The Lying Game by Ruth WareThe Lying Game by Ruth Ware

The Lying Game

byRuth Ware

Paperback | July 25, 2017

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From the New York Times and #1 Globe and Mail bestselling author of The Woman in Cabin 10 and In a Dark, Dark Wood—a novel about the slipperiness of truth and the price of friendships.

I need you.” Three small words that change everything.

Isa Wilde knows something terrible has happened when she receives this text from an old friend. Why else would Kate summon her and their two friends Thea and Fatima to the seaside town where they briefly attended school together seventeen years ago?

The four friends first met at Salten House boarding school, where they quickly bonded over The Lying Game, a risky contest that involved tricking fellow boarders and faculty with their lies. But the game had consequences, and the girls were eventually expelled after Kate’s dad, their beloved art teacher, mysteriously disappeared. Forever bound by their lies but needing to forget their past, they went their separate ways—Kate remaining in Salten while the other three left to start new lives in and around London.

Now reunited, Isa, Kate, Thea, and Fatima discover that their past lies had far-reaching effects and criminal implications that threaten them all. In order to protect their reputations, and their friendship, they must uncover the truth about what really happened all those years ago.

Atmospheric, twisty, with just the right amount of chill, The Lying Game will have readers at the edge of their seats, not knowing who can be trusted in this tangled web of lies.
Ruth Ware grew up in Lewes, in Sussex. After graduating from Manchester University she moved to Paris, before settling in North London. She has worked as a waitress, a bookseller, a teacher of English as a foreign language and a press officer. In a Dark, Dark Wood is her début thriller. Ruth's second novel, The Woman in Cabin 10, becam...
Title:The Lying GameFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:384 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inShipping dimensions:9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:July 25, 2017Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1501151800

ISBN - 13:9781501151804


Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourite writers Everything a great suspense novel should be: gripping, shocking, and moving!
Date published: 2019-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Ware Thriller Having enjoyed The Woman in Cabin 10, I was pleased to see another book by Ruth Ware and snatched it up.  An equally compelling thriller with a totally unexpected ending. Kate, Thea, Fatima, and Isa were school chums 17 years earlier at Salten House boarding school, near the seaside town where Kate lived in the Tide Mill on The Reach with her father, Ambrose — art instructor at the school — and her step-brother, Luc.  The mill is within walking distance of the school.  Misfits, the girls were a tight-knit group that broke the rules, smoked, drank, left the premises and played a rather dodgy game they called the lying game.  There were 5 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.  They were all very good at it but it often got them into trouble with authorities at the school and made them enemies both at school and in the town.  When the scandal broke, the girls had been expelled, Ambrose had disappeared, and the girls had lost touch.  And now, it seems, that one of them had broken rule #4. Fatima, now a doctor, married with two kids, has returned to her Islamic roots.  Thea is an alcoholic living on the edge.  Kate survives by selling off her father's paintings and forging more of them when she needs to.  The Tide Mill is now a dangerously decrepit structure at the mercy of the tide.  Her step-brother Luc is now a young man, estranged from her and very angry.  Someone in the village is threatening Kate and  Isa, who is telling the story, is now a lawyer and fully aware of the implications of the phrase "accessory to murder".  She fears it will be applied to her as the police interrogate her and her chums about the body the elements have uncovered at The Reach. Seventeen years had passed before the text from Kate arrived:  I need you!  And as always, they all responded — and for Isa and Fatima, their carefully constructed lives were about to fall apart; for Kate and Thea, things were going from bad to worse.  How could they have been so stupid! A great psychological thriller involving revelations of things that, as teenagers, they had been totally oblivious of, and as they peel away the layers of deception it slowly becomes clear that Ambrose had been murdered and who his murderer was.  Great story, well told with lots of surprises and suspense.
Date published: 2019-04-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from easy read I did enjoy the storyline, however not as suspenseful as I would have liked. The ending was a bit predictable but did enjoy the twist.
Date published: 2019-02-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not a fan I have read most of Ruth Ware's books, and this one really didn't do it for me. I found it to be rather boring and just not as suspenseful as it was made out to be.
Date published: 2018-10-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was ok This book wasn't my favourite by Ruth Ware. It was an ok book but I wouldn't rush out to read or buy it.
Date published: 2018-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! I loved how this had an easy going "remember the good old days" type feel but was also an suspense filled thriller that kept you guessing!
