From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabincomes Ruth Ware s chilling new novelOn 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 sinisterThe 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


10 thoughts on “The Lying Game

  1. Meredith Meredith says:

    Unpopular opinion alert This book didn t work for me The Lying Game is a slow burning psychological thriller about four friends who are bound together by lies A lie can outlast any truth When 15 year old Isa Wilde is sent to coastal boarding school, Salten, she quickly befriends Kate, Thea, and Fatima The girls participate in a game, called The Lying Game, which isolates their classmates and causes local townies to hate them There are 5 rules to the game TELL A LIE, STICK TO YOUR Unpopular opinion alert This book didn t work for me The Lying Game is a slow burning psychological thriller about four friends who are bound together by lies A lie can outlast any truth When 15 year old Isa Wilde is sent to coastal boarding school, Salten, she quickly befriends Kate, Thea, and Fatima The girls participate in a game, called The Lying Game, which isolates their classmates and causes local townies to hate them There are 5 rules to the game TELL A LIE, STICK TO YOUR STORY, DON T GET CAUGHT, NEVER LIE TO EACH OTHER, KNOW WHEN TO STOP LYING After a horrible event occurs leading to the expulsion of the liars, the game ends but the girls never stop lying They make a pact to never share what really happened, and keep the secret buried for 17 years Switch to the present, and Isa is a 32 year old attorney living in London with her newborn daughter, Freya, and partner, Owen She s lost contact with the other girls, but when she receives a text from Kate simply stating, I need you, she drops everything and runs to her friend s side Kate, Isa, Thea and Fatima reunite, desperate to keep their secret under wraps It soon becomes apparent that one of them has broken perhaps the most pivotal rule NEVER LIE TO EACH OTHER Told from Isa s perspective, the narrative switches back and forth between the past and present Isa shares a lot about how things used to be, and while the narrative shifts to the past we only get small glimpses of the friends time together, which hindered my ability to really get a full picture of their friendship This is one of the reasons I had trouble with this book I also found Isa s voice stifling The Lying Game isn t bad, it s just not great While it s very well written, there was something lacking for me Often, I was bored but this might be because I figured out the mystery super early on I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review


  2. Sam Quixote Sam Quixote says:

    Four high school friends now in their thirties reunite after a terrible shared secret threatens to emerge and shatter their peaceful lives But what they thought was a shared secret turns out to be a lie one of them isn t telling the truth I really enjoyed Ruth Ware s debut novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood, and was disappointed with the poor follow up, last year s The Woman in Cabin 10, so I hoped The Lying Game would be a return to form it s not The Lying Game is awful looks like Ruth Ware is Four high school friends now in their thirties reunite after a terrible shared secret threatens to emerge and shatter their peaceful lives But what they thought was a shared secret turns out to be a lie one of them isn t telling the truth I really enjoyed Ruth Ware s debut novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood, and was disappointed with the poor follow up, last year s The Woman in Cabin 10, so I hoped The Lying Game would be a return to form it s not The Lying Game is awful looks like Ruth Ware is a one hit wonder This non thriller horribly takes its time, ambling towards the reveal of the mystery at the novel s core, along the way introducing us to its cast of uninteresting nobodies in a small, dreary coastal town The dark secret is underwhelming to say the least, particularly as it s built up to be something utterly shocking I guess what they did is morally questionable but I thought it was going to be much, much worse than it was Things don t improve in the second half of the book Ware wastestime on the impossibly mundane life of Isa, our narrator, who has boring quarrels with her husband this, like too many passages clogging the narrative what did having a baby add exactly , has NOTHING to do with ANYTHING, I just kept thinking GET THE FUCK ON WITH IT as the pathetic plot shuffles towards a dull final twist that I couldn t have cared less about at that point, and then the whole disaster is wrapped up It s never really clear what exactly the point was The four friends gather and talk about what they did but don t really do anything further it s not just a lack of any character s discernible motivation, it s a total absence of direction which only accentuates the turgid pacing of the book A menacing figure, Luc, is introduced but other than wondering whether or not he killed a sheep another go nowhere subplot , it s not clear at all what his purpose is his presence only makes sense with the final twist so up til then he feels like another superfluous addition to this overlong novel The mystery itself is flimsy at best It was only a mystery to us because the details are slowly parcelled out if it was revealed at once you d be able to poke holes in its flawed construction, as the main character does once she begins to think about it But why wouldn t she have thought about it at the time or at any time in the 16 or so years since it happened It s such contrived drivel No aspect of The Lying Game was interesting or worth reading It was a supremely tedious, unremarkable and unsatisfying novel that s put me off of picking up anything by Ruth Ware in the future I highly recommend her only good novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood, which is exciting and fun, though I d steer well clear of her other books


