was probably the one I banged through fastest – once I was in I couldn’t get out again, sucker as I am for a good tale that involves school clique cover ups and future consequences. This author writes some of the twistiest tales out there and I’m never quite sure where she’s going until she gets there.In The Lying Game we have four close friends who have hidden a horrible secret for years and now it is going to come back and haunt them. The group dynamic is tight and compelling, we follow along mostly with Isa, learning the back story and slowly discovering what has them so haunted. Cleverly done and intimately woven, The Lying Game is a mystery and a slow burn of a character drama, a beautifully done mix that keeps you turning the pages.It is a little different from her other two novels, focusing more on the dynamics of the relationships than thrills and spills but certainly there are a few edge of the seat moments. The setting of Saltern is atmospherically described with the decay of the house the girls used to frequent equalling the decay in their current friendship as they all struggle to readjust and find a way out of an untenable situation.I loved the village life focus, the wider cast suspicious and waiting – and the historical school elements were utterly fascinating. I refer you back to I’m a sucker for school cliques.Overall a really great read once again from Ruth Ware and honestly I can’t wait to see what she does next having managed to write three very different novels already each one captivating me entirely.Recommended.
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  • Dorie
    April 22, 2017
    I enjoyed “In A Dark Dark Wood” and really thought “The Woman In Cabin 10” was great! I was a bit disappointed in “The Lying Game”. While the novel is well written I really didn’t feel that great “tense, exciting” feel of a thriller until perhaps the very last 30 pages. I also didn’t particularly care for the characters in this book.A simple text “I need you” is sent from Kate sent to her three best friends from boarding school, Isa, Fatima and Thea. Within 24 hours each of the three have left t I enjoyed “In A Dark Dark Wood” and really thought “The Woman In Cabin 10” was great! I was a bit disappointed in “The Lying Game”. While the novel is well written I really didn’t feel that great “tense, exciting” feel of a thriller until perhaps the very last 30 pages. I also didn’t particularly care for the characters in this book.A simple text “I need you” is sent from Kate sent to her three best friends from boarding school, Isa, Fatima and Thea. Within 24 hours each of the three have left their jobs, husbands, kids and rushed to Kate’s side, quite a feat considering all of their involvements. The three young women had been close friends in boarding school, so much so that many of the other students steered clear of them. They were notorious for playing “The Lying Game”, quite simply a test of how each of them could come up with an outlandish lie and then convince as many people as they could that it was true. They usually bailed on the game if things looked like they would be discovered by those in charge. The number one rule of the game however is that they never lie to each other.During the next few hundred pages we follow what happens as the young women rejoin their friend Kate at her home in a coastal village with a great estuary called “The Reach”; the boarding school is located within walking distance of Kate’s home. Something has happened, something discovered on the beach, and now the four are fearful of being found out for a disastrous lie that they told to cover up an event that happened 17 years ago.The four young women are fairly well developed and we find out the most about Thea as she is the narrator of the story. There are other notable characters, in particular, Luc who is Kate’s half brother and a key player in their story. Why is he here when they all believed that he was still in France?? When he confronts Kate in the village he is barely recognizable as the young man that she spent so much time with in her youth, “Luc is not that boy anymore. He is a man, and an angry one. And I am one of the people he is angry with”. He is furious when he sees her and she has so many unanswered questions. What really has been taking place in the 17 years since they were together. I wish that I had gotten to know a bit more about Fatima and Thea as they sounded like interesting and unique charaters.Ambrose was the girls art teacher at school and is also Kate’s father. How, why and where did he disappear to when things started to come apart for him at the school? What really went on during all of the weekends that the girls spent at Kate’s house? Why were they all expelled from school mid semester?I checked my Kindle location and I know that I really started enjoying this book at around 70% through. The tension was ratcheted up, we all know that we are getting close to the answers to all of the questions scattered through the book. I think for me there was a lull in the middle of the book but it was worth continuing for the ending is very good and for me it was quite a shock.I really enjoy Ms. Ware’s writing and I will always look forward to her next book!I received an ARC of this book through the publisher and Edelweiss, thank you.
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  • Abby (Crime by the Book)
    April 8, 2017
    4.5/5 stars for this one!!! I totally enjoyed this book, BUT it's very different from Ware's previous titles. Fans of Pretty Little Liars and readers looking for addictive, fast-paced light suspense will be hooked!! Find my full review on CBTB: http://crimebythebook.com/blog/2017/4...
