The Lying Game by Ruth Ware, 2.5 Stars

Today is the day I stop procrastinating. Because I finished The Lying Game like ten days ago and have yet to post a review. But it’s a busy time of year, right? Today I woke up and said, “I will post a review today.” And I woke up about 11 hours ago. I have found just about every other thing to do first. But, in other news, I did make an impressive dent in my holiday shopping!

So, books by Ruth Ware, what do I say? It’s complicated.

I’ve read each of her books, In a Dark Dark Wood, The Women in Cabin 10 and now The Lying Game. I feel like she has grown as a writer, and I can see the growth over her three books, but I didn’t like In a Dark Dark Wood and I kind of hated the characters in The Lying Game (more on that later.) I liked The Woman in Cabin 10 the best of the three, but I still wasn’t blown away.

But its complicated because I keep reading her work. I don’t hate her books, they just haven’t been my favorite. And other people really like her. Am I missing something? I kind of feel meh.

From the Publisher:

From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel.

On a cool June morning, a woman is walking her dog in the idyllic coastal village of Salten along a tidal estuary known as the Reach. Before she can stop him, the dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick, but to her horror, turns out to be something much more sinister…

The next morning, three women in and around London—Fatima, Thea, and Isabel—receive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, “I need you.”

The four girls were best friends at Salten, a second rate boarding school set near the cliffs of the English Channel. Each different in their own way, the four became inseparable and were notorious for playing the Lying Game, telling lies at every turn to both fellow boarders and faculty, with varying states of serious and flippant nature that were disturbing enough to ensure that everyone steered clear of them. The myriad and complicated rules of the game are strict: no lying to each other—ever. Bail on the lie when it becomes clear it is about to be found out. But their little game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year of school under mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school’s eccentric art teacher, Ambrose (who also happens to be Kate’s father).

Atmospheric, twisty, and with just the right amount of chill that will keep you wrong-footed—which has now become Ruth Ware’s signature style—The Lying Game is sure to be her next big bestseller. Another unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

My Review:

In The Lying Game, four women who formed an unbreakable bond in their teen years at a private school are reunited by a mysterious call for help by one of their own. The book takes place in the present, when the women are grown, some with families of their own, and as the plot progresses, we learn all about how their friendship was formed, secrets that were kept and mysteries from the past they have never solved.

I don’t know. I really wanted to like The Lying Game.  And I did like parts of it. I think the flashbacks, when Kate, Isa, Thea and Fatima were schoolgirls spending weekends and breaks at the lighthouse where Kate lived with her eccentric father, Ambrose, who was also the art teacher at their school, and her hot stepbrother Luc.

The problem is that I really didn’t like Isa that much. I don’t know why. She was very focused on her baby, but hey, we have all been there. But besides the main story, there was drama with her baby daddy and the didn’t seem to add to the plot but rather muddle it a bit.

Another issue for me is that I imagine the lighthouse, where Kate lives is located in a beautiful place, but I just couldn’t picture it by the descriptions offered, especially when it was in danger of flooding. It just kind of kind of confused me.

A lot of it just kind of confused me. So why 2.5 stars? I finished it. It wasn’t terrible to the point where I set it down and walked away. The writing wasn’t awful, the plot was developed. I think it’s just not my cup of tea.

Now I see why I don’t write a lot of not so good reviews. I feel kind of sad.

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