  3. Miranda Reads Miranda Reads says:

    2.5 stars Here, in this house the ghosts of our past are real Isabel, Kate, Fatima, and Thea were inseparable during their boarding school days.They had a game a wild, hilarious and crazy game that bonded these girls together The biggest rule Stick to your lie A lie can outlast any truth. They awarded points based off of the most outrageous lie, who believed them and if they ever had to give up the truth They were young, and wild, and free until that night.Something happenedth 2.5 stars Here, in this house the ghosts of our past are real Isabel, Kate, Fatima, and Thea were inseparable during their boarding school days.They had a game a wild, hilarious and crazy game that bonded these girls together The biggest rule Stick to your lie A lie can outlast any truth. They awarded points based off of the most outrageous lie, who believed them and if they ever had to give up the truth They were young, and wild, and free until that night.Something happenedthat night something that irrevocably changed their futures and everything about them.Now, years later, they can barely look each other in the eye but if one of them calls for help, they all come running Because some liesaren t meant to be forgotten And it s a story about hope about how we have to go on, after the unbearable has happened Make the most of our lives, for the sake of the people who gave theirs. Overall, it was good, but notthatgood.So, for the most part, I enjoyed this one It was fun to piece together the puzzle and Ware scattered enough clues to keep me interested in the plot.However and this is a BIG however , this is the third novel of Ware s where the plot completely circles around hiding the truth for no apparent reasonin fact, if the characters would just tell each other the truth then there would literally be noplot Poof Nothing.But instead, they all have to lie, lie and lie somewhich ends up stretching a relatively uncomplicated secret into a full length novel It s just frustrating that Ware is leaning on this lying crutch for the third novel in a row.And for some reason , we are constantly using this hugely and uselessly poetical language throughout the novel which makes everything three times longer I close my eyes, listening to the sound of the past, imagining myself back into the skin of the girl I once was, a girl whose friends were still around her, whose mistakes were ahead of her Oh goodlawd girl, get to the point already Audiobook CommentsRead by Imogen Church and am I the only one struggling with the audio Church provides an excellent narrationbut seems to use the same tone inflection for every Ware novel she reads It s so similar that I actually forget which novel I m in YouTube Blog Instagram Twitter Snapchat miranda.reads Happy Reading