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  • Anne Foster
    May 23, 2017
    I'm a huge Ruth Ware fan so I was prepared to enjoy this book and of course I did! I'm also a sucker for books that take place at a school so the backstory of Salten was fascinating as well. Four friends, separated for seventeen years, reconvene when the mysterious text, "I need you" reaches them all. Bound by secrets and lies, the four women must puzzle out their next moves as the past threatens to destroy the lives they have created for themselves (and of course, hidden from their families). E I'm a huge Ruth Ware fan so I was prepared to enjoy this book and of course I did! I'm also a sucker for books that take place at a school so the backstory of Salten was fascinating as well. Four friends, separated for seventeen years, reconvene when the mysterious text, "I need you" reaches them all. Bound by secrets and lies, the four women must puzzle out their next moves as the past threatens to destroy the lives they have created for themselves (and of course, hidden from their families). Even though you may figure out The Secret before the end, it is Ware's trademark to keep you guessing everything. A very satisfying read!
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  • KBev
    March 24, 2017
    I'd probably really give it a 3.5. I missed the spookiness of her other books. This one just didn't have that same quality.
  • Dianah
    April 24, 2017
    If Barbara Vine had written The Secret History, The Lying Game would have been the result. This is high praise for Ruth Ware, who has indeed, produced a superb literary thriller that is entirely riveting. Vine is a master at building complex characters; each with their own hidden passions, hate, motivations, and disturbing coping mechanisms. Ware is certainly on the same playing field with Vine; she excels at this particular bit of magic. Four teenage girls, boarding at the mediocre Salten Schoo If Barbara Vine had written The Secret History, The Lying Game would have been the result. This is high praise for Ruth Ware, who has indeed, produced a superb literary thriller that is entirely riveting. Vine is a master at building complex characters; each with their own hidden passions, hate, motivations, and disturbing coping mechanisms. Ware is certainly on the same playing field with Vine; she excels at this particular bit of magic. Four teenage girls, boarding at the mediocre Salten School in southern England, become fast and tight friends, forming an exclusive clique. They play the "Lying Game" against the other students and staff, which serves beautifully to strengthen the impenetrable wall around them. But, events begin to go wrong -- frighteningly wrong -- and there is no one they can turn to except each other. A disastrous crisis erupts, and they act together, vowing to always lie about what happened.Fifteen years later, chinks in their story begin to appear. A body is found buried in the sand, a mutilated sheep appears, and threatening notes are sent; someone else knows what happened that night. Three of the now-grown women receive a text message: "I need you." There is no question that they will go.Stoking the already explosive adolescent fires with lies, promises, secret loves, alcohol, jealousy, fear, rage, and revenge, Wade constructs an intricate story, a mesmerizing plot, and authentic characters; absolutely every page is electric with tension and dread. Utterly intoxicating!
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  • BookgirlonGoodreads
    May 23, 2017
    I was so thrilled to get this ARC from NetGalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books as I really enjoyed Ruth Ware's In a Dark Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10. The story begins with intrigue...a dead body is found in a tidal pool in the tiny coastal English village of Salten. From here, we jump to 4 women who gather in Salten and it is made very clear they know the identity of the body. Their past at a boarding school in Salten is revealed bit by bit, and initially I had a vibe of The Secre I was so thrilled to get this ARC from NetGalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books as I really enjoyed Ruth Ware's In a Dark Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10. The story begins with intrigue...a dead body is found in a tidal pool in the tiny coastal English village of Salten. From here, we jump to 4 women who gather in Salten and it is made very clear they know the identity of the body. Their past at a boarding school in Salten is revealed bit by bit, and initially I had a vibe of The Secret History by Donna Tartt - exclusive clique at a boarding school who bond so tightly with each other that they alienate everyone else, a murder, and the ramifications. However, the story never really comes together. None of the characters are given any real development except for Isabel, and even then we are treated to her thoughts as a new mother and not much else. Her desire to be with her baby and physical reactions to her child's distress are all written with realism, but it becomes overkill after awhile. We get it - she has a new baby and thinks of little else. This is made all the more annoying due to the fact that none of the other women are really fleshed out at all. Their past in the boarding school is likewise only sketched out rather than fully realized, with many hints and very little actual descriptions. Furthermore, it turns out they were all friends for less then a year. It seems unlikely that their present day circumstances would have followed from their very short time together. We know fairly early on who the dead body is, but it takes while to get to how the death occurred. There IS a twist at the end which I was not expecting, but by that point I simply wasn't invested enough in the characters or the story to care. This story has unfulfilled potential, with a focus too heavy on one character.
