The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
The Reach is wide and quiet this morning, the pale blue sky streaked with pink mackerel-belly clouds, the shallow sea barely rippling in the slight breeze, and so the sound of the dog barking breaks into the calm like gunshots, setting flocks of gulls crying and wheeling in the air.
The Lying Game is Ruth Ware's third thriller and I listened to it read by Imogen Church, who also narrated this author's other books. I like her narration. I had actually read an advance copy of this book early this year, but decided to try it again on audio and see if my opinion had changed. First, I'll say that I really liked Ware's first two books, especially her debut. This one...well, I'll share that it likely won't be my favorite and I'm hoping her next is a little more to my taste. The story is fine enough and does have some twists and turns. I also like books that include 'old school ties'. What I wasn't as happy about was the amount of lying and deception among the characters - especially between Isa and her significant other. I also got very, very weary of hearing about her baby and caring for the baby. How many times does the reader need to hear a detailed description of breastfeeding and a child crying? I wonder if this author has recently had a baby. Seriously. Anyway, I don't want to discourage others from trying it. Not every book by a favorite author is going to be a 'winner' for every reader, right? I'll look forward to Ruth Ware's next. And maybe go back and reread her first two.
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).