by Ruth Ware
Narrator: Imogen Church
Length: 13 hours and 39 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4.5 cups
On a cool June morning, Isa Wilde, a resident of the seemingly idyllic coastal village of Salten, is walking her dog along a tidal estuary. Before she can stop him, Isa’s dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick—and to her horror, she discovers it’s not a stick at all…but a human bone. As her three best friends from childhood converge in Salten to comfort a seriously shaken-up Isa, terrifying discoveries are made, and their collective history slowly unravels. Tackling the slipperiness of your memories, the relativity of truth, and the danger of obsessive friendships, The Lying Game is a gripping mystery with compelling characters and electric prose, resulting in an unputdownable thriller.
Ruth Ware is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. I love her suspenseful thrillers filled with twists and captivating, sometimes quirky characters. THE LYING GAME, her third novel takes us to the idyllic coastal village of Salten. Here she introduces us to a cast of female characters who have been friends since school. Friends who have been carrying a secret for seventeen years. Narrated by Imogen Church, Ware spun a suspenseful tale with rich characters and clever twists.
THE LYING GAME focuses on four friends; Kate, Fatima, Thea, and Isa. The four of them met at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel when Isa was fifteen. It is where Kate and Fatima taught them the lying game. The game was complicated, at times outlandish and made this little group an outcasts. Think MEAN GIRLS and PRETTY LITTLE LIARS. All four were expelled mysteriously in their senior year. Ware does a delightful job of introducing us to these girls and their shenanigans before fast forwarding us seventeen years to the present, when Kate texts all of them with a simple message, “I NEED YOU.”
The story narrated through the voice of Isa, the follower of the group shares both past and present events. She and the others drop everything and head to Saleten where the past comes back to bite them. This was such a clever tale about lies, secrets, betrayals, and truths. While I didn’t love any of the characters, I did appreciate how real and identifiable the four girls were. Where Isa felt weak, Kate felt unreliable and I enjoyed watching their behavior, picking through the clues and piecing together what occurred.
All of the girls have something to lose and Ware did a great job of building suspense by adding subtle pressure and stunning us with reveals, complications, and twists. While I pieced together aspects and had a sense of why I was surprised by a clever turn of events.
THe LYING GAME has a slower pace than IN A DARK, DARK WOOD and THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10, however, I felt the details and characters were richer. Ruth Ware has moved to my auto-buy list, particularly in audiobook format, since they are perfect listens.
Imogen Church has narrated all of Ware’s novels and she does so brilliantly. She captures each character from personality to tone enhancing the story all while helping to build the suspenseful tension. Like fine wine and savory dishes, Ware and Church make the perfect pairing.
[bctt tweet=”A clever suspense thriller. The Lying Game: A Novel by Ruth Ware #audio #mustlisten” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
I’ve seen this one around a lot and wasn’t sure if it was for me or not because I don’t read too many thrillers. It does sound pretty good but a slower pace? Hmm… I’m not sure. Regardless, brilliant review nonetheless!
I really enjoy this author, Olivia.
I absolutely loved The Woman in Cabin 10. That was my first read of 2017. I just skimmed your review and will have to come back to read it after. I want to read this one too, and I was curious how you liked it! When I saw your “auto-buy” button, I knew it must be a good one! I also have In A Dark, Dark Wood on my iPod waiting to be listened to.
Geybie's Book Blog
This author has been recommended to me many times on my ‘recommend me books’ post. Yay, your review makes me want to read it NOW. ❤️
Hehe. Listen to it Geybie.
I’ve not yet tried this author, but the Woman in Cabin 10 has been on my TBR for a while. I think you have convinced me that I need to move this author up ASAP. You’ve never steered me wrong in the past. Great review.
Well good. I have enjoyed them on audio 🙂
I adore Imogen Church’s narration! Her voice is just amazing. I really loved the first 2 books by Ware and I’m intrigued by the differences you mention – slower pace but richer detail. I’m on the wait list at the library for this one and I absolutely cannot wait!