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  • Rachel Mans Mckenny
    May 31, 2017
    Another mystery from Ware, with fascinating leading women and some heart-racing moments. Lots to love about this, but the more fraught aspects of new motherhood especially come into play. Also-- You guys, a leading lady in a thriller who is a nursing mother is my jam.Full review here: https://rachelmans.wordpress.com/2017...Thank you NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Jennifer
    March 31, 2017
    3.5
  • Kate
    May 29, 2017
    Not my favourite of the author's novels but loved the location. A fast read. Review to follow shortly on www.forwinternights.wordpress.com
  • Dan Radovich
    April 4, 2017
    3.5 stars. What is it about a book filled with characters that you really care little for that makes you plow through it in almost one sitting? Good writing. This is Ware's third published work, and it reminded me somewhat of IN A DARK, DARK WOOD (her first). A group of school friends get together at the request of one of them and you know that something terrible happened in their past that will eventually be revealed. The group of women in THE LYING GAME are better written in this piece, and th 3.5 stars. What is it about a book filled with characters that you really care little for that makes you plow through it in almost one sitting? Good writing. This is Ware's third published work, and it reminded me somewhat of IN A DARK, DARK WOOD (her first). A group of school friends get together at the request of one of them and you know that something terrible happened in their past that will eventually be revealed. The group of women in THE LYING GAME are better written in this piece, and the story flows along smoother. The opening chapter 'nibble' of things to come gets you reading, and Ware's talent for keeping you interested in her characters sets the hook. Like her first two, this is a quick read. I enjoyed it and do recommend it, especially for those that have found pleasure in not Ware's writing, but also those authors following the trend of unlikable characters.
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  • Latkins
    March 23, 2017
    I've read Ruth Ware's two previous novels and, whilst there were some things about them that annoyed me a bit, I did rather enjoy them, so I was interested to read this new one. I think it's her best one so far - it's not perfect, but it is gripping and intriguing.It's narrated by Isa, who, along with her old schoolmates from the remote boarding school at Salten, Fatima and Thea, is summoned back to the town by Kate, who still lives there. Now in their 30s, the four left the school 17 years earl I've read Ruth Ware's two previous novels and, whilst there were some things about them that annoyed me a bit, I did rather enjoy them, so I was interested to read this new one. I think it's her best one so far - it's not perfect, but it is gripping and intriguing.It's narrated by Isa, who, along with her old schoolmates from the remote boarding school at Salten, Fatima and Thea, is summoned back to the town by Kate, who still lives there. Now in their 30s, the four left the school 17 years earlier in disgrace. Freya is now living in London with her partner Owen and has a little baby, Freya, who she takes along to the reunion. It's clear that something terrible happened in the past, which all four were involved in in some way, but what it was exactly isn't revealed until later in the book. Slowly, we find out the history of the friends, and how, when at school, they used to play 'the lying game', in which they'd make up lies and see if they could get people to believe them.In some ways, this is quite similar to the author's first novel 'In A Dark Dark Wood', as it involves the central character meeting up with someone from her past in a remote location, where lots of sinister things start happening. But I think this one is better - the characters are clearly defined, and the mystery is compelling. The ending wasn't completely ridiculous either! I found it hard at first to work out where Salten was supposed to be - it's a fictional place, which I thought at first might be set in my neck of the woods, Norfolk... but the fact that the train to London is northbound made me realise that it must be Sussex or Kent. I was a bit surprised by the inclusion of the Northern dialect word 'mardy', a word which, when I used it at school in Bedfordshire and Suffolk as a child, having heard it from my Yorkshire parents, no one understood. But as the Arctic Monkeys had a song using the word a few years back, maybe everyone knows what it means now!Did I like the characters? No, they were all really annoying, particularly Isa... they seemed to think a lot of themselves, especially towards the end. But that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the novel. I do think that it could have been cut down a bit, though, as there was a lot of repetition and toing and froing in the middle which was unnecessary. But on the whole, this is a good read and I'd recommend it, particularly if you liked her other books.