Date published: 2018-08-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Okay book turned out pretty good! This book was an easy read with an interesting story. As soon as it started to get a little bit boring, BOOM, plot twist. Great novel!
Date published: 2018-08-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not Her Best Work The Lying Game was not exactly what i expected.... defiantly not her best work. I felt like the story was going no where for 3/4's of the book. I was going to give up due to just not being interested but I hate leaving a book unread so I tuckered though it. The ending however did provide a twist but took too long into the book before anything exciting happened.
Date published: 2018-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT! The mystery and suspense in the book was outstanding, could not put the book down!!! Just as her other books, this one was in fact just as good!
Date published: 2018-08-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Dull Definitely my least favourite Ruth Ware novel. For a thriller, it was really dull. And the twist was super cheesy in my opinion.
Date published: 2018-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read Great book, this was my first Ruth Ware book, and now I have read all of her books, please check them out, they do not disappoint.
Date published: 2018-07-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Good Summer Read Although this book has a few twists and turns, it's a lighter mystery thriller. I enjoyed it, but it was nothing hard-hitting.
Date published: 2018-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great mystery Quick easy chapters, suspenseful and fun to read. If you like CW and your looking for a quick page turner this is for you. Found I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2018-07-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great novel! This is the perfect quick read for people, like myself, who enjoy easy page turners with a great plot and not too much additional nonsense that has nothing to do with the story. Easy to follow and enough twists to keep you satisfied!
Date published: 2018-07-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't put down I can't put this book down, already half way through it in 2 days! #plumreview
Date published: 2018-06-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Promising Plot But Dull Writing - Umpopular Opinion Alert! Isa, Kate, Thea and Fatima were best friends at Salten House, a coastal boarding school. They bonded quickly over the lying game; a game with 5 simple but strict rules - tell a lie, stick to your story, don't get caught, never lie to each other, & know when to stop lying. The same game that bonded them was also the very same game that separated them. Their lives were changed forever when the school discovered insalubrious drawings of these girls by Ambrose, the school's art teacher who also happens to be Kate's father and coincidently disappeared under mysterious circumstances around the same time. 17 years later, a human bone was found on the beach and the girls were reunited at Salten when Isa received a text from Kate with the words: I need you. Isa begins to question about the disappearance of Ambrose and she suspects one of them broke the lying game rules. As the mystery unravels, Isa realised that the consequences of the lying game is far more threatening than she could ever imagined. This is one of the popular books out there that in my humble opinion is not worth the hype . A slow burn psychological thriller that started off with a promising plot (though not something new), but a frustrating and boring read until the end. There is definitely The Broken Girls (by Simone St. James) vibe here but it just did not deliver the promised plot in an engaging way. I do not mind a slow burn thriller, but this was really slow. It came to a point that I did not really care about the mystery anymore. I felt the writing was trite; going in circles and getting nowhere which eventually led to an out of focus plot. Shallow and weak characters which I could not connect with any of them. Isa, the main character in this story was annoying, weak and whiny. She's a complainer when it comes to motherhood. My reading experience was made worse when this book is narrated from the POV of Isa in first person narration. It just did not work for me. As for the rest of the characters, they appeared to be merely fill-ins characters of this story. There is not one likeable character at all. The only one positive thing I could say about this book is the atmospheric writing. Ware did a good job in creating the settings of the story. Her descriptions of the coastal town, the landscapes, buildings and the surrounding areas were pretty impressive. This is the first and unfortunately will be the last book I will read from Ruth Ware. Her book just did not work for me - from the plot right down to the suspense/thriller elements (which were minimal) - I did not enjoy at all.
Date published: 2018-06-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite I am normally a sucker for cheesy, sappy love stories. But Ruth Ware's the Lying Game has become one of my favorite books in the world!! Absolutely obsessed with the story, characters and the twist and turns this story take! I have given this book to about 5 of my friends!
Date published: 2018-06-14
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not her best I've read both In a dark, dark wood and The woman in cabin 10 and really enjoyed both of them. Was excited to read this, but very disappointed. It was an incredibly slow read and didn't find it all that interesting at all. I was happier the book was over than I was to finally figure the plot out at the end. Will give her next book a chance though!
Date published: 2018-05-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read Easy to read and follow, interesting characters and plot line but the ending seemed a little abrupt. Would have like a more thorough wrap up of the story.
