Book Review, Books Read in 2017, Thriller

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware: A Book Review

The Lying Game

Title: The Lying Game
Author: Ruth Ware
Published: July 25, 2017
Genre: Thriller
Obtained: Public Library

Synopsis: A bone is discovered by a woman along the beaches of Salten, an idyllic English town, and this discovery sets in motion events that will change this town forever. A little while later, Kate texts her old friends from school, just three little words: “I need you.” They all assemble in Salten, hoping against hope that their actions from fifteen years earlier don’t come back to bite them. 

This book had so much hype, and it definitely didn’t disappoint! As usual, I was stuck on a waiting list for it, and I contemplated just buying it outright, but it was finally available for me. I could NOT put it down! A day later, it was finished and that made me sad. I love when I’m sad about finishing a book!

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The Characters

The Lying Game made me wish I had a tight-knit group of girlfriends in school. The four of them are quite the group, playing a game where they try to come up with the best lies to tell people. There are rules, though, even if they don’t always stick to them. We soon find out that what these four friends did years ago has definitely weighed heavily on their minds. Fifteen years later, they still haven’t really gotten over their guilt and fear.

Isa has buried her guilt in her complacent life: perfect job, perfect family, everything seems perfect. Fatima has embraced her Muslim faith in order to cope with her past. Thea covers up her guilt with alcohol and a nomad lifestyle, constantly drinking in order to forget what happened. Then there’s Kate. After the death of her father when she was a teenager, she refuses to leave her childhood home and lives a life as an outcast in her hometown. She pulls the denial card. We can all relate to at least one of them.

The Setting

The Lying Game brings us to the coastal English village of Salten, where we experience both the past and the present day. It’s a tight-knit community, where everyone knows everyone and their business. There’s a distinct line drawn between the all-girls school and the small town. You’re either part of one or the other. The small town vibe of this setting really drives the story to its ending. It plays a pivotal role for all the characters involved, and it was described really well.


I read The Woman in Cabin 10 a few months ago, Ruth Ware’s previous thriller, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Lying Game is a stellar novel by Ruth Ware as well, and I’m glad I got to read this book. Even the ending didn’t disappoint. It left the reader with the sense that these women will still play the Lying Game long after the conclusion of this novel.

Overall, this was an A+ read and one of the best novels I’ve read this year!



Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (Winner!)
Storyline: 5 stars (An enthralling thriller with a terrific ending!)
Characters: 5 stars (Their imperfections make them perfect.)
Setting: 5 stars (Small-town vibe. Love it!)
Reading Pace: 5 stars (I finished it in a day, which made me sad!)

Memorable Quote: “Why didn’t I realize that a lie can outlast any truth, and that in this place people remember?”

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