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  • KC
    April 25, 2017
    I would like to thank Edelweiss, Gallery, Scout Press, and Ruth Ware for the advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review. It all began with a ominous text from Kate. I NEED YOU. After 17 years, best friends and boarding school mates, Isa, Thea, and Fatima hurriedly leave their jobs, lives, and families, to travel back to Kate's coastal home in the town of Salten. Although the women now are in their 30's, their past and its secrets have seem to have invaded the present. With much at st I would like to thank Edelweiss, Gallery, Scout Press, and Ruth Ware for the advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review. It all began with a ominous text from Kate. I NEED YOU. After 17 years, best friends and boarding school mates, Isa, Thea, and Fatima hurriedly leave their jobs, lives, and families, to travel back to Kate's coastal home in the town of Salten. Although the women now are in their 30's, their past and its secrets have seem to have invaded the present. With much at stake for each and an oath to "never lie to each other", things have begun to unravel for the four women and it appears that the truth will finally be revealed. Ware's thrilling tale will have you reading past your bedtime.
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  • Meghan
    May 12, 2017
    I received a free electronic copy of this title from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.When Isa receives a text that just says "I need you," she immediately grabs her baby daughter and heads down to the old town where she went to boarding school. She knows her friends Thea and Fatima have also dropped everything and are on their way. Their old school friend Kate lives outside of town on the marshes in a dilapidated house - they know Kate has texted them because an old I received a free electronic copy of this title from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.When Isa receives a text that just says "I need you," she immediately grabs her baby daughter and heads down to the old town where she went to boarding school. She knows her friends Thea and Fatima have also dropped everything and are on their way. Their old school friend Kate lives outside of town on the marshes in a dilapidated house - they know Kate has texted them because an old secret has come to light after almost 20 years. The most interesting aspects of this fairly standard psychological thriller are Isa's role as a new mother, which informs her decisions and seemed pretty realistic, and the flashbacks to boarding school.
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  • Maureen
    April 7, 2017
    While this is not the big mystery that was The Girl in Cabin 10, The Lying Game was an easy read and would be perfect for a summer beach read. Isa, Fatima, Kate, and Thea are long-time school friends with a secret. If the secret gets out, their lives will be changed forever. The character development is not as rich as with Ware's previous novel. I didn't care for anyone in the novel, although narrator Isa seemed to be reliable. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this novel in exchan While this is not the big mystery that was The Girl in Cabin 10, The Lying Game was an easy read and would be perfect for a summer beach read. Isa, Fatima, Kate, and Thea are long-time school friends with a secret. If the secret gets out, their lives will be changed forever. The character development is not as rich as with Ware's previous novel. I didn't care for anyone in the novel, although narrator Isa seemed to be reliable. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Jill
    May 27, 2017
    Ruth Ware writes another great story that keeps you guessing. Similar to her other books with creepy dark scenes that leave you claustrophobic and holding your breath. * I received this book as an ARC from Gallery Books & Simon & Schuster.
  • Jaclyn
    May 22, 2017
    The least Agatha Christie-ish of Ware's books, this was an entertaining psychological thriller about the secrets from the past coming back to haunt us.I love the female friendship and the twists and turns, though the big reveal wasn't as hard to figure out as in her previous novels. I also thought Owen was super sweet and understanding and I often wanted to give Isa a stern talking-to and demand she just tell him the truth already. My main frustration though was how Isa kept putting herself and The least Agatha Christie-ish of Ware's books, this was an entertaining psychological thriller about the secrets from the past coming back to haunt us.I love the female friendship and the twists and turns, though the big reveal wasn't as hard to figure out as in her previous novels. I also thought Owen was super sweet and understanding and I often wanted to give Isa a stern talking-to and demand she just tell him the truth already. My main frustration though was how Isa kept putting herself and her baby daughter in dangerous situations, over and over again. For example, in one scene, she's at a train station with her baby when she learns about a big, dark secret, and instead of taking her baby on the train and being thankful to escape back to safety, she instead decides to go back and confront the person who had been keeping the secret. Which makes sense for the story, because it kept the narrative going, but was a seriously stupid decision.
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  • Kathleen
    April 23, 2017
    Loved this one! This was my favorite of Ruth Ware's books, which is saying something because I've loved her others as well. It hit all the right notes for me: the intense, exclusive teenage friendship; the spooky setting of the crumbling Mill and all that water; the secrets and lies. I pretty much wanted to start reading it again as soon as I had finished, that's how much I enjoyed it.
