The Lying Game: A Novel by Ruth Ware

September 12th, 2017 Kimberly Review 51 Comments

12th Sep
The Lying Game: A Novel by Ruth Ware
The Lying Game
by Ruth Ware
Narrator: Imogen Church
Length: 13 hours and 39 minutes
Genres: Thriller
Source: Purchase
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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.

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Ruth Ware is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. I love her suspenseful thrillers filled with twisted 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, outlandish, and made this little group an outcast. Think of 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 Salten, 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 appreciated 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 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.

A clever suspense thriller. The Lying Game: A Novel by Ruth Ware #audio #mustlisten Click To Tweet
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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

51 Responses to “The Lying Game: A Novel by Ruth Ware”

  1. Olivia Roach

    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!

  2. Darlene

    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.

  3. Melanie Simmons

    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.

  4. Katherine

    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!

  5. Carole

    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.

  6. Lily B

    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

  7. Kristin

    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!!

  8. Paij

    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!

  9. Suzanne

    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!

  10. Sophia Rose

    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.

  11. Sarah

    Sounds like a very suspenseful thriller! And the narrator sounds wonderfully talented. I love a narrator who can add personality to so many characters. 🙂

  12. Jolene Wilson

    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?

  13. 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!

  14. Stormi Johnson

    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. 🙁

  15. Laurel-Rain Snow

    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.

  16. Jasprit

    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!

  17. verushka

    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!