Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Fiction Review: The Lying Game

One of the first books I read for this fall's R.I.P. (Readers Imbibing Peril) Challenge was The Lying Game by Ruth Ware, since she is a favorite thriller author of me and my husband, and you can always count on her novels to be gripping and suspenseful. This one was no exception.

Four adult women--Fatima, Thea, Isa, and Kate--went to boarding school together seventeen years ago, but they have lost touch as they have each moved onto their adult lives. Out of the blue, Kate texts the other three women, I need you. Immediately, all three of them drop everything in their lives to drive or take the train back to Salten, where they all went to school and where Kate still lives in the rickety house on the water--practically in the water now--where they all spent weekends while they were in school. Fatima leaves her husband and children in London, as well as her medical practice; Thea heads out after her late shift at the casino; and Isa tells her husband she is going to an impromptu reunion with her school friends and brings hear baby, Freya, with her on the train. Each of them texts, I'm coming, as they head toward the coast. When the girls were in school together in Salten, they played The Lying Game, trying to outdo each other with lies, scoring points for convincing someone else to believe them, the more outrageous the lie, the better. Something happened back then, some sort of disaster, to bring their time at Salten to an abrupt close, but they had always promised each other ... if one of them needed the others, they would come. Now, something has happened to bring the past into the present.

The narrative shifts back and forth from the past, when the girls were at Salten together, starting with Isa's first day, to the present, as their old secrets and lies begin to unravel. As with all of Ware's thrillers, this one is complex and super-twisty and kept me guessing right up till the end. About halfway through, I said to my husband, "I think I figured everything out, but I'm only halfway." He smiled and just said, "Keep reading!" As usual, Ware still had plenty of surprises in store. Here, as in many of her novels, the location and setting take center stage, with Kate's crumbling house on the sea and the surrounding marshland forming the basis for both their past memories and their present problems. This was a great choice for the R.I.P. Challenge, with the features I like most about the books I read at this time of year: it was fast-paced, compelling, and twisty, a can't-put-it-down book perfect for fall!

424 pages, Pocket Books

Simon & Schuster Audio

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  1. I like Ruth Ware and haven't read this one. I'll have to add it to my list.

  2. Sounds like one I’d like to read, thanks for sharing your thoughts