Review: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

Title: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


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.


In Ruth Ware’s latest mystery, The Lying Game, four friends are reunited after a grisly discovery threatens to expose a secret they have been keeping for the past seventeen years.

Meeting at an isolated boarding school, Isa, Fatima, Thea and Kate quickly formed a close-knit friendship. They were not particularly well-liked by their classmates since their “lying game” made it impossible to trust them. Following a scandal involving Kate’s father, Ambrose, the girls were expelled and Isa, Thea and Fatima have not returned to Salten Reach in the intervening years. However, an urgent text from Kate, who remained in town, brings the other three women running after a shocking discovery on a nearby beach.

Isa is a new mom to a six month old daughter and they are the first to arrive in town. She is a fretful new mom who is constantly worried about her baby. Despite her best efforts to glean the reason for Kate’s summons, her friend refuses to divulge any information until all of the women are together.  They quickly fall back into their close friendship and they while away the hours reminiscing about their many adventures they shared while they were at boarding school.  However, Isa remains very uneasy about why Kate has brought them together.

The four women are shocked when Kate divulges the reason for their impromptu reunion and each of them are quite concerned about the effect this news will have on their lives.  Each of them has a lot to lose if their secret comes out but they all know it is only a matter of time before they will be answering a lot of uncomfortable questions. Equally stunning is their realization that Kate’s stepbrother Luc Rochefort also lives nearby and Isa’s recent encounter with him puts the four women on edge since he too has knowledge about the events that separated them seventeen years earlier.

The Lying Game is a somewhat atmospheric mystery that slowly wends its way to a very action packed conclusion.  Ruth Ware masterfully builds the tension until it reaches a fever pitch as Isa finally begins putting the various pieces of the puzzle into place. There are plenty of unexpected twists and turns in store for the foursome as the truth about the events preceding their expulsion from boarding school are revealed.  A completely enthralling novel that I absolutely love and highly recommend to fans of the genre.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Ruth Ware, Simon & Schuster Inc, Suspense, The Lying Game

One Response to Review: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

  1. Timitra

    Thanks for the review Kathy