Date published: 2018-05-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Kinda boring I read the synopsis of this book and got excited because I was expecting Pretty Little Liars but better. What I got instead was disappointment. The book had so much promise. It was such a page turner. I kept reading and reading even though it was getting late and I only closed the book when I felt like I was actually going to pass out. I love the premise: four women being reunited after their manipulative lies from high school were coming back to haunt them. It's believable because we've all known a person or a group of people who were just mean. Who lied for the mere enjoyment of tricking people. So when you're waiting for them to get their just desserts, you can't help but be completely invested in their characters and what they were going to do. Fatima and Isa's characters were especially compelling because they were completely different from what they were like in school. They were invited into the game, they didn't create the game. They felt bad about their lies. They tried to move on and be better people. You had characters who were sympathetic, especially when they went to their school reunion and people avoided them, and then you had Kate and Thea who were a little more suspicious. But that last half of the book was lacking. For one thing, the book may be called "The Lying Game" but the characters weren't that good at lying. For example, Owen asked Isa why she was seeing her friends again when she had just gotten back from their reunion. What Isa SHOULD HAVE said was something along the lines of, "It was so nice seeing each other after all of these years that we wanted to keep in touch." Instead, Isa told her husband that she was seeing some of her friends from birthing class, which I thought was ridiculous because Owen is mutual friends with them. So he's bound to meet up with their mutual friends and realize Isa was lying. And guess what? That exact scenario happened. Next, the main female characters didn't actually seem like friends to me. They were friends for less than a year at boarding school before they were all expelled and had seen each other a few times in the past 17 years that they've known each other. Isa hadn't seen Thea at all since school. So how am I supposed to believe that all of them would drop everything and travel to another city just because Kate sent a text saying, "I need you"? And don't even get me started on how all of the characters treated Fatima's religion as an annoyance. One or two ignorant remarks from a side character would have been enough since we do live in an intolerant world but it got distracting after a while. The most disappointing part of the book was the lack of lying and mystery. The book is in Isa's perspective and she only lies (poorly) to Owen. I was expecting more secrets and that each girl would reveal something that would help solve the mystery. Thea had that one tidbit about Ambrose's drunken rant but it didn't add very much to the overall plot. Ruth Ware also made it pretty obvious in the beginning that there was something sexual going on between Kate and her stepbrother Luc. And when the truth was revealed about Ambrose's death, it just sounded ridiculous to me. I was expecting for there to be more of an interesting plot twist but I turned the page and it ended. Even the subplot where Owen thought Isa was cheating on him didn't conclude well. He was mad at her for a good portion of the book and then in the end it's completely resolved. How? Why? We didn't get to witness any of this. One thing about the ending that I can praise is how the women were going to continue the lying game. They were going to lie to the police and stick to a story where they were innocent and would be there to support each other despite disbelievers like Mary Wren. I was reading this particular part and kept thinking to myself, "This is what should have happened throughout the entire book!" The Lying Game was one of those cases where the book got less and less interesting as it went on. Overall, not a terrible book but it wasn't enough. I really wanted a good mystery book with some strong female friendships and I guess I need to search elsewhere for that.
Date published: 2018-05-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! Caught my attention from the beginning. I'm a big fan of Ruth Ware, and I find the writing is getting better with each new book released.
Date published: 2018-05-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great characters and story This moved a bit slowly, but was still enjoyable through and through. Learning about each character was great.
Date published: 2018-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating This caught my attention and held it right through! I am a huge Ruth Ware fan and I just love her writing! This book will keep you hanging on til the last minute!
Date published: 2018-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SO GOOD This book was really good... I loved the suspense and drama, highly recommend!
Date published: 2018-04-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh Pretty slow going and a bit predictable. Not the best book out there
Date published: 2018-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Captivating Read! A real thriller. It's about 4 girls in high school that thought they were too cool for the rest of the crowd, so they lied about various things always vowing to keep the lie with the othe four girls. The twists and turns keep you intreaged throught out the book until the end, which changes things substaintionly.
Date published: 2018-04-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Okay I was surprised by the Lying Game. Ruth usually writes with greater depth and this seemed slightly juvenile. I found myself wondering when something was going to "happen".
Date published: 2018-04-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointed After reading "The Woman in Cabin 10" I beyond excited to read more by Ruth Ware, I picked up "The Lying Game" excited and intrigued. The book was good, no doubt, but I wasn't as hooked and interested as I was in "The Woman in Cabin 10". The story seemed to drag for a while before getting interesting at the very end, however the ending was very sudden and rather disappointing. I would recommend all other books by Ruth Ware, before The Lying Game.
