Author: Ruth Ware
Published: July 25, 2017 by Scout Press
Hardcover: 368 pages
My Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
To Purchase: The Lying Game
This is the latest mystery novel by Ruth Ware, the author of In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10. It starts with the text message “I need you”, and with that all three women drop everything and come to the aid of their boarding school friend, Kate. A human bone has washed up on the shore and they all fear the worse. In chapters that switch between the past and the present, you really get to know these women, both how they were in school and how they are now. I especially liked the juxtaposition of Isa between how carefree and reckless she was in boarding school, as they all were, to how cautious and responsible she now is with her infant daughter. They are all very different women. Kate is an artist who had an unconventional family upbringing; Thea is a bit of a wild one who still doesn’t have her act together and works in a casino; Fatima is a doctor and a Muslim who wears a hijab; and Isa, the narrator of the story, is the mother of an infant child. Despite their differences, their friendship has stood the test of time and the book does a great job of exploring the friendship between the women.
It also does a good job of creating atmosphere. The book takes place in a sleepy little town by a river. From the seaside boarding school with it’s dorm rooms in the four towers of this massive brick building, to Kate’s rundown old mill house that sits on a river, you get a strong sense of place.
The book is divided into sections that lay out the basics of the lying game – a game that the girls made up while in school: Rule One – Tell a Lie, Rule Two – Stick to Your Story, Rule Three – Don’t Get Caught, and so forth. The author does a good job of giving you little bits of information that keep you interested and wanting more. The book also has some twists and turns, and you’re not sure who to trust. All qualities that make a good suspense novel. While I liked the book, I wasn’t blown away. All of her books are complete stand alones and can be read in any order, but if you’ve never read Ruth Ware, I wouldn’t start with The Lying Game – it is my least favorite.