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The Lying Game

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  48,667 Ratings  ·  5,178 Reviews
The text message is 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 now.

Something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together wit
ebook, 384 pages
Published June 15th 2017 by Vintage Digital
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Sherry I got the impression that she was going to keep lying about loving Owen and that she was doing it for Freya. Remember everything she said about not…moreI got the impression that she was going to keep lying about loving Owen and that she was doing it for Freya. Remember everything she said about not wanting her daughter to go through what she did? She realizes that parents make sacrifices for their children(less)

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Jun 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley

*Unpopular opinion alert*: This book didn't work for me.

The Lying Game is a slow burning psychological thriller about four friends who are bound together by lies.

“A lie can outlast any truth.”

When 15 year old Isa Wilde is sent to coastal boarding school, Salten, she quickly befriends Kate, Thea, and Fatima. The girls participate in a game, called “The Lying Game,” which isolates their classmates and causes local townies to hate them.

There are 5 rules to the game: TELL A LIE, STICK TO YOUR STOR
Sam Quixote
Aug 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Four high school friends now in their thirties reunite after a terrible shared secret threatens to emerge and shatter their peaceful lives. But what they thought was a shared secret turns out to be a lie - one of them isn’t telling the truth.

I really enjoyed Ruth Ware’s debut novel, In a Dark, Dark Wood, and was disappointed with the poor follow-up, last year’s The Woman in Cabin 10, so I hoped The Lying Game would be a return to form; it’s not. The Lying Game is awful - looks like Ruth Ware is
Navidad Thelamour
“…years on, people round here still use your names as a kind of salacious cautionary tale…”

It’s rare that I stumble upon a read as gripping and as raw as this one was. And, it was not an outright or vulgar kind of raw—no, that wouldn’t really be the English way, now would it?—but Ruth Ware’s The Lying Game was something arguably so much better, because it didn’t lean on outright shock, melodrama and over-the-top confrontations. No, here the rawness is in the imagery, a true reader’s delight, bec
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an atmospheric and eerie psychological thriller from Ruth Ware. Take four teenage schoolfriends who set up a group that vies to create the most outlandish lies that they can get others to believe, and what you have is a recipe for potentially horrifying outcomes. This is exactly what the author does, creating two time lines when something terrible happens that results in the four girls being expelled from their school, although this does not stop them from lying. Their one proviso is tha ...more
Carol (Bookaria)
A story of female friendship, lies and deceit.

This one had my heart pumping till the very end and I'm glad to see Ruth Ware delivering again.

The book tells the story of four friends who met in a boarding school when they were teenagers. They played "the lying game" until something happened and they were withdrawn from the school. Seventeen years later the last lie they told has come to haunt them. 

The novel takes place in London and also in an English coastal town. The story is narrated by Isa W
Kaceey - Traveling Sister
It’s The game. It’s the lying game.

Rule one: Tell a lie
Four young girls all sent by their parents to a boarding school for various issues. They quickly form strong bonds, becoming inseparable. Their favorite form of amusement? The lying game.

Rule two: Stick to your story
How far can you take a lie? Everyone has to stay on the same page – or it will all unravel!

Rule three: Don’t get caught
Years later they’re all brought back to the small town near the boarding school, where their biggest lie is a
Norma * Traveling Sister
Traveling Sisters Review by NORMA and LINDSAY!!

4.5 stars!

Lindsay and I have both read all of Ruth Ware’s previous novels and agree that this was definitely our favourite one thus far!

The book was divided into sections from the 5 rules of The Lying Game that the four friends participated in: TELL A LIE, STICK TO YOUR STORY, DON'T GET CAUGHT, NEVER LIE TO EACH OTHER, and KNOW WHEN TO STOP LYING.  As the novel progresses through these five rules you do get a sense of how the game is played.

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware is a 2017 Gallery Scout publication.

This latest thriller, by Ruth Ware, is an all- consuming, riveting tale, full of mind games and edgy suspense.

Isabel, Kate, Fatima, and Thea became fast friends while attending Salten boarding school, as teenagers. They began ‘the lying game’ to liven up their stay at the school, garnering them a terrible reputation on campus. But, ironically, their practice of lying came in handy, when they found themselves involved in a scandal
j e w e l s [Books Bejeweled]
I'm now caught up on all of Ruth Ware's books! She is one of my favorite writers, yet I'm still waiting to give one of her books a five star rating.

That's how talented she is as a writer, I'm willing to overlook her product output in favor of the gorgeous technical skill she possesses.

The plot of THE LYING GAME is the weakest of Ware's three books. I was frequently bored and zoning out during the book, it really took me awhile to finish it and then, meh...not much more than a beautiful rewrite
Lindsay - Traveling Sister
4.5 stars! This was my favourite Ruth Ware novel yet!!

