2020 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge · 2020 Reviews · contemporary fiction · crime · thriller

POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

pop sugar 2020 19 july

Today I am marking off my twenty sixth #26th checkpoint category for the POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020 with:

your favourite prompt

From Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2019 Prompt:

a book revolving around a puzzle or game

The twisting new thriller from international sensation Ruth Ware, author of Sunday the lying game smallTimes bestsellers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10

The twisting new thriller from international sensation Ruth Ware, author of Sunday Times bestsellers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10
‘Another heart-stopping belter of a thriller from an epic talent’
The text message arrives in the small hours of the morning: 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.

Isa and her three best friends used to play the Lying Game, competing to convince people of outrageous stories. Now, after seventeen years of hiding the truth, something terrible has been found on the beach. The friends’ darkest secret is about to come to light…


‘The Lying Game.

It comes back to me now as sharp and vivid as the smell of the sea, and the scream of gulls over the Reach, and I can’t believe that I almost forgotten it – forgotten the tally sheet Kate kept above her bed, covered with cryptic marks for her complex scoring system. This much for a new victim. That much for complete belief. The extras awarded  for elaborate detail, or managing to rehook someone who had almost called your bluff. I haven’t thought of it for so many years, but in a way, I’ve been playing it all this time.’

The Lying Game is the third novel penned by the queen of psychological suspense, Ruth Ware. Ruth Ware’s third title encompasses friendship, collusion, truth, lies, games and promises. A chilly, tense and edgy novel, The Lying Game will perplex readers from the opening to the final page of this thrilling tale.

The words “I need you” are enough to convince four friends to return to their home town after decades apart. As the foursome reconvene back in the marshland area of Salten, memories of their past school days return. The past looms large over the group, especially when the women revisit the lying game, a school yard creation designed to trick people in believing outlandish lies. It was a silly and frivolous game that these four rebels indulged in, but at the time they how no idea of the far reaching consequences of this game. Seventeen years later, the actions of the past come back to haunt the foursome. Each needs to face up to their past behaviour.  Confronting the past isn’t easy and setting wrongs committed all those years ago is even harder.

Ruth Ware has consistently impressed me with her psychological thriller releases since I first experienced her writing via her debut, In a Dark, Dark Wood. The Lying Game is a 2018 release and Ware’s third novel. This was the last novel I needed to catch up on to ensure I am up to date with all of Ware’s work. I enjoyed this one, but I still have a soft spot for The Turn of the Key, Ware’s most recent release, which I highly recommend.

Friendship is a strong force in this novel, commanding the events both in the past and the present. The Lying Game switches to the past and present, which works to increase the tension level and mystery aspect of this tale. I was equally invested in both timelines, which is down to Ware’s convincing and addictive writing. I did feel the bond between these women, which seemed to remain static despite the differences between them and the passage of time. Ware explores the dynamics of this foursome very well and I appreciated overseeing how it all played out on the character front. Each woman is carefully rendered by Ware, but the focal point remains with Isa, who is our central guide for the duration of the novel’s events.

Salten is a formidable force and Ware immerses the reader in its salty marshes and floodwaters, which has resulted in this area sinking into the ground. The atmosphere is thick with tension and dripping in suspense. There are twists around many corners, which are often thrown in at the last minute. This serves to reel the reader in and as a result it is impossible to put this one down. I whizzed through The Lying Game in one sitting and if you have the time available I recommend that you indulge in this one over an evening, weekend, or afternoon.

Ware is always a master manipulator and The Lying Game is yet another example of the author’s skill in duping readers. Fixing the narrative on a game performed by the foursome in the past offers the reader a decent narrative puzzle to solve as the mysteries of the past are gradually revealed – with surprising results. It was a good lead up to the conclusion of The Lying Game and I appreciated the thrilling journey I was placed on.

A dark and foreboding story of long held secrets, startling truths, friendship dynamics and regret fills the pages of Ruth Ware’s tale of the consequences of past actions. The Lying Game is another recommended read from Ruth Ware.

**** 4 stars

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware was published on 19th March 2018 by Penguin Book Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Lying Game, Ruth Ware, visit here.


2 thoughts on “POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020: The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

  1. That card sure is filling up, love seeing all those crosses. Hehe, I put ticks on mine.
    I just went through my shelves and aww, no Ruth Ware books, one day I’m sure I’ll spot one somewhere. Went op-shopping yesterday looking for specific Cassandra Clare books sadly not the one I wanted but I did find some to add to my collection. Excited though to find it on Book Depository costing an arm and a leg though but I’m craving this book so no option but to buy it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Sue, yes the crosses are great to see, I’m glad you are enjoying ticking yours off. The card is getting there, I think I can rest a little easier now, if I go through right until Dec with the standard level I can now do three a month and still complete this one. I have a review ready to go to round off the month in the next few days.

      That’s a real shame to hear you have no Ruth Ware books, she has a nice collection. Fingers crossed one will just fall into your hands! I’m sorry to hear your op shopping wasn’t as successful as you hoped. At least the book depository has it, shame is so costly.

      Liked by 1 person

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