The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

Book Cover

The 'Lying Game' is a 2017 thriller by Ruth Ware. Much like her previous works, this one also has an atmospheric setting and a good mix of interesting characters with grey shades and relies heavily on their antics to take the story forward.

Thea, Kate,Fathima and Isa are four childhood friends.They used to play a secret game in their childhood-the lying game!Seventeen years later, all of them receive a text message from Kate which says that she needs to meet them all urgently.At the drop of a hat, the three of them rush to meet Kate(!),only to witness some bizarre experiences at Kate's 'Tide Mill'.Pretty soon they realize that their past is catching up and it has something to do with the disappearance of Kate's beloved father, Ambrose and their expulsion from the Salten boarding school, all those years ago.

The Protagonist is Isa and the story is being told from her perspective.The supporting cast include Isa's toddler Freya, her friends Kate,(step)brother Luc,friends Fathima and Thea and a few others.The basic problem with this book is that while Ware has invested so much time and pages in getting her characters right, she has forgotten to add some layers and twists to the story.The 'Lying Game' angle is also forgotten after the initial gimmicks(the school re-union scenes)!  Things get highly predictable and boring after the first hundred pages or so and the overall length of the book at 370+ pages doesn't help in making the proceedings racy or interesting either!

Ruth Ware gets her setting right, the claustrophobic premise is quite unsettling and to be very frank, the episode involving the dead goat is also quite scary.But from then,the story goes downhill , the next 350 pages or so is sheer boredom.The narrative gets some life again only towards the last ten pages or so,by then the reader has totally lost interest in what Mrs Ware has got to say. The basic problem with the book is that it has only one genuine suspense to tell and the entire plot is an excuse to reach that point!

On the whole, I am giving it a 2.5 out of 5.


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