This suspenseful and secretive story had me hooked from the first page! I loved the characters, storyline and atmosphere. I had the pleasure of reading this one with Norma. It sparked a lot of great conversation along the way. I highly recommend!

To find our full Traveling Sister Read Review, please visit Norma and Brenda's fabulous book blog at:

Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars. The Lying Game was a mixed bag for me, but on balance I quite liked it. It's told from Isa's perspective. Isa is now in her early thirties with a young baby. She and two others get a text from high school friend Kate -- "I need you" -- and this sends Isa and her three friends into a tailspin back to the village where they went to boarding school when they were 15 years old. The less said the better because in large part the point of this story is how it unfolds. As a narrator, Isa is ...more
Susanne Strong

3.25 Stars* (rounded down).

Isa Wilde is a married mother of baby Freya, when she receives a text: “I Need You.” She knows exactly what it means. She hasn’t heard from Kate in over 15 years, yet she has been terrified this moment would come. She needs to go to Kate, but she can’t tell her husband Owen the truth. She must lie to him. And so it begins. Again. Thea and Fatima, old friends from school, also received the same text from Kate and all three go to her.

Kate, Thea, Fatima and Isa become fa
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars

last year, i was in a mall target ambling its book section waiting for a screening of the conjuring 2 about fifteen minutes away. having seen and fallen for emilia clarke as lovely lou on screen the previous month, i had tore through three moyes titles in as many weeks, not knowing that was the beginning of my most intense reading marathon to date (i used to maybe read a book every 12-24 months). i saw ms. ware's debut, in a dark, dark wood with the cover stating reese witherspoon
Oh Ruth Ware, I expected more from you. Last year was all about The Woman in Cabin 10, which blurbs compared to Gone Girl and I’m sorry, but NO. I digress….finding The Woman in Cabin 10 a decent enough read, I was looking forward to seeing what Ms. Ware had up her sleeve next. I didn’t need another blockbuster novel, and in fact, preferred the follow-up to be quieter, but perhaps more finely tuned. I acknowledge that writers must be under immense pressure when penning their first story after a ...more
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.75 Little-Liers Stars

Isa, Kate, Fatima and Thea have met each other at a train station that its destination was Salten House (Somewhere like boarding school). They quickly became best friend. One day something bad happened and they had to make a decision, even though they knew it was a wrong decision. Now after seventeen years they reunited just because of one text:

"I need you."

Yes, the consequences of their decision are now being revealed. They think they know everything about that day but yo
Justin Tate
A slow-moving I Know What You Did Last Summer premise that does become twisty and intriguing around the halfway point. Unfortunately the characters are so disagreeable that the stakes never feel high. What? That horrible person is actually more horrible? Shocking! Will the stalker kill them all? I hope so! In the end it wasn't all bad, but I'm sure this is Ruth Ware's least impressive effort. Maybe try one of her other books instead?
Holly  B

I really enjoyed this author's previous novel, The Woman in Cabin 10 and was really looking forward to this one.

This book did not work for me and I even had a hard time finishing it. I know many have loved this one and I wish I could have liked it more. I couldn't feel any suspense building and the story just dragged on chapter after chapter. I didn't feel the connections between the four women characters and I found the plot to be predictable and without any thrills.

I do think many people will
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the Salten Reach in England, a dog unearths a human bone from the sand, a bone belonging to a body hidden there for nearly twenty years. In the aftermath, an urgent text goes out from one woman to her three friends, saying only: "I need you." And they come running.

Kate, Thea, Fatima and Isa first met at Salten House, a boarding school for girls, when they were fifteen. Kate and Thea had created a 'lying game' with rules and points and all four girls played along:

Rule 1: Tell a lie.
Rule 2: St
Roman Clodia
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
If you've read Ware's In a Dark, Dark Wood, then you'll recognise that the essence of the plot here is exactly the same: a group of girls were once close friends, something horrible happened, they went their separate ways and are brought back together again 17 years later; the horrible thing resurfaces, the truth is uncovered. Once again, too, we're in an unusual location, here a dilapidated mill which is sinking under the encroachment of water. What this book lacks, though, that the first one d ...more
I think of all the lies I have repeated and repeated over the years, until they became so engrained they felt like the truth: I left because I wanted a change. I don’t know what happened to him; he just disappeared. I did nothing wrong.

Can you imagine something you did as a teenager coming back to haunt you seventeen years later? You even stopped hanging out with your best friends, but all it takes is a text, I need you, to drag you back in.

Four girls (Isa, Kate, Fatima, & Thea) became fri
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed “In A Dark Dark Wood” and really thought “The Woman In Cabin 10” was great! I was a bit disappointed in “The Lying Game”. While the novel is well written I really didn’t feel that great “tense, exciting” feel of a thriller until perhaps the very last 30 pages. I also didn’t particularly care for the characters in this book. This was really more like a 3.5 for me.

