The Lying Game is a mystery novel by Ruth Ware. It tells the story of four friends bound together by a shared secret from their past. After spending years apart, the friends are reunited when their secret is at risk of coming to light. As different books are appropriate in different situations, the purpose of Papers and Airplanes Book Club Reviews is to determine a book’s suitability for book clubs. Today’s book review focuses on Ware’s 2017 novel The Lying Game.
Ware’s new novel is narrated by Isa, a new mother living with her partner, Owen, in London. One morning, she receives an ominous text from her friend from school, Kate, reading simply, “I need you.” Isa, along with old pals Fatima and Thea, rush to Salten, where the attended boarding school, to come to Kate’s aid. They find Kate living in the same dilapidated house out on the foreboding reach. Their initially joyful reunion is quickly darkened by the question hanging over their heads, why has Kate called them there? The story slowly unravels, revealing new layers of their relationships and their shared secret. The novel leads you to question the characters, their relationships, and what they are capable of. Some points of the book may do leave you wondering where the story is going. However, the twists and turns bring you to a captivating finish.
If the synopsis of The Lying Game makes you think, “well, that sounds like plenty of other modern mystery novels,” you’re not alone in that sentiment. The concept of old friends connected by a terrible secret, and whether or not that secret will come back to haunt them, is nothing new to mystery fiction. However, there’s something to be said for carrying on with a common storyline; not every book needs to reinvent the wheel. In this book, Ware takes on this theme pretty well and creates an overall entertaining read, which works well for book clubs. Between the plot, the characters, and their relationships to each other, you will have plenty to discuss are your book club.
Overall, Ruth Ware’s The Lying Game is a suitable choice for a book club book, particularly if your book club likes mystery novels. It has somewhat dubious characters, a suspenseful storyline, and an intriguing finish. Love it or hate it, it will definitely keep you talking!