Yay. I hope you enjoy it, Katherine.
I listened to her first book and really enjoyed it. I have a hardcover copy of her last book but haven’t read it yet (probably because I really want to listen to it). I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed this one. I may have to pick up this audio soon.
I actually read book two. I picked it up at BEA, but her books are perfect for audio.
I think I own her other books. I didn’t pick this one up because too many people did not enjoy the characters in it. Glad you enjoyed the mystery and thought otherwise. Plus it’s always exciting to find great audiobooks
I honestly don’t think you were supposed to like them, it is the secret/mystery that really makes the story.
I keep recommending her books to my mom and my sister in law because they would LOVE her stories based on your reviews!!! They eat up these types of books 🙂 I should give her a try – maybe watch for a sale on her Woman in Cabin 10? Or this one?
Great non-spoilery review!!
LOL. Thanks. I have to bite my tongue as I write them to hold back from sharing details. I loathe spoilers.
I LOVE thrillers! This one sounds great! I have read another one of hers, so I am excited to get my hands on this! Great Review!
Yay, I am glad you are familiar with her books.
I have yet to read any of Ruth Ware’s novels even though they all sound so good. I have In a Dark, Dark Wood somewhere in my TBR pile so I might have to dig that out for a great fall/Halloween read. Great review!
LOL dig it out, tis’ the season!
I think Ruth Ware’s titles scream “Suspense/Thriller.” Thanks for the post.
I agree. I hope you enjoy this one.
I still need to read my first Ruth Ware. I’ve got The Woman in Cabin 10 on my library wait list. Love that it gave you enough to figure out some, but still get a surprise. Neat that you could enjoy the overall story if not really like the characters.
I hope you enjoy her as much as I do.
I listened to the sample, very nice 😀
Yay. I hope you try it.
I can see where a slow pace would be good for a thriller like this so you get sucked into the story.
Sounds like a very suspenseful thriller! And the narrator sounds wonderfully talented. I love a narrator who can add personality to so many characters. 🙂
I do too Sarah 🙂
I just read the Woman in Cabin 10. I enjoyed it very much. I have the Lying Game on hold at my library. I haven’t read her first book. Have you?
I have. A Dark, Dark Wood was very good.
Tyler H Jolley
1) I just added this to my TBR pile. I can’t wait to finish my current book to start this one. 2) I bird hunt and my dogs fetch them up. My biggest fear is them brining back a human bone!
Right! Yeah, that is how most CSI movies begin..LOL
I feel like a minority as I wasn’t a fan of Woman in Cabin 10 nor the narrator. This authors books sound good but I think if I do try another one I might read it. For some reason I just don’t like this ladies voice. 🙁
Awe, I like her. I am sorry, but it happens.
I really hated Kate, in this book…Yes, unreliable and the kind of person you don’t want to hear from, as she always had some scheme or tragic event to pull you into. But definitely a book that kept me turning the pages.
Thanks for sharing. Great review.
So true, Laurel. None of them were actually lovable if you ask me, but Kate- yep, not a fan.
Jenea's Book Obsession
I need to pick this one up, should’ve when I saw it last week already. Ugh,,, Sounds amazing.
LOL. Enjoy it when you do 🙂
I’ve not heard of Ware’s books before, but I’m glad to see that you really enjoyed this one! I may have to give the audio a go soon!
I hope you try her!
Oh my pounding heart. I need a good thriller and I love the sound of this
LOL, this did have some heart-pounding moments, but mostly it was about the horrible secret and what its exposure would do.
This is the book that made me want to try Ruth Ware again, It looks like it might live up to the hype, I think! Great review!
I think she gets better with each book.
A slow paced mystery. Not so sure about that. Glad you enjoyed it.
It unraveled allowing you to get to know them and question what happened.
It sounds like a good one again and well I really should try a book by this author to see what I think of it
Yes, I would love to hear your thoughts 🙂
NAh i like my pace fast, woman in the cabin was already my limit. Plus I am not a fan of too many unreliable narrators
Bummer, this was so good.But, I get it.