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  • Girl Well Read
    May 29, 2017
    A special thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.After devouring The Woman in Cabin 10, I was excited to get my hands on another Ruth Ware book. Initially I was enjoying this book, especially the parts that take place at the boarding school, but I didn't fully buy in. I don't want to make comparisons, and whether this was on purpose or not, but there were echos of The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Is Donna Tartt not one of the most bri A special thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.After devouring The Woman in Cabin 10, I was excited to get my hands on another Ruth Ware book. Initially I was enjoying this book, especially the parts that take place at the boarding school, but I didn't fully buy in. I don't want to make comparisons, and whether this was on purpose or not, but there were echos of The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Is Donna Tartt not one of the most brilliant literary voices? This seems like a compliment, right? But in fact, this comparison does this book a disservice because Ware is a strong enough writer to stand on her own and not have to draw on this inspiration. Again, this may be me creating the parallel between the two, so I'll move on. (view spoiler)[But it's there: the exclusivity, the boarding school, the murder, the circumstances, the lasting effects of the death on the group, and that it is a murder mystery in reverse. (hide spoiler)]There is an immediate hook—a woman is walking her dog in the quaint coastal village of Salten along the section of river known as the Reach where the tide meets the stream. Her dog charges into the water to retrieve what is perceived to be a large stick, when in fact it is a human bone. The next morning, three women—Isa, Fatima, and Thea—get a text from Kate, the fourth in their exclusive group, that simply says "I need you". Hoping they would never get this request, they drop everything and rush back to Salten. The girls were a fearless foursome at the Salten House boarding school. They used to play the Lying Game which involved telling the most outrageous things to people for points. Only there are rules: tell a lie, stick to your story, don't get caught, never lie to each other, and know when to stop the lie. For some, the lines become blurred with what are actual facts versus what is fantasy. Ware reveals bits and pieces of the girl's time at the Salten boarding school, and how extreme the game got—they were all expelled in their final year under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the art teacher, Ambrose, who also happens to be Kate's eccentric father. Where this book stumbles is with our narrator, Isa. She is a new mother, and Ware loses the plot because this character is so consumed by this role. The baby proves to be a distraction for both Isa and the reader which ultimately detracts from the story. Without the baby, Isa could still be an unreliable narrator—her memories of events are viewed through the lens of a naive young girl who seems enchanted with Ambrose, Kate, and Luc (the step-son/step-brother). More of the girls' time at school needed to be written and the other characters needed more attention. I found it a stretch that these girls were only friends for such a short time, yet remained so incredibly loyal over the span of 17 years. There was simply so much more to the story. Ware took a wrong direction, not in using Isa as our narrator, but with hinging so much of her character on being a mother. The boarding school, and the girls' past is paramount to the plot, yet none of the characters were really fleshed out.
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  • Stephanie
    May 29, 2017
    There is just something about Ruth Ware’s writing that makes her one of my favorite thriller writers today. She immediately hooks the reader from the very first page and doesn’t let go until the very last word with the book’s tension and quick pace. The Lying Game might not be as intense or thrilling as The Woman in Cabin 10 but instead, it is a much lighter suspense novel and more of a mystery. Yet, the entire time there is a deep feeling of cold, intense, menace permeating the atmosphere of th There is just something about Ruth Ware’s writing that makes her one of my favorite thriller writers today. She immediately hooks the reader from the very first page and doesn’t let go until the very last word with the book’s tension and quick pace. The Lying Game might not be as intense or thrilling as The Woman in Cabin 10 but instead, it is a much lighter suspense novel and more of a mystery. Yet, the entire time there is a deep feeling of cold, intense, menace permeating the atmosphere of the novel, which makes it classic, psychological Ware! I completely enjoyed the differences between The Lying Game and Ware’s previous books since it allows for much greater character development than Ware displayed in her previous books and as much as I enjoyed In a Dark Wood and The Woman In Cabin 10, I thought The