Date published: 2018-04-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good and Interesting I really did like this book! I would say it wasn't my favorite of Ruth's, but I definitely don't regret reading it.
Date published: 2018-03-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Slow Moving I didn't find this book to be much of a thriller until at least two-thirds of the way through. There wasn't much action in those first two-thirds and the ending just fell flat for me
Date published: 2018-03-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Pretty good #plumreview The story and characters kept my interest. It seemed to take a long time before anything happened and I was slightly disappointed in the ending.
Date published: 2018-03-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not my favourite but still enjoyable I read "the woman in cabin 10" and "In a dark, dark wood" and absolutely loved those so I decided to read this one. I didn't enjoy this one as much, still read it all but was not very interested in it. Not my kind of mystery, but still enjoyable.
Date published: 2018-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sense of place I LOVED this book ... much more than the woman in Cabin 10, to be honest. Ruth Ware writes beautifully with a sense of place; I could envision the distinctive environment in which it was set. I loved the relationships in the book and the portrayal of teenage and adult emotions.
Date published: 2018-03-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Riveting! If you are into thrillers, you're gonna love the Lying Game. As good as her Ruth Ware's other books, this one had me at hello!
Date published: 2018-03-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable Read I really appreciate Ruth Ware's work. I actually read this one first and liked it enough to read her first two. I will admit that this one was my least favourite of the three but still worth the read. There were some unexpected twists, and I liked the characters.
Date published: 2018-03-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It was pretty good. I love how well you get to know the characters. This made me want a circle of friends as close as this! It was a tad slow getting started and i was really hoping it would be more intense than it was, but the end is completely great. It's intense and interesting and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Date published: 2018-03-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Strange I felt like this book tried too hard to be suspenseful. It felt overdone. With that in mind the ending was a twist I was not expecting.
Date published: 2018-03-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Keeps you on the edge of your seat This book takes a bit to get going, great for people who like a good thriller. However, it's a very easy read, so not challenging at all.
Date published: 2018-02-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was only alright Compared to Ruth Ware's previous novels, I wasn't too impressed with The Lying Game. It didnt capture my attention as much as Woman in Cabin 10 or In a Dark Dark Wood
Date published: 2018-02-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It was OK I was excited to pick up the third book from Ruth Ware however i was quickly disappointed. Unlike her other two books this was a slow read with a lot of build up and nothing overly exciting happening. I'm glad I read the Woman in Cabin 10 and In a Dark Dark Wood first.
Date published: 2018-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A quick read I don’t usually enjoy mystery novels however this story had my gripped. Very quick paced and the ending has you completely by surprise. A great novel to read on a snowy night in.
Date published: 2018-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite Ruth Ware book so far Easy read, somewhat predictable but with some twists. I enjoyed the book from the beginning, she cuts right to the chase.
Date published: 2018-02-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A Slow, Easy Plot Although an easy read, this book did not have that exciting, quickly developing plot that I was expecting in a thriller/mystery. The book wasn't very exciting and did not draw me in as a reader since it was predictable and very slow at giving crucial details.
Date published: 2018-02-10
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Just Ok. I was excited when I first picked up this book. The way it was sold with the 3 rules set it up to seem like an interesting read. However it fell short of interesting. Although there was much promise, the book did not have much substance. As I read, I constantly was waiting for something to happen... Which it did eventually but for the amount of lead up that was given, it was not worth it in the end.
Date published: 2018-02-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book! Great read especially if you like Pretty Little Liars! I read the book quickly as I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but not as good as her other novels This was a quick read, but definitely not as captivating as "In a Dark, Dark Wood" or "The Woman in Cabin 10".
Date published: 2018-02-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Quick suspenseful read I am a fan of Ruth Ware's two previous books: In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10. She is great at hooking you from the start. Her stories definitely push your ability to "suspend disbelief", but they are fun nail-biters. Yes, the characters sometimes do things that make you face palm, but that's part of the fun, almost like watching a thriller movie when you say, "No, don't go there!" But the characters just can't help themselves. In any case, I enjoyed this book. I liked that the "rules" of the lying game were used as the titles to the chapters. And there are twists to keep you guessing. So don't assume anything!
Date published: 2018-02-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Alright THIS IS GOOD.. This will make you anxious right until the very end. There's so many little wrong decisions everyone makes that you cannot put the book down because you're so scared what is going to happen to everyone. This is truly a thriller and if you like a lot of twists then this is for you!
