Four friends. One promise. But someone isn’t telling the truth. The twisting new mystery from bestselling phenomenon Ruth Ware.
The text message arrives in the small hours of the night. It’s 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.
At school Isa and her three best friends used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. Now, after seventeen years of secrets, something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three women she hasn’t seen for years, but has never forgotten.
Theirs is no cosy reunion: Salten isn’t a safe place for them, not after what they did. It’s time for the women to get their story straight…
Thank you to NetGalley for a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book was INSANE! It was such a phenomenal read, it gripped me from start to finish and left my nerves in tatters. Throughout the whole story, I could feel it building and building for an explosive ending and I was shaking with excitement to get there. Ruth Ware is a phenomenal writer and I am so excited to read her other books! They are sat on my shelf and I keep eyeing them up now thinking soon. I regret not reading her books sooner because they have everything I want in a crime thriller. The Lying Game is one of those books that’s so gripping and exciting you could devour it in one sitting. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do that but I found myself reading great chunks at a time and becoming increasingly frustrated every time I had to put the book down. It’s one of those books you just can’t let go until you’re forced to when you reach the end.
The story is split between the past and the present. The start begins with the main character, Isa Wilde, getting a text from one of her best friends she hasn’t seen in years. It’s just three little words: I need you. She immediately packs her bags and travels down to Salten where her friend lives and where they spent a significant time there at a boarding school. The two other friends, Fatima and Thea, go to Salten as well and I really liked how they had such a strong friendship still after all those years. They’d drop everything in a heartbeat if one of them asked them to. But it’s also scary what the foundation of their friendship is built on and what made them start the pact in the first place. Not saying because spoilers but it shook me up!
Another part of their friendship involves a game they played when they were teenagers. They played a game called The Lying Game and it involved spinning people the most ridiculous lies and convincing them it was true. They’d get points for how ridiculous the lie was and they’d have a set of rules that went with it. The most important rules were don’t lie to each other and know when to stop lying. I think this story shows how young and stupid you are when you’re a teenager. You don’t realise how much lies can hurt a person and it’s something Isa regrets now that she is older. What three of them don’t know though, is that one of them has been lying to them for years. I didn’t have a clue which person that was and I was so excited the further I got into the story because I could feel the tension building and building. It was so thrilling to read! I was so shocked when I reached the end and it all came out. Seriously I could never have guessed that, I just couldn’t. I was so shocked.
I really liked all of the characters and I liked how the story was told. We got to see flashbacks to them meeting and living at the boarding school and then it was back to the present when they are all older and two of them have kids. It was a great way to tell the story and it set it all up for you nicely. It was very slow paced at times though because the author took great care making sure the reader was well informed and I liked that. I didn’t feel like I was just expected to know everything and go along with it all. No, I had time to know the story and the characters bit by bit. But what I’ve learned from this book is that even if you think you truly know someone, they could be hiding the darkest of secrets. Sometimes those secrets aren’t theirs to tell and the longer they keep that secret the more damage it will do when it finally comes out. The last 20% or so of this book was so insanely intense. I was literally right on the edge of my seat reading until the early hours of the morning because I did not want to go to sleep until I knew what was happening. There was so many unexpected twists that I never saw coming even though I should have! I can’t say anymore because it will spoil the story but this book was amazing, amazing, amazing. I loved every page I read and devoured it in what felt like no time at all.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who loves crime thrillers and I am definitely going to read her other books because her writing was just phenomenal. I loved all of the characters and I loved how this book made me feel. It made me feel so many emotions and left me reeling. I have been so desperate to reach the ending of a book in a long time. I loved this book so much!