Publication Date: June 15th From Harvill Secker
Source: Review Copy
The text message is just three words: I need you.
Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her now.
Something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three best friends she hasn’t seen for years, but has never forgotten. Theirs is no cosy reunion: Salten isn’t a safe place for them, after what they did.
At school the girls used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. But for some, did the boundary between fact and fantasy become too blurred?
And how much can you really trust your friends?
I’ve loved both of Ruth Ware’s books to date and The Lying Game was probably the one I banged through fastest – once I was in I couldn’t get out again, sucker as I am for a good tale that involves school clique cover ups and future consequences. This author writes some of the twistiest tales out there and I’m never quite sure where she’s going until she gets there.
In The Lying Game we have four close friends who have hidden a horrible secret for years and now it is going to come back and haunt them. The group dynamic is tight and compelling, we follow along mostly with Isa, learning the back story and slowly discovering what has them so haunted. Cleverly done and intimately woven, The Lying Game is a mystery and a slow burn of a character drama, a beautifully done mix that keeps you turning the pages.
It is a little different from her other two novels, focusing more on the dynamics of the relationships than thrills and spills but certainly there are a few edge of the seat moments. The setting of Saltern is atmospherically described with the decay of the house the girls used to frequent equalling the decay in their current friendship as they all struggle to readjust and find a way out of an untenable situation.
I loved the village life focus, the wider cast suspicious and waiting – and the historical school elements were utterly fascinating. I refer you back to I’m a sucker for school cliques.
Overall a really great read once again from Ruth Ware and honestly I can’t wait to see what she does next having managed to write three very different novels already each one captivating me entirely.