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from fails to live up to its promise i refuse to believe that a friendship bond would be like this after knowing one another for so short a time at school. not to mention, the lying game itself is toothless considering what we know cliques are capable of.
Date published: 2018-01-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good easy read It was a good easy read although it got predictable about 3/4 of the way in.
Date published: 2018-01-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring The first half of this book is boring. 3/4 of the way through, they finally say what happened. Annoying, boring, unexciting.
Date published: 2018-01-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good read An easy and quick read. The beginning was good but then halfway through I found the book slowed down and not much was happening, making it a bit difficult to keep engaged in the book.
Date published: 2018-01-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Half/Half First half of the book was really good - and then I kind of lost interest as it was slow moving. But its an easy read
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful read I asked for this book for christmas and was so enraptured by the story - I had a hard time putting it down!
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay Book #plumreview - If you're looking for an easy read, this is a good book. Didn't catch me like other books I have read.
Date published: 2018-01-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good I liked the plot but the middle of the novel was a little slow at times, and while it got more exciting by the end I still felt like there was one loose end that was not resolved. Still, a good read! #plumreview
Date published: 2018-01-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Predictable This was the first Ruth Ware book I've read. It was good enough that I went out and bought her previous 2 books but haven't read them yet. I found the story was dragged out and the ending was predictable. Decent read, but not great.
Date published: 2018-01-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I was a little disappointed with the ending
Date published: 2017-12-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I was a little disappointed with the ending
Date published: 2017-12-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok the whole story is ok but the ending is bit disappointing
Date published: 2017-12-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not as good as expected it was a bit light, and not overly believable in several spots. Definitely not as good as previous novels by this author
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Finished in two days! A quick, easy read that paints a setting so vibrant you feel as if you're walking through the marsh with the girls each time.
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great, Easy Read I've read all of Ruth Ware's book and I enjoyed this a touch more than In a Dark, Dark Wood and a lot more than The Woman in Cabin 10. I’m looking forward to Ruth Ware’s next one.
Date published: 2017-12-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I enjoyed this Very easy read as mentioned and pretty entertaining.
Date published: 2017-12-26
Rated 2 out of 5 by from High expectations I had really high hopes for this one, since the cover was so interesting and the story sounded fascinating. Who doesn't love it when the past comes back to haunt? The first half of this book was great - I flew through it in a weekend. The second half was a different story. The story really slowed down and became very repetitive with the descriptions as well as what was happening, followed by an ending that was underwhelming.
Date published: 2017-12-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A mystery unsolved until the last pages. A great story of four friends who kept a dark secret for 17 years. However, behind their secret lay another secret, than another secret and so on. They believe the original secret is now under police investigation. An emergency reunion is called to get their stories straight. , but that can not be done since one is still lying. My favourite mystery of the year.
Date published: 2017-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good book I read Woman in Cabin 10 and enjoyed it so picked this book up. I thought this book was better than The Woman in Cabin 10. A little more suspense but not too much which kept you wanting to read more. Great story about true friendship and what lengths they will go for each other. Looking forward to reading In a Dark Dark Wood.
Date published: 2017-12-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Moody Mystery Ruth Ware can certainly write a page-turner. I didn't love any of the characters, but the mystery was compelling enough to keep me moving forward. I enjoyed the moodiness of the story, and the tension built up very nicely at the end.
Date published: 2017-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Atmospheric thriller This is an atmospheric thriller hinging on high school cliques. How far will you go for your best friends? The main character is a new mother and I appreciated the realistic details about caring for a baby. It's nice to see women's fiction that focuses on friendships rather than romantic relationships as a source of intrigue and chills.
Date published: 2017-12-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting - but not great I'd previously read In a Dark Dark Wood and thought it was decent enough. This book reels you in by not giving you too much information at the beginning and slowly uncovering past events that lead the characters to where they are today. Some parts can seem repetitive and feel like the author is just dragging the story out. I'm a mother, but I do not understand why the main character Kate insists on bringing her baby EVERYWHERE with her....if you think you're in danger, wouldn't it be best to leave the baby with the father?!
Date published: 2017-12-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Creepy yet addicting I didn't mind the slow place of the story, and liked the constant switching back and forth between the past and present. A good read, would recommend for fans of The Girl on the Train and The Woman in Cabin 10. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-11-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Talks about issues present in our society.