  4. Felice Laverne Felice Laverne says:

    years on, people round here still use your names as a kind of salacious cautionary tale It s rare that I stumble upon a read as gripping and as raw as this one was And, it was not an outright or vulgar kind of raw no, that wouldn t really be the English way, now would it but Ruth Ware s The Lying Game was something arguably so much better, because it didn t lean on outright shock, melodrama and over the top confrontations No, here the rawness is in the imagery, a true reader s delight, becyears on, people round here still use your names as a kind of salacious cautionary tale It s rare that I stumble upon a read as gripping and as raw as this one was And, it was not an outright or vulgar kind of raw no, that wouldn t really be the English way, now would it but Ruth Ware s The Lying Game was something arguably so much better, because it didn t lean on outright shock, melodrama and over the top confrontations No, here the rawness is in the imagery, a true reader s delight, because it pulled at the senses and plucked at our moral strings in unpredictable ways, in ways that were altogether unexpected when I picked up this novel.Here, the reader will peep behind the closed doors of a partially secluded English home at the edge of a reach, a place where the water laps at the very door of the home in high tide just as danger and uncertainty laps at their feet from the moment they receive Kate s SOS text I need you Once a place of refuge and harbor, the Reach has turned into a silent stomping ground for their greatest fears and will forever be a magnet of both dread and longing for each of the women in this sisterhood Kate, Thea, Fatima and Isa share a secret that bonds them together tighter than blood ever could And it starts and ends with the Reach The gentle suspense here was wonderful, but even it was heightened and magnified like a fly under a magnifying glass by the camaraderie that held these four unlikely friends together nearly 20 years after that fateful night you could feel their anxieties, mistrust and the burn of their lies scorching your very skin as you read on Ware swirled so much unexpected goodness into these pages that I was amazed at her deftness and insight This glimpse into their world was so muchthan just that it was the peeling back of the layers of humanity within ourselves and at the lengths that we will go to protect one of our own The very act of peeling seemed to be almost a metaphorical foundation the peeling away of clothes wet from the waters of the Reach, of skin around ragged fingernails chewed nearly to the quick, of secrets from the truth they d all stood on as their foundation for years And, too, within these pages you ll find other hidden nuggets, like a subtle commentary on the cultural insensitivity Muslims face every dayWhat do you think it means If you think it means that she s using that head scarf as a bandage, then yes, that s what I mean It s great that Allah s forgiven you but I doubt the police will take that as a plea bargainthe bond of family blood and otherwise and a true sense of setting and surroundings It gives the whole place a melancholy air, like those sultry southern American towns, where the Spanish moss hangs thick from the trees, swaying in the wind. The town of Salten was embedded in true English culture, making the characters all leap to life on the pages, the values of this tight knit society playing an important role in the unfolding of events The Lying Game managed to be about so muchthan lying though those moments of actual game play were delightful, fun, frisky and filled with all of the carefreeness of youth that we all remember, that we all yearn to hold on to even now It was also about the grip of a parent s love and protection of their children, small town scandal and the whisper of child sexual abuse How dare you judge me I do what I have to do to sleep at night So do you, apparently How about you respect my coping mechanisms and I ll respect yours Ruth Ware gave her readers a phenomenal roller coaster of twists and turns I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would be happy to readfrom this author any day The setting was palpable, the sisterhood and kinship of these women SO relatable These women felt real their faults and growth felt real and it made me want to follow them throughout these 300 pages The camaraderie was palpable, lifelike, believable and touching There was no bow tie happy ending here and I respected that, yearned for that, in fact Ware had the guts to not put a ribbon on it for us, and her readers can only revere her for that I loved every moment of reading this novel and I m definitely a Ruth Ware fan from here on out The Lying Game easily earned itself a very strong 4 stars I ve downgraded this review from a 5 to a very strong 4 read, because the 5 nagged at me I reserve that for the absolutely breath taking works of writing, and this was not quite that, though it was exceptionally well done I received an advance read copy of this book from the publisher, Gallery Scout Press, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review FOLLOW ME HERE Goodreads Twitter Instagram Get a Copy of My Book Book Editing, Author Coaching, Submit Your Book to Me