Lying Game was a much more well-written book.Where this novel excels is bringing four adult and very different friends back together after almost twenty years, and she does so in a way that is not only realistic but is an addictive, intense, and absorbing read! Kate, Fatima, Thea, and Isa were best friends during their teenage years when they attended a Sultan, a boarding school. During that time, they were bound by their conniving game, “The Lying Game” and the consequences of a devastating lie. All four friends have a secret to hide, a secret that only they are supposed to know…Now it is present day, and their biggest lie has returned to haunt them with a vengeance as menacing threats proves that some unknown person knows their terrible secret. It’s fascinating to see how Ware has written about such a diverse and different group of women and how they each deal differently with the possibility of a secret they set in motion as teenagers coming to light. These are women who are mothers, professionals, and wives—one teenage lie being revealed to the world will have terrible consequences in different and awful ways for each woman. As I said, the book is more of a mystery instead of a thriller, and Ware masterfully weaves it as such with the story unlocking the hidden secrets of the four friend’s past lives. I found the book to be intense, fast-paced and filled with tension! The ending is shocking, unexpected, and explosive! If you enjoyed Ware’s other books, then you won’t be disappointed in her latest offering!Thank you, NetGalley, Gallery/Scout Press, and Ruth Ware for providing me with an ARC copy of The Lying Game to read in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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  • Catherine Faulkenburg
    May 16, 2017
    Wow. Will write more after I've processed it. But really good. Her best yet.This is the third novel of Ruth Ware that I've read. I picked her first up from the shelf at the library based on the cover and book flap. I devoured it. It reminded me a lot of books that I enjoyed reading growing up. Her sophomore attempt wasn't my favorite, but I still read it quickly.It's hard not to compare this book to her first two.. because it's not so much of a "thriller" as it is a feeling of cold dread. Four f Wow. Will write more after I've processed it. But really good. Her best yet.This is the third novel of Ruth Ware that I've read. I picked her first up from the shelf at the library based on the cover and book flap. I devoured it. It reminded me a lot of books that I enjoyed reading growing up. Her sophomore attempt wasn't my favorite, but I still read it quickly.It's hard not to compare this book to her first two.. because it's not so much of a "thriller" as it is a feeling of cold dread. Four friends gather at one's request.. and things are not what they seem. These girls were involved in something in their past, and Ruth Ware does a great job of teasing what happened. This book moved slowly, especially through the first half. But it was necessary to establish the characters and their relationships to one another. This may bother some readers, because here Ware departs from her previous two books.All in all, I think that this is the best book that Ruth Ware has written yet and I will pick up anything she writes from here on out.*Thanks go to Netgalley for providing an ARC for me to read. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and ideas are my own.*
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  • Beth
    May 23, 2017
    When Kate texts "I need you," Isa, Fatima, and Thea know they must drop everything and rush back to the small seaside town they left in disgrace all those years before. Tied together by a dangerous secret and a vow to never lie to each other, they fear the past is washing back up on shore, a past that may ruin their presents. As Isa remembers her brief time at the private school she is exiled to and the events leading to their biggest lie, the women are threatened by an unknown player who could When Kate texts "I need you," Isa, Fatima, and Thea know they must drop everything and rush back to the small seaside town they left in disgrace all those years before. Tied together by a dangerous secret and a vow to never lie to each other, they fear the past is washing back up on shore, a past that may ruin their presents. As Isa remembers her brief time at the private school she is exiled to and the events leading to their biggest lie, the women are threatened by an unknown player who could ruin everything.Not quite as thrillings her previous two novels, still a fine and quick summer read. I wish more time was spent exploring some of the other characters besides the four main girls or if the reader was given another POV besides Isa's. I did feel the depictions of Isa's new motherhood and the fear/love she has for her six-month-old daughter were very accurate, especially the complete and utter lack of personal space new nursing mother's have. Ware captured that claustrophobia and sense of pride very well.Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC.