A simple text “I need you” is sent from Kate sent to her three best friends from boarding school, Isa, Fatima and Thea. Withi
G.H. Eckel
Four adult women, friends since school, gather again because one of them, Kate, has issued the call for help none of the others ever wanted to hear. "I need you." The four have a history of playing a game of lying that has it's own rules, which are basically about lying consistently and well. But what have they lied about in the past and what is this mysterious summoning that reunites them? That is the central mystery of The Lying Game that gets played out over 400 pages.

The Good: The start of
Trina (Between Chapters)
My favorite thing about Ruth Ware's books is her ability to create tension and hold me on the edge of my seat. The Lying Game was no exception to this. She does suspense well and keeps me up far too late reading because I NEED to know the outcomes. I don't go to Ware's books for mindblowing mysteries because that's just not her strength, and again, The Lying Game was true to that. It's definitely the quietest and most straightforward of her mysteries.

This book met my expectations and delivered w
Heather 'Bookables'
I really wish I loved Ruth Ware books but sadly I don't. I will say this is my favorite of hers that I have read. I really resonated with the main character and loved the setting of the book but that's where my love stops.
I want her characters to be fleshed out more and the mystery to be a little bit more compelling.
I do enjoy Ware's writing alot, and will probably keep reading her books for that reason. Her writing draws you in, that is for sure.
The main problem I have with her books is the o
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is one of those thrillers that is more like a flower unfolding than a tense whodunnit. In fact, I was pretty sure who did do it early on, but for me, that wasn't the point. It's the character studies above all that form the focus of the novel. Amongst them, Salten itself, that bleak place on the periphery where all things are possible. Interwoven here are the sun bright, happy memories of the past and the sinking dark of the present day. And so the stage is set for the big questions, not ju ...more
Soul. Depth. Integrity. This book has it all.
Add to that an unbelievably believable story, relentless suspense, an experienced wordsmith, and we've got a brilliant book.

Kate Atagon
Fatima Chaudhry(née Qureshy)
Thea West
Isa Wilde

Four fifteen year-old girls attended Salten boarding school for girls. They commit themselves to the Lying Game, scoring anything from a 5, 10, to fifteen for their efforts to deceive and play pranks on everybody. They become pro's in doing so and it will help them cover
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tense, absorbing and eerie!

This is a well-crafted, character-driven thriller that takes us on a journey to solve a 17-year-old mystery while delving into the intricacies of a friendship built on lies and secrets and maintained by trust, loyalty, and fear.

The characterization is well done with a cast of female characters that are unique, troubled, and self-involved. The prose is clear and direct.  The setting is a character in itself with its isolation, dereliction, and dreariness. And the plot u
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
“A lie. I'd almost forgotten how they feel on my tongue, slick and sickening.”
― Ruth Ware, The Lying Game

3.5 stars
I am quite torn between giving this three or four stars (Goodreads- when are you going to give us our half stars?!) The first half of book was a real slog for me and I contemplated just abandoning it altogether. But suddenly it picked up pace and became interesting. The story is told from Isa's point of view, as she is called on by an old group of friends, with whom she has had no c
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars

I was so excited to pick up Ruth Ware's The Lying Game , as The Woman in Cabin 10 was one of my favorite reads of this year. Let me tell you right now, if you're expecting The Lying Game to be another iteration of the same story, you will be un/pleasantly surprised. I say it that way because, this story is told in a very different tone and manner than Ware's last two works so you might be caught off guard. The Lying Game starts off with Isa Wilde and her family, where she receives
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: september-2017
The Lying Game is the third Ruth Ware novel I've read and I have to say I liked it the most. It was great but it was an improvement over the previous books. I know everyone else just loves Ruth Ware novels but I just think there okay.

If you read The Woman in Cabin 10 or In a Dark, Dark Wood than you'll probably like this one.
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52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2017.32: The Lying Game 8 95 Mar 13, 2018 09:23AM  
Challenge: 50 Books: December Group Read: The Lying Game 1 19 Dec 04, 2017 11:29AM  
Thoughts on The Lying Game? 5 131 Nov 11, 2017 08:29AM  
Around the Year i...: The Lying Game, by Ruth Ware 1 20 Oct 29, 2017 11:34AM  
Ruth Ware grew up in Sussex, on the south coast of England. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. She is married with two small children, and In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller.

Find her on twitter at
More about Ruth Ware

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“A lie can outlast any truth.” 23 likes
“You’re never an ex-addict, you’re just an addict who hasn’t had a fix in a while.” 7 likes
More quotes…