Book Review | “The Lying Game”

Review By05
Susan Fratangelo

After reading “The Woman in Cabin 10” months ago and really enjoying it, I saw another Ruth Ware book, “The Lying Game” and decided to check it out. This book was not a fast paced read, but still a juicy mystery probably better suited for female audiences.

The book is written from the perspective of Isa, one of four girls that formed a clique when they were 15 and attending a boarding school called Salten House set near the English Channel.

The Rules for the lying game are:

1) Tell a Lie
2) Stick to your story
3) Don’t get caught
4) Never lie to each other
5) Know when to stop Lying

The girls were notorious liars complete with a point system and formed an inseparable bond. Their little lying game ends up having consequences and all four girls are expelled. The mysterious circumstances involve risqué paintings of the girls and the disappearance of their beloved art teacher, Ambrose (also Kate’s father).

At the beginning of the story, three of the friends, Isa, Thea and Fatima receive an alarming text from their friend Kate that says: “I need you.” Without question they all travel to the coastal village of Salten, along a tidal estuary known as the Reach to The Mill where Kate lives. It seems some bones have been discovered nearby and Kate wants everyone to “get their stories straight.” On the same day that the friends arrive, a dead, gutted sheep ends up on Kate’s property with an ominous note.

The friends have kept a secret for 16 years and don’t want to get implicated because it would destroy their now comfortable lives. The author weaves a plausible mystery that delivers a few expected twists. The questions that arise and need to be answered are: Did Ambrose commit suicide or was he murdered? Did Luc Kate’s stepbrother, have a hand in this web? Who is blackmailing Kate? Who is lying and why? And finally, will the girls finally know the truth and learn that their lying game was a game of deceit.

Other books by Ruth Ware available at Jefferson Carnegie Library include In A Dark, Dark Wood and The Death of Mrs. Westaway.

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