Book Review: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware


Book Title and Author: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
Publication date and Publisher: July 25, 2017 by Gallery/Scout Press
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
Pages: 320 pages
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Date Read: 05/29/17
4 Stars
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.
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.


There is just something about Ruth Ware’s writing that makes her one of my favorite thriller writers today. She immediately hooks the reader from the very first page and doesn’t let go until the very last word with the book’s tension and quick pace. The Lying Game might not be as intense or thrilling as The Woman in Cabin 10 but instead, it is a much lighter suspense novel and more of a mystery. Yet, the entire time there is a deep feeling of cold, intense, menace permeating the atmosphere of the novel, which makes it classic, psychological Ware! I completely enjoyed the differences between The Lying Game and Ware’s previous books since it allows for much greater character development than Ware displayed in her previous books and as much as I enjoyed In a Dark Wood and The Woman In Cabin 10, I thought The Lying Game was a much more well-written book.

Where this novel excels is bringing four adult and very different friends back together after almost twenty years, and she does so in a way that is not only realistic but is an addictive, intense, and absorbing read! Kate, Fatima, Thea, and Isa were best friends during their teenage years when they attended a Sultan, a boarding school. During that time, they were bound by their conniving game, “The Lying Game” and the consequences of a devastating lie. All four friends have a secret to hide, a secret that only they are supposed to know…

Now it is present day, and their biggest lie has returned to haunt them with a vengeance as menacing threats proves that some unknown person knows their terrible secret. It’s fascinating to see how Ware has written about such a diverse and different group of women and how they each deal differently with the possibility of a secret they set in motion as teenagers coming to light. These are women who are mothers, professionals, and wives—one teenage lie being revealed to the world will have terrible consequences in different and awful ways for each woman.

As I said, the book is more of a mystery instead of a thriller, and Ware masterfully weaves it as such with the story unlocking the hidden secrets of the four friend’s past lives. I found the book to be intense, fast-paced and filled with tension! The ending is shocking, unexpected, and explosive! If you enjoyed Ware’s other books, then you won’t be disappointed in her latest offering!

**Thank you, NetGalley, Gallery/Scout Press, and Ruth Ware for providing me with an ARC copy of The Lying Game to read in exchange for my fair and honest review. **


3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

  1. Great review! I haven’t read her other books after not enjoying In a Dark Dark Wood which I know I’m in the minority there as lots of people loved it. It sounds like her writing style has improved though so I may give this one a chance sometime:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks ! This one was much better. Out of her 3, Dark Dark Wood is my least favorite. I believe I only rated it 3 stars when I read it. But, Ware is super talented, and I think she’s really done a good job with this one!

      Liked by 1 person

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