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The Lying Game

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  153,442 ratings  ·  12,621 reviews
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 ap
Hardcover, 370 pages
Published July 25th 2017 by Scout Press (first published June 15th 2017)
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Meredith (Slowly Catching Up)

*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
Sam Quixote
Aug 06, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Miranda Reads
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
2.5 stars
Here, in this house the ghosts of our past are real
Isabel, Kate, Fatima, and Thea were inseparable during their boarding school days.

They had a game - a wild, hilarious and crazy game - that bonded these girls together.

The biggest rule? Stick to your lie.
A lie can outlast any truth.
They awarded points based off of the most outrageous lie, who believed them and if they ever had to give up the truth.

They were young, and wild, and free...until that night.

Something happened th
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Meg's Ruth Ware Ratings:

1. The Turn of the Key: 5-stars
2. The Lying Game : 4.5-stars
2. The It Girl: 4.5-stars
3. One by One: 4-stars
4. The Death of Mrs. Westaway: 4-stars
5. In a Dark, Dark Wood: 3.5-stars
6. The Woman in Cabin 10: 3-stars


When Isa Wilde receives a text message from her dear friend, Kate, simply stating, 'I need you', Isa packs her bag, her infant daughter and boards a train. No questions asked.

Her destination, the remote, idyllic coastal town of Salten.

Felice Laverne
“…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
Sep 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Caro (Bookaria)
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.

j e w e l s
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 Sisters Book Reviews
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:

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
Roman Clodia
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
Justin Tate
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
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? ...more
Charlotte May
“Welcome to the Lying Game...Oh, and ten points.”

I blitzed through this!!

Isa, Kate, Fatima and Thea were inseparable as teenagers. All enrolled in the Salten boarding school for girls. They would play ‘The Lying Game’ a game in which they lied to others to see if they would believe them. The more ridiculous the better. One of the main rules though, they never lie to each other.

27 years later the girls have all moved on, living in different places - some with families of their own. But when Ka
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it

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
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. The author captured me on page one and held my interest right to the end. (which was a tad melodramatic but never mind!)

Funnily enough I did not like any of the characters much, except Freya who was a champion. Not many babies put up with what she went through so cheerfully. The idea of The Lying Game itself also left me cold. It seemed a rather cruel game to play on other unsuspecting people. But hey, this is fiction, so I ignored my ethical feelings and just read the
Oct 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017, fiction
DNF. After about 100 pages, I gave up on this boring, slow, seemingly going nowhere story. Too many other books to give a chance.

The premise sounded good. Four friends bound together by lies and loyalty. An intense secret sure to be revealed. Unfortunately, the suspense wasn't there for me. There was very little action, but lots of description of the landscape. Not having grown up near the water, I couldn't get a vision of the area. It all seemed so bleak and desolate. Was that what the author
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1-fiction
The Lying Game is the first book I've read by Ruth Ware, but it won't be the last. Published in 2017, this happened to appear on my building's library shelves, so I jumped on it. I'm glad I had a chance to learn more about this author, and if you are a fan of psychological thrillers, you will enjoy this one. Let's dive into the details...

Four ~15ish teens play the lying game. There are rules. They get points. Things get very intense. This all happened in the past, so we really don't know which l
Bam cooks the books ;-)
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
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
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
ReadAlongWithSue [Catching-Up]
My nerves were on edge reading this superbly crafted thriller.

To get a text “I need you” hmm I thought, that could be interpreted several ways. So I was anxious to see if I was right or wrong.

Ruth Ware has been a hit or miss with me so I’m addicted at reading what she produces in case I miss a ‘good ‘un’.

4.75 from me
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 frien
Katie B
Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book kept me company when I was traveling and even though it has a pretty lackluster ending, I still enjoyed it. I've now read all of Ruth Ware's books, and while I wouldn't say this one is my favorite (The Turn of the Key takes that honor), it does appear I liked it a lot more than many of my other reader friends.

It didn't take me long for me to get hooked as Isa, Thea, and Fatima, all receive a text from Kate, with the words, "I need you". They all have busy lives but they drop everythin
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a thriller. The beginning of this book very move shortly, but the ending of the book was really good. I also did not see the ending happening how it did. (*)
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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 www.twitter.com/ruthwarew

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