“Kate draws a long breath, and she looks up, her face shadowed by lamplight. But to my surprise, she doesn’t speak. Instead, she gets up and goes to the pile of newspapers in the scuttle by the stove, left there for lighting the logs. There is one on the top, the Salten Observer, and she holds it out, her wordless face shadowing all the fear she has been hiding this long, drunken evening. It is dated yesterday, and the headline on the front page is very simple: Human Bone Found in Reach”. -The Lying Game, Ruth Ware
It’s no secret that i’m a fan of thrillers. I mean, just look at my blog. Most of my reviews are mystery/thriller novels (i’m working on branching out, I promise). Last year, I read The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware and I enjoyed it somewhat. It wasn’t my favorite, but it was good. I didn’t have extremely high hopes for The Lying Game, but I was pleasantly surprised! This latest thriller, by Ware, is an all- consuming, compelling story, full of mind games and edgy suspense. It’s definitely more ‘psychological’ than thriller, but it remains intriguing with enough twists and turns to make it ‘unputdownable’.
Fifteen years after leaving Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel, A simple text “I need you” is sent from Kate to her three best friends from boarding school, Isa, Fatima and Thea. Within 24 hours they have left their jobs and families to rush to Kate’s side. The foursome became best friends in school and were infamous for playing the Lying Game, telling lies for fun to both fellow boarders and faculty. However, the game had consequences, and the girls were expelled in their final year of school under peculiar circumstances involving the death of the school’s art teacher and Kate’s dad, Ambrose.
The Lying Game is definitely more character driven than Ware’s previous novel, it’s oozing with human conflict and characterization. These women felt authentic; their faults and growth development felt real and it made me want to follow their journey throughout these 384 pages. Even the minor characters leave a solid impression on the reader. The setting for the story, which is a place in the English marshes, gave the novel such ambiance and intensity. I could feel myself trudging through the marshes with the characters and I could almost smell the decayed wood of Kate’s house that was slowly being swallowed by the marshland.
It is no secret that Ruth Ware’s writing is strong, and It was welcoming to read something a bit different than her norm. The Lying Game has probably been my favorite Ruth Ware read to date because it was gripping, immersive, and had wonderfully fleshed out characters. I look forward to reading anything and everything she writes in the future! You can learn more about Ruth Ware and her novels at http://www.ruthware.com/.