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  • Sharon
    May 20, 2017
    Isa, Fatima, Thea, and Kate have been best friends since they first met at boarding school. For a time, they were inseparable- sharing new experiences, secrets, and the game of lies- where anyone besides their close quartet was fair game for deception. Eventually, though, the game ends with a lie so big that it tears them apart even while it binds their loyalty. Expelled and taken away from each other, time passes and the girls try to bury the lie and build lives for themselves- until years late Isa, Fatima, Thea, and Kate have been best friends since they first met at boarding school. For a time, they were inseparable- sharing new experiences, secrets, and the game of lies- where anyone besides their close quartet was fair game for deception. Eventually, though, the game ends with a lie so big that it tears them apart even while it binds their loyalty. Expelled and taken away from each other, time passes and the girls try to bury the lie and build lives for themselves- until years later when Kate calls her friends to warn them that the truth is threatening to come to light.Fans of Ware's thrillers will not be disappointed with her latest novel, which ekes out the truth through past and present timelines. Many characters will come under suspicion, clues will be examined, and shocking secrets will be revealed, all while the reader enjoys every page.Thank you to Netgalley, Gallery/Scout Press and Simon & Schuster for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Nancy McFarlane
    May 15, 2017
    The Lying Game is not so much a thriller as it is a mystery which gives us an intense look at the lives of 4 young teens who happened to find each other when they were the most vulnerable, needy and alone. They met for the first time at a boarding school almost by accident when one of the girls lied to a headmistress to protect one of the other students she had just met. The four quickly became close friends and continued their lying as part of a so called ‘lying game’. Their innocence, if there The Lying Game is not so much a thriller as it is a mystery which gives us an intense look at the lives of 4 young teens who happened to find each other when they were the most vulnerable, needy and alone. They met for the first time at a boarding school almost by accident when one of the girls lied to a headmistress to protect one of the other students she had just met. The four quickly became close friends and continued their lying as part of a so called ‘lying game’. Their innocence, if there ever was any, was totally gone by the end of their first year when they are forced to leave the school because of a scandal. In addition to what they were supposidly involved in they also end up helping in the covering up of a death never realizing how it would affect their future. The Lying Game is a beautifully written story of love, betrayal and guilt. It is also a story of hope, selflessness, and sacrifice.
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  • Stefanie
    May 19, 2017
    I received an arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Although sometimes bogged by repetition, this dark and disturbing mystery doesn't disappoint. It is told through Isa's point of view, and the plot flips between the present and school memories. The intensifying, plot-driven story has all the necessary tropes of a classic tragedy: foreshadowing, a mistake that can't be undone, a misunderstanding, an impulsive act, a fatal flaw, star-crossed romance, calamity and suffering, and a pl I received an arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Although sometimes bogged by repetition, this dark and disturbing mystery doesn't disappoint. It is told through Isa's point of view, and the plot flips between the present and school memories. The intensifying, plot-driven story has all the necessary tropes of a classic tragedy: foreshadowing, a mistake that can't be undone, a misunderstanding, an impulsive act, a fatal flaw, star-crossed romance, calamity and suffering, and a plot twist you won't see coming. The call for diversity in literature is gaining momentum, and The Lying Game delivers Fatima, a Muslim, whose parents spend a year volunteering in Pakistan. (One assumes that the other characters are white and Christian.) Fatima's religion is not mere mention, plopped in for the sake of heading the call for diversity, as some authors seem to do. Far from it. It forms Fatima's identity and her response to the problem. Salten House, The Reach, and the marsh together provide a gothic setting. They create a forbidding and dangerous atmosphere that works metaphorically for the women's relationship and their ability to find a way through their problem. They spend their fifth year of school together at Salten House, a shabby, castle-like building. Presently, Kate's home, The Reach, has fallen into disrepair, and it is sinking because it is not built on solid bedrock. The shifting marsh makes it difficult to navigate for sometimes it's hard to know if one's foot placement will set them on stable ground or oozing, slippery mud. Finally, it's hard to see the path when trekking through daytime fog and nighttime darkness. This dark and intensifying mystery will keep the pages turning.
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  • Sara Tucker
    May 24, 2017
    I love Ruth Ware, but the plot of The Lying Game felt a little too similar to that of In a Dark, Dark Wood: a group of school friends mostly isolated in a big house with lots of secrets between them. I wasn't really put off by the similarity, though, and the first ~80% of this book had me riveted. The conclusion, however, was a bit of a let down and left a fair amount to be desired. (view spoiler)[I enjoyed trying to figure out the dynamic between Ambrose, Luc, and Kate, and I appreciated the mu I love Ruth Ware, but the plot of The Lying Game felt a little too similar to that of In a Dark, Dark Wood: a group of school friends mostly isolated in a big house with lots of secrets between them. I wasn't really put off by the similarity, though, and the first ~80% of this book had me riveted. The conclusion, however, was a bit of a let down and left a fair amount to be desired. (view spoiler)[I enjoyed trying to figure out the dynamic between Ambrose, Luc, and Kate, and I appreciated the murderous conclusion. I felt like there were a few holes in the suicide note plot line, though, and some of the conclusions Ware has her characters making seemed a bit of a stretch. (hide spoiler)]Overall, another good Ware story, and a quick, compelling read. But if you're looking for a great conclusion/wrap-up, I might try The Woman in Cabin 10, which is still my favorite of Ware's books.