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SHE DOES IT AGAIN! Not that I haven't read a good book by Ware, but this one was very good. If you love her stuff, then a definite read, if you're looking to start reading her books, a very good start as well.
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting book I liked the Woman in Cabin 10 a little better than this one, but it was a good read. I liked the dedication of four women to each other who went to college together years ago. A few twists and turns and overall a good story.
Date published: 2017-11-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Better than I thought This was better than I thought it would be. I read in a dark dark wood, and was disappointed by that book, so I had lower expectations. I enjoyed this story more.
Date published: 2017-11-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I could not put it down! As I started reading this book, I quickly realize that I could simply not put it down. I wanted to know what had happened! The story kept me interested all the way through. I really enjoyed it. This was much more captivating than the Woman in Cabin 10.
Date published: 2017-11-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Much better than Woman in Cabin 10 This was a twisty turny read with a satisfying conclusion.
Date published: 2017-11-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Bored... I only made it about 1/2 way through and then I got bored...
Date published: 2017-11-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not my favourite from the author Was disappointed as I have liked her other books. This one just had a hard time keeping me interested.
Date published: 2017-11-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not my cup of Tea. Having never read anything by this author before, I took a gamble and only made it through 2/3 of the book before I gave up.
Date published: 2017-11-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Addictive read This book proves that secrets never end even with those closest to you. Starts out slow but well worth the wait for what is to come.
Date published: 2017-11-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Page Turner Just when you think you have it all figured out, she throws another plot twist at you. I couldn't put this book down. It was a quick, easy read.
Date published: 2017-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Page Turner For Ruth Ware fans -- you will not be disappointed. I read this book in one sitting - I just could not put it down!
Date published: 2017-10-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A page turner I enjoyed this book but found the ending somewhat disappointing, especially as it had kept me intrigued throughout. It was on par with her other novels.
Date published: 2017-10-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book An easy read, that you won't want to put down.
Date published: 2017-10-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I loved this! I started it and couldn't put it down. An easy read that kept me intrigued!
Date published: 2017-10-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I love the examination of place in this novel. It's visceral and intriguing
Date published: 2017-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Thriller! Great, quick, easy read that pulled you in and kept you guessing to the end!
Date published: 2017-10-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good, not great I loved Ruth's other books, but I found In a dark dark wood to be much better than this one. Had I read it prior to that one I might have given it a higher rating. There are some twists and turns near the end of the book but some of her other work is much better.
Date published: 2017-10-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Decent I enjoyed this book, while not my favourite, it is still a good read
Date published: 2017-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Looks Interesting! Sounds like a great plot with a maze of mystery and twists at every corner!
Date published: 2017-10-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from this book was very good i think this book was very good as well i gave it 4 stars on kobo but the people were enjoyable to read too it is a very good thriller as well
Date published: 2017-10-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I will admit, I initially thought to myself "this is a 4.5 star book," but I just couldn't do it. The more I think about it the better it gets
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So intriguing! This book leaves you at the edge of your seat as you try and figure out what's going on. I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2017-10-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Very Detailed The book is filled with a lot of detail and not a ton of dialogue. Slow developing story line. Good story though.
Date published: 2017-10-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable The followup book to Woman in Cabin 10 was an enjoyable read. At times it moved a little too slow for my liking though.
Date published: 2017-10-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I couldn't put this book down. There is always something going on that keeps you reading
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Overall Enjoyed I really did love the book! It was written well and this made for such a breezy read. I couldn't give 5 stars though because the ending fell a little flat for me. Overall though, this was certainly a great book. My favourite Ruth Ware though? Probably not
Date published: 2017-10-03
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing Book I really enjoyed this book. It's not exactly a thriller or mystery but it is definitely interesting and it had me hooked. My main criticism is that I kinda saw the ending coming, but then again, I have a habit of doing that with most books...
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Found it somewhat dry at times.
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Found it somewhat dry at times.
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Liked it This is a pretty good novel. The story moves forward at a steady pace and the ending ties the plot and characters together.
Date published: 2017-09-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boring This book had a lot of build up, for no reason. It was boring. End of story.
Date published: 2017-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Decent read Did enjoy but as anything in life not perfect. End was a bit rushed for my liking, I think it was an attempt to create a reaction but was not successful to me. Not a horrible read but not my favorite.
Date published: 2017-09-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Disappointing, boastful, and overrated
Date published: 2017-09-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from ok such a strange read... there were just too many problems and I couldn't bring myself to finish it.