  5. Paromjit Paromjit says:

    This is an atmospheric and eerie psychological thriller from Ruth Ware Take four teenage schoolfriends who set up a group that vies to create the most outlandish lies that they can get others to believe, and what you have is a recipe for potentially horrifying outcomes This is exactly what the author does, creating two time lines when something terrible happens that results in the four girls being expelled from their school, although this does not stop them from lying Their one proviso is tha This is an atmospheric and eerie psychological thriller from Ruth Ware Take four teenage schoolfriends who set up a group that vies to create the most outlandish lies that they can get others to believe, and what you have is a recipe for potentially horrifying outcomes This is exactly what the author does, creating two time lines when something terrible happens that results in the four girls being expelled from their school, although this does not stop them from lying Their one proviso is that they must tell the truth to one another, however, when you specialise in lying, that may be a bit of a tall order In the present, the four friends have not seen each other in years Isa is now a 32 year old lawyer, with a partner, Owen, and baby daughter, Freya, she is a woman with everything to lose She gets a text from Kate saying that she needs her The narrative is delivered from Isa s perspective, filling us in on their past and what is now happening in the present.Isa rushes to Kate, and they are joined by Thea and Fatima, they are tense and disturbed at the possibility that the secret that they have kept for seventeen years is about to emerge We are slowly taken back to their schooldays at Salten, a boarding school We see their relationships build, and how their group was set up Their Lying Game, which seemed so much fun at the time, creates divisions and isolates others, and the locals are none too happy either Then the awful event occurs and they lie their way through that Are their secrets from the past now set to emerge This is a beautifully written novel with both suspense and twists However, whilst we do get a clear idea of the characters of Kate and Isa, we are leftin the dark about Thea and Fatima, which is a shame A great read that focuses on the issues of love, deception, trust and relationships However, whilst I derived enjoyment from reading it, it did have too many strong echoes of her book, In a Dark Dark Wood I hope the author does not keep repeating the same motifs in her future books and finds new territory to explore Many thanks to Random House Vintage for an ARC


  6. Carol (Bookaria) Carol (Bookaria) says:

    A story of female friendship, lies and deceit.This one had my heart pumping till the very end and I m glad to see Ruth Ware delivering again.The book tells the story of four friends who met in a boarding school when they were teenagers They played the lying game until something happened and they were withdrawn from the school Seventeen years later the last lie they told has come to haunt them The novel takes place in London and also in an English coastal town The story is narrated by Isa W A story of female friendship, lies and deceit.This one had my heart pumping till the very end and I m glad to see Ruth Ware delivering again.The book tells the story of four friends who met in a boarding school when they were teenagers They played the lying game until something happened and they were withdrawn from the school Seventeen years later the last lie they told has come to haunt them The novel takes place in London and also in an English coastal town The story is narrated by Isa Wilde, one of the four friends and alternates between the present and the past image source I felt the tone was very gothic because of the descriptions and actions at the end Also, the book ischaracter than plot driven and is engaging, riveting, and chilling.Overall, I loved this book and recommend it to all.Review posted on blog.FINAL NOTE whenever I pictured the English boarding school then Hogwarts came to mind Don t ask me why, it just did


  7. Kaceey Kaceey says:

    It s The game It s the lying game.Rule one Tell a lieFour young girls all sent by their parents to a boarding school for various issues They quickly form strong bonds, becoming inseparable Their favorite form of amusement The lying game Rule two Stick to your storyHow far can you take a lie Everyone has to stay on the same page or it will all unravel Rule three Don t get caughtYears later they re all brought back to the small town near the boarding school, where their biggest lie is a It s The game It s the lying game.Rule one Tell a lieFour young girls all sent by their parents to a boarding school for various issues They quickly form strong bonds, becoming inseparable Their favorite form of amusement The lying game Rule two Stick to your storyHow far can you take a lie Everyone has to stay on the same page or it will all unravel Rule three Don t get caughtYears later they re all brought back to the small town near the boarding school, where their biggest lie is about to be exposed to all And they aren t young girls any There is so muchon the line now Rule four Never lie to each other Can the four women really trust each other Who has the most to lose Is everything they ve believed to be the truth since boarding school be a lie Rule five Know when to stop lying Now with families and careers in jeopardy, it s time to re evaluate the game The premise of this book sounded fantastic With all the blatant lying going on, I was hopeful for something unexpected Unfortunately this one just fell flat for me I had difficulty connecting with the characters and actually found a few of them downright annoying Just too slow without any real surprises or reward along the way.There are a lot of mixed reviews for this one, so if it s on your list give it a try It might work for you I hope it does The best part for me my reading experience with my Traveling Sisters Brenda and Susanne And that s no lie


