Photo Review – The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

The Lying Game

By Ruth Ware

Summary: From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel.

On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister…

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).

Atmospheric, twisty, and with just the right amount of chill that will keep you wrong-footed—which has now become Ruth Ware’s signature style—The Lying Game is sure to be her next big bestseller. Another unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

Source: I borrowed a Kindle copy from my library

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So here’s the thing about Ruth Ware. She’s a wonderful writer. I thoroughly enjoy the way she writes, especially when she creates a setting. She sets up the characters and their backstories in a great way. But she cannot create a plot that makes sense and/or is gripping and twisted enough to hold weight. I keep reading her books because I feel this enormous potential happening, but I’m let down nearly every time. There was almost nothing to this “mystery” plot and it made no sense for any of the characters to be so invested in keeping their secrets.

My other issue with this particular book was the main character fretting over her baby. In some ways, it was a nice to see a character actually have a baby, be afraid to separate herself from her baby, and show that side of motherhood, as I’m sure a large portion of the demographic reading Ware’s books can relate. However, let’s all be honest, it’s dull to read about. She was fretting and fussing and feeding this baby throughout the entire book and the baby’s presence was relevant to the story about zero times. She could have been married, single, a mom, a career woman, both, neither, and it didn’t matter, so bringing the baby into the plot just added pages upon pages of activities that did not advance the story in any way.

I know my review seems harsh, but I mean what I said. I love Ware’s writing and I’m just waiting for the moment where the plot itself is worth it!