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Ruth Ware is known for psychological thrillers, and for fans of the genre The Lying Game won’t disappoint. With all the hallmarks of a good thriller; mystery, plot twists and a heavy dose of suspense, her most recent offering is a classic crime mystery made modern.

The premise is straightforward, four school friends bound together by a dark secret. However Ware’s unravelling of the tale cleverly calls into question relationships, friendships and loyalties. The novel begins with a single cryptic text, “I need you”. Dropping everything, 32 year old lawyer Isa leaves the comfortable home she shares with her husband, takes her young baby and heads straight back to the seaside town of Salten for the first time in 17 years. The cause of the text is revealed shortly after, a human bone has been found buried in the shifting sands of the Reach, threatening to reveal the dark secrets of the past.

Though set in present day, frequent flashbacks colour the story. Whilst at school, Isa and her three friends used to play ‘The Lying Game’, with the main rule that they mustn’t lie to each other. As the story shifts between past and present the rules are tested and loyalties are challenged. The output is a mystery that spans from childhood to adulthood, exploring the far reaching consequences of a teenage game.

If you’re looking for a bank holiday read that will keep you hooked from start to finish then this is it. Gripping enough to be read in one sitting, Ware weaves a narrative that is undoubtedly a page-turner.  

Read an extract of Read an extract of The Lying Game

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