  8. Julie Julie says:

    The Lying Game by Ruth Ware is a 2017 Gallery Scout publication This latest thriller, by Ruth Ware, is an all consuming, riveting tale, full of mind games and edgy suspense Isabel, Kate, Fatima, and Thea became fast friends while attending Salten boarding school, as teenagers They began the lying game to liven up their stay at the school, garnering them a terrible reputation on campus But, ironically, their practice of lying came in handy, when they found themselves involved in a scandal The Lying Game by Ruth Ware is a 2017 Gallery Scout publication This latest thriller, by Ruth Ware, is an all consuming, riveting tale, full of mind games and edgy suspense Isabel, Kate, Fatima, and Thea became fast friends while attending Salten boarding school, as teenagers They began the lying game to liven up their stay at the school, garnering them a terrible reputation on campus But, ironically, their practice of lying came in handy, when they found themselves involved in a scandal that forced them out of the school Now, as adults, the women have moved on with their lives the best way they can, but they all live in fear of the day they will be summoned back to Salten to answer for their crimes That day has finally arrived Isabel, Fatima and Thea all receive a text message from Kate I need you This story is moody and atmospheric, with a heavy feeling of foreboding percolating in the background Ware had me on edge right from the start and kept me there until I crossed the finish line The consequences of lying are numerous, and we all know that lies cultivatelies It s a vicious cycle But, it s especially brutal for Isabel, Kate, Thea, and Fatima, who have all lived with their lies, precariously balanced on a precipice, knowing their dark secret could be discovered at any moment When it looks like their worst fears are about to be realized, it forces them to polish up their lying skills once again only this time, it s not a game When you define yourself by walls, who s in, who s out The people on the other side of the wall become, not just them, but THEM The outsiders The opposition The enemy Isabel is the narrator of this story, and gives an accounting of the girl s pasts, and the events of the present that brought them back together after all these years What am I coming to I am as bad as Kate, haunted by ghosts of the past But, I remember lying here, one night, long ago, and I have that feeling again, of the record skipping in its groove, tracing and retracing the same voices and tracks With her stable home life at stake, Isabel has a great deal to lose if the truth were ever exposed But, all the characters are complex and flawed, nervous, and jumpy, and under an equal amount of pressure But, with their reputations preceding them, it is impossible to completely trust any of them A wall, after all, isn t just about keeping others out It can also be for trapping people inside I enjoyed the setting in this one, the guessing game, the dramas, confessions, and the surprising twists, all of which are important for any psychological thriller, but this book almost has a Gothic undertone, which of course, I found very appealing.The suspense is mostly derived from the foreshadowing of doom, and is muchpsychological than thriller, if that makes sense Ware s style, after only two novels, won her the moniker of the Agatha Christie of our time , but, this one may seem like a kinder, gentler version of Ware, who seems to have altered her style of writing just a little bit with this one This one is not quite as gritty as her previous novels have been, but I liked thein depth characterizations and the clever way she creates long lasting suspense that hangs in the air like a mist that refuses to burn off, becoming murkier andintense as the story proceeds But, never fear, there are still lots of surprises and twists that will catch you off guard Overall, this is another very solid performance from Ware, and I enjoyed this one, especially appreciating the tone, which is very much the style of suspense I enjoy most 4 stars


  9. megs_bookrack megs_bookrack says:

    Meg s Ruth Ware Ratings 1 The Turn of the Key 5 stars2The Lying Game4.5 stars3 The Death of Mrs Westaway 4 stars4 In a Dark, Dark Wood 3.5 stars5 The Woman in Cabin 10 3 starsWhen Isa Wilde receives a text from one of her dear friends, Kate, that states, I need you , she packs her bag, her infant daughter and boards a train No questions asked.Her destination, the remote, idyllic coastal town of Salten.There she is reunited with her ole boarding school chums Kate, Fatima and Meg s Ruth Ware Ratings 1 The Turn of the Key 5 stars2The Lying Game4.5 stars3 The Death of Mrs Westaway 4 stars4 In a Dark, Dark Wood 3.5 stars5 The Woman in Cabin 10 3 starsWhen Isa Wilde receives a text from one of her dear friends, Kate, that states, I need you , she packs her bag, her infant daughter and boards a train No questions asked.Her destination, the remote, idyllic coastal town of Salten.There she is reunited with her ole boarding school chums Kate, Fatima and Thea Think Mean Girls but nastier.Kate hasin mind than a friendly reunion however Recently, a local woman out walking her dog has just uncovered a bone, most likely human, and Kate is petrified of what the repercussions of this find may be She calls her old friends because they are the only ones, besides herself, who know the truth They have a secret A dark secret that they have been hiding for many years, but as we all know, secrets very seldom stay buried forever.I have previously read two of Ware s books, The Woman in Cabin 10 and The Death of Mrs Westaway I can easily say I enjoyed this one the most out of the three I think basically it boils down to the fact that boarding school stories are my jam The fact that this had a present day timeline, weaved together with flashbacks of boarding school days, was perfect for me I love boarding schools, I love mean girls fictionally and I love secrets that won t stay secret It was like this story was made for me I know it won t be for everyone, I can tell that from the ratingsAfter I finished The Woman in Cabin 10, I took all of Ware s other books off my TBR, so I am super glad that I, on a whim, decided to give this one a try Lesson Learned Never give up on an author, every work is different and everything deserves an honest try


  10. Norma Norma says:

    Traveling Sisters Review by NORMA and LINDSAY 4.5 stars Lindsay and I have both read all of Ruth Ware s previous novels and agree that this was definitely our favourite one thus far The book was divided into sections from the 5 rules of The Lying Game that the four friends participated in TELL A LIE, STICK TO YOUR STORY, DON T GET CAUGHT, NEVER LIE TO EACH OTHER, and KNOW WHEN TO STOP LYING As the novel progresses through these five rules you do get a sense of how the game is played.THE LYIN Traveling Sisters Review by NORMA and LINDSAY 4.5 stars Lindsay and I have both read all of Ruth Ware s previous novels and agree that this was definitely our favourite one thus far The book was divided into sections from the 5 rules of The Lying Game that the four friends participated in TELL A LIE, STICK TO YOUR STORY, DON T GET CAUGHT, NEVER LIE TO EACH OTHER, and KNOW WHEN TO STOP LYING As the novel progresses through these five rules you do get a sense of how the game is played.THE LYING GAME by RUTH WARE is an engrossing, intriguing, steady paced, and a suspenseful psychological thriller that grabbed our attention right from the very first page and had us reading and guessing right to the very end trying to figure out the secrets lying within the storyline.RUTH WARE delivers an atmospheric and vivid read here that is written in such a way that completely drew us right into the descriptions of the old, run down Mill and the dark, creepy, and deserted Reach With the strong sense of atmosphere we felt like we were experiencing it right along with all the characters in this book The mystery within this story is slowly revealed as it switches back and forth between the past and present and is told in Isa s perspective which allowed us to be completely absorbed in the character s lives until the very last page While Lindsay and I were reading and chatting about this one at one point we both picked up on and discussed how we both felt about the strong theme that was emanating within the story here We feel that a lot of mothers will especially connect with this novel as there is a strong theme of the mother child bond and breastfeeding The main character, Isa Wilde, who narrates this story has a six month old baby daughter named Freya who we both absolutely loved and felt that she definitely stole the show for us We were both in awe of how well RUTH WARE described in complete perfection the bond between a mother and her newborn child These were very touching aspects of the novel and pulled at our heartstrings While Lindsay was reading this book, it brought back a lot of memories for her of those sleep deprived nights and the fond feelings of being a new mother She could really relate to Isa in so many ways as far as motherhood goes We both really enjoyed the setting in this one, the game, all the drama within, and the strong connection that we felt to Isa was one of the main reasons that we both loved this book so much Would recommend All of our Traveling Sister Reads Reviews can be found on our blog