Date published: 2017-09-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE THIS BOOK Ruth Ware is amazing and her books are so suspenseful
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyed but lacking ... Enjoyed and eagerly kept reading but felt the twists were not that surprising. The ending seemed a little hurried and the final paragraph just lead to a final twist (?) but couldn't be explored.
Date published: 2017-09-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok this is such a great book! I loved the plot, storyline, and everything in between!
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good but not Great I did like this book, but I guess I didn't love it. It didn't impact me that much, which is a let down to be honest. Could just be me though!
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Okay Love the author, but with this particular book it took me to about half way for it to catch my interest. not my favorite
Date published: 2017-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FAVORITE BOOK!!! could not put this book down, amazing twists !!
Date published: 2017-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth the read I've been in such a thriller kick lately, and after devouring The Woman in Cabin 10, I couldn't wait for this one to come out. Although it didn't feature the same pervasive, foreboding moodiness as The Woman in Cabin 10, I found it to be a highly emotional, sucks-you-right-in thriller that demanded to be read in a day. Ruth Ware does not disappoint, providing the reader with the level of detail and depth of character that's becoming hard to find in the modern thriller. Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy.
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great read! Fans of Pretty Little Liars will love this book. I fought some of it a bit hard to believe but enjoyed the characters and mystery woven throughout.
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good read This book wasn't as good as The Woman in Cabin 10. It was slow to start and the strong relationship between the four main characters wasn't really believable. The last third of the book is good and worth the read if you can get that far.
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from If you like mysteries this is a good one! A great read! If you like mysteries I would recommend this novel. I am always looking for a thrilling novel and this one did not disappoint like some do. Some of the others I like are The Woman in Cabin 10, Perfect Strangers and All the Missing Girls!
Date published: 2017-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cannot wait!! Just bought this book. Have heard nothing but good about it.
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from not a surprise As usual, I love her books!
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth reading Although this book didn't match up to the other Ruth Ware books, I still thought it was a decent read. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from .. Heard so many things about this book and pleased to say I genuinely enjoyed it!
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh Having previously read and enjoyed the Woman in Cabin 10, I was really looking forward to this book. Unfortunately, I found it to be a bit of a letdown. I kept expecting some big mystery/big reveal but I was underwhelmed by what the mystery turned out to be. I thought it was a little too predictable. I do enjoy Ruth Ware's writing style but the overall story was a disappointment.
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I had to read until the end Thrilling. Read it as soon as I could. This was the first book I read by Ruth Ware and her writing is suspenseful, engaging and the mystery she weaved of the four main characters and their lies will make you stick around until the end of the book. We meet four girls who played what they considered to be a harmless game, but it led to long lasting consequences. They called it "The Lying Game" and there are five rules; TELL A LIE, STICK TO YOUR STORY, DON'T GET CAUGHT, NEVER LIE TO EACH OTHER, KNOW WHEN TO STOP LYING. We learn SPOILER Kate's dad is dead and the girls played some role in it, but they didn't murder him. Instead, they buried the body. And one of the girls has been lying for 17 years. We are introduced to four characters Isa, Kate, Thea and Fatima. Four girls who met on the way to boarding school and have been hiding a big secret and as we start the novel, the secret is in jeopardy of being exposed. Kate sends a text to the four girls, "I need you," and with that the girls return to the small town where they went to school at Salten House to try and get their stories straight, while also figuring out what happened that night. The story is told entirely though Isa's perspective and the story is woven through the past and the present where we learn about where she in her life as well as the events that led her and the other girls to Salten House. She is a strong character, who is a new mother and the first character we're introduced to in the book. We learn more about her than anyone else and we learn about the other characters from her perspective as well. She is the character who takes the Sherlock or Nancy Drew persona. As an adult she learns the impact her actions had on the four girls and the city as well as the school. This is a captivating story and fans of mystery novels, as well as author Sara Shepard's books will enjoy this story. I recommend it. My only critique is that I would've liked to read a chapter from the other girl's perspective to learn how she coped with what happened and her thoughts about what's happening now.
Date published: 2017-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a great book a good read for teens to adults
Date published: 2017-09-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Story Just finished tis one. Ruth Ware gets better with each successive story. This one flips back and forth showing us 4 girls in a boarding school and a terrible secret they share - the later repercussions of that secret. A really good read.
