A single text sends main character Isa back to the one place she never wanted to revisit. She goes anyway.
If you like a slow-burning, atmospheric novel, this is for you. While I did find it a little tedious at times, I discovered that the mystery surrounding Ambrose made up for it. My only other nit-pick is that I didn’t think Freya (Isa’s daughter) added much to the story, but who am I to question a writer’s character choices?
The idea if spending the day at a spa with all this in my head—it’s…it’s obscene somehow. I need to be moving, doing, pushing away the what-ifs and the fears. The thought of a day alone with my thoughts, with nothing to think about except this…
THE LYING GAME Review: It tangles you in secrets
Most good fiction comes from a place of secrecy. Without secrets, there can be no conflict, no inequality between characters. We’re almost immediately introduced to Isa, boyfriend Luke, and baby Freya. Then Isa’s off for Salten, home of her own darkest secrets.
The plot might have worked better without Freya, without Luke, because they’re extraneous to the major plot line: The reunion of four friends after a long separation.
To be honest, the fifth character that really matters is The Reach. It’s described as desolate, dark, moody, murky, and isolated. THE LYING GAME supplies the perfect setting for a supernatural thriller, but only real threats lurk in the Reach.
THE LYING GAME Review: The game has rules.
1. Tell a lie
2. Stick to your story
3. Don’t get caught
4. Never lie to each other
5. Know when to stop lying
THE LYING GAME is structured around these rules. The characters used them for pranks and games back in school, but now those lies have come back to bite them in their respective asses.
Ruth Ware wisely constructs her story around those five rules, revealing new plot points at the beginning of each fresh section. It gives a sense of menace to the story, which is already pretty menacing.
THE LYING GAME Review: Definite hit.
I’ve enjoyed Ruth Ware’s novels immensely. Although I would categorize THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 as a better novel, THE LYING GAME has a completely different structure and purpose. Kudos to Ware for keeping her fiction fresh.