The Lying Game
July 25, 2017
Advanced Reader Copy
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.
This is the type of thriller that I like best. A slow burning tale with an emphasis not just on the tense or shocking plot twists, but on the characters. A story about four prep school friends who play a game that involves lying to win points. When something goes down and they are expelled from school, three of the four wander off to different places, until they are gathered back together years later, when one of their lies implodes. The story alternates between present time, and the events of the past, which bind these four together. There isn't any slam you over the head plot twist, I kind of figured out the who dunnit, but I was still glued to this one in anticipation of how it was all going to go down. I really took to these characters, even though some were not all that likeable, which is a credit to the author's writing style.
I thoroughly enjoyed this slow burning thriller, and as long as you are not looking for something jaw dropping in intensity, I think this one would be a great choice.