The Lying Game by Ruth Ware // Mind-Warping and Enriching

Tuesday, 18 July 2017
The Lying Game, by Ruth Ware
Publication: July 25, 2017, by Simon and Schuster Canada
Genre: Adult Fiction, Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

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.

My Thoughts:

Every summer, I find that a common tradition for me is to read Ruth Ware's latest mystery/psychological thriller. It has been like that every year. Last year, I was SO fortunate to read The Woman in Cabin 10, which was phenomenal. I was so excited to see The Lying Game pop up in my mailbox, and I knew I had to read it instantly. This was a story that I can easily classify as "messed up," in a good way of course. It was just so warped and creepy that it haunted me for a few days afterwards. If you enjoy mysteries and suspense stories that do not reveal the truth to you until you reach the end, then this is the right book for you. Ruth Ware failed to disappoint for a third time, and I love the premise of this story and how realistic it was.

Ware mixed in so many creepy things and threw them together to form a mystery story. We had a friendship of four girls, including our protagonist, Isa, who were all so rebellious and who share a secret past. We have secrets, a creepy British town that is right beside a lake/body of water (that forms the creepiness for me), a baby (Isa's daughter), a suicide and so much more. Everything was just thought out perfectly. I cannot even imagine what kind of planning took place to form this kind of story. It's just phenomenal.

So - you may be asking yourself, "what is this mystery story even about?" Well, it is all about the Lying Game, a game that four best friends formed back when they were teenagers in a boarding school. There are various rules to this game that are revealed throughout the novel, and we cannot help but wonder what will happen and why these women are suddenly brought together again. Well, it seems as if their past has come to haunt them again. Our protagonist, Isa, is a woman on maternity leave as she cares for her daughter in her London home. She is living a good life until one of her old friends, Kate, contacts her, telling her that she needs her. It's awfully mysterious and suspicious. The four girls are then spiralling into their past again, discovering answers to the questions that they buried deep.

At first, I was wondering why Isa did what she did. Why she decided to go help Kate again. But, it then hit me, showing me that this book secretly is about the powers of friendship... and lies. This book definitely gives us a lesson that our pasts will never leave us and could come haunt us at any given moment. This story as a whole had a deeper meaning than what we originally assume. Once you reach the ending, you'll fall into a state of shock that'll keep you from reading something else for a little while. Trust me.

The pacing of the story was disappointing. I found it to be really slow and uneventful in the beginning, causing me to give this a lower rating. I didn't feel captivated for the beginning part until Isa returned to Kate for the second time. This was the weakest point in the novel, but it definitely wasn't a part that made me want to regret reading it. Afterwards, everything sped up and the real suspense began, making me feel unable to put it down.

I also must admit that I loved each of the characters. Everyone had their own specific personality that made them stand out from each other. I found that having Isa as a protagonist was the best choice. I cannot imagine having Thea or Kate (the other friends), as our protagonist as I wasn't interested in their thoughts. Because Isa was a stronger woman mentally, and because she has a daughter, I felt that her character provided the most depth and development. She is a special character who displayed her strength throughout the whole story. At times, it seemed that she didn't really know what she wanted, but by the end, she figured out that her lying ways are part of who she is, and that she needs to keep her friends close. 

The Lying Game was practically everything I was searching for in a mystery story of Ruth Ware's. I wish she could release a new novel every six months instead of every year because THEY'RE ALL SO GOOD. I completely recommend this one, and I appreciated reading it so much because of the suspense, fabulous ending and unpredictability of it all. It's definitely going to be a book of the year for many people.

*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*

Have you read any books by Ruth Ware before? What is your latest favourite mystery story?

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