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  • Jane Sibley
    May 31, 2017
    I really enjoyed this one! I haven't read anything else by the author but I will now. The feel of this book seems a little one dimensional to start with and I was thinking oh I know what's going to happen then it went in a totally different direction. It was easy to fall into that trap all the way through the book. I did at times think this was a bit unbelievable but in a clever way the author drew me back in with plausible scenarios and ideas. It is a very interesting take on how far lying and I really enjoyed this one! I haven't read anything else by the author but I will now. The feel of this book seems a little one dimensional to start with and I was thinking oh I know what's going to happen then it went in a totally different direction. It was easy to fall into that trap all the way through the book. I did at times think this was a bit unbelievable but in a clever way the author drew me back in with plausible scenarios and ideas. It is a very interesting take on how far lying and dishonesty can have long term effects and how people's lives are never as simple as they seem. A complex and thoughtful read. Publication date July 20 2017. Thanks to NetGalley and Gallery,Threshold, Pocketbooks for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Pleides Ostra
    May 7, 2017
    This was really good story about friends and the lengths they will go to protect each other. I was very eager to read this as I have read In a Dark Dark Wood and loved it! I originally thought this was going to be another suspense however I didn't find that here. Instead I found a mysterious event that happened about 17 years prior to the current lives of the characters. It reminded me of a drama, four girls, boarding school, remote setting....and a number of years later they are all called back This was really good story about friends and the lengths they will go to protect each other. I was very eager to read this as I have read In a Dark Dark Wood and loved it! I originally thought this was going to be another suspense however I didn't find that here. Instead I found a mysterious event that happened about 17 years prior to the current lives of the characters. It reminded me of a drama, four girls, boarding school, remote setting....and a number of years later they are all called back to the place they met. It deals with coming to terms with what we think we know, who we were and who we have become.
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  • Jen
    May 5, 2017
    I received this as an ARC on NetGalley, so thank you to the publisher. Overall, this was a good psychological thriller keeping in line with so many of the others that are peppering the market now. I haven't read the first two Ware novels, and appreciate that she's not writing a series so that I could read this book "out of order." The pacing was good, although I did find the story itself seemed a bit long. Although I sympathized with Isa, the main voice in this story, most of the time, she's qui I received this as an ARC on NetGalley, so thank you to the publisher. Overall, this was a good psychological thriller keeping in line with so many of the others that are peppering the market now. I haven't read the first two Ware novels, and appreciate that she's not writing a series so that I could read this book "out of order." The pacing was good, although I did find the story itself seemed a bit long. Although I sympathized with Isa, the main voice in this story, most of the time, she's quite an anti-hero at times. This is definitely a good read for anyone who's be enjoying psychological thrillers featuring women such as Gone Girl, The Couple Next Door, or The Widow.
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  • Kimberly
    May 14, 2017
    Isa Wilde, a lawyer and new mother, has left her youthful, boarding school days behind her, but it only takes one text to bring the past into her present: I need you. That one text from Kate lures Isa back into the world of Salten and into the lying game. The Lying Game feels less like a thriller and more like a standard mystery, a slow-to-start mystery at that. The sinister, creepy atmospheres I anticipate from Ware are diluted or missing. The descriptions and dialogue, while beautiful, feel st Isa Wilde, a lawyer and new mother, has left her youthful, boarding school days behind her, but it only takes one text to bring the past into her present: I need you. That one text from Kate lures Isa back into the world of Salten and into the lying game. The Lying Game feels less like a thriller and more like a standard mystery, a slow-to-start mystery at that. The sinister, creepy atmospheres I anticipate from Ware are diluted or missing. The descriptions and dialogue, while beautiful, feel stretched—like maybe they are pulled too far? The boarding school flashbacks are clever—Ware really is a brilliant writer, but I don’t particularly like any of her characters. To be fair, I haven’t liked any of Ware’s protagonists. Ware is so talented at crafting flawed characters, characters I can simultaneously relate to and dislike. Fans of Ware’s other novels will enjoy this one, but perhaps not as much. I will definitely read her next novel even if I am a tad disappointed in The Lying Game. Props to the cover design--very appealing! Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my copy.
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