Date published: 2017-08-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Keep reading! I initially bought this book because I absolutely LOVED The woman in cabin 10. I love the style of Ruths writing and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. I feel this book did start off a little slow but once you got to know the characters it was hard to put down. It wasn't an ending anyone will suspect I will say that much. It's a perfect book to curl up on a fall day
Date published: 2017-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Lying Game I loved the story line and the characters.
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Lying Game I liked the plot and I liked Kate and Thea, but Isa was way too annoying.
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from a decent mystery A pretty good book, but slow at times.
Date published: 2017-08-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Wanted to like it more... Given that I absolutely loved her previous books, I was super excited to read this one. I was a bit disappointed as the story seemed disjointed and the context of the husband of not being more of a voice in the beginning of the book didn't ring as believable. Isa as a character was a bit annoying and the timelines of the friendship didn't come across as right. if they were such good friends, no matter what happened, should they not have been in better contact? the ending I absolutely hated because of Isa and her thoughts - ended too abruptly and with some confusion over what she meant.
Date published: 2017-08-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from nope I read half a chapter and I'm already wanting my money back!!!! So bad . What young mother could tell her husband that an old friend had texted her and invited her to come and stay and say that she was leaving that day with the baby and had no idea when she would be back !!!! No husband would say ok honey have a great time I'll just decorate the nursery while you are away!!! Ridiculous
Date published: 2017-08-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great if you like gossip girl and pretty little liars This was my second book by Ruth ware and I was almost not going to try it! My first was the woman in cabin 10 and I didn’t like it all….I wanted to give this a chance cause I saw someone relate it to gossip girl and pretty little liars and I loved both of the shows. I would defiantly give this book a chance cause I actually really enjoyed it. It wasn’t the best book but it kept me into it till the end wanting to figure out what the heck was going on.
Date published: 2017-08-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome read A great plot with an element of mystery/suspense and complex characters.
Date published: 2017-08-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing great mystery, would give to my friends/family for a mystery novel
Date published: 2017-08-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from nice! I got this a while ago and just finished reading it! before this, I had read and watched pretty little liars. I can see why pretty little liar fans wold like it, I love it!
Date published: 2017-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read! I thought this was a great easy mystery read. Would definitely recommend.
Date published: 2017-08-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This book was fantastic I borrowed this off a friend and I never gave it back because I loved it so much
Date published: 2017-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Decent Mystery! It's a good story that kept my attention
Date published: 2017-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from cool just okay, not the best but still good!
Date published: 2017-08-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just Okay It was somewhat engaging but overall disappointing. I would not recommend the book unless given it for free or a under $10 buy. It was a quick read and the mystery kept me intrigued but the ending fell flat.
Date published: 2017-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really enjoyed this book! Really great book! Reads easily, keeps you captivated and wondering what happens next. Very "pretty little liars". Couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2017-08-08
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not good Gave up on this book. Did not enjoy it
Date published: 2017-08-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Decent. A good attempt at storytelling.
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I was disappointed with this book I expected more from this book. I kept waiting for the main character's husband to communicate with her. Given that she left with their baby, I would have thought that the husband would have either emailed, texted or called her to see how things were going. This only happened at the END of the book, which led me to believe that the entire book was based on one day...a very, very long day. This book was not a page turner for me. I really enjoyed the author's previously published books. However, this particular novel did not keep me interested.
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Lying Game A great standalone mystery. Isa is a bit annoying though.
Date published: 2017-08-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read Good and interesting read.
Date published: 2017-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sounds amazing! I will be ordering this book, sounds fantastic!
Date published: 2017-07-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting read Grabbed my attention from start to finish!
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love This is a great book! very interesting story and well written!
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Lying Game is the perfect novel for fans of Pretty Little Liars who are looking for a quick read. The Lying Game is the perfect novel for fans of Pretty Little Liars. It features a deep friendship between four young girls turned adults, secrets and lies, and an ending that will be great to some and disappointing to others. What I enjoyed most about The Lying Game was Ware's ability to forge and cement the friendship between the four women (Isa, Kate, Fatima, and Thea) through flashbacks and Isa's internal thoughts. The flashbacks contain enough information to keep the reader interested in the mystery of why they were summoned as well the intricacies of their friendship. The writing style is straightforward with hints of stream of consciousness. Ware balances a delicate line of Isa's internal mundane monologue and pertinent information to the mystery. The choice to make Isa the main character and frame the novel from her point of view is an interesting one. Isa the teenager and Isa the adult are two different people. Isa is a new mother making her very protective of her child and the life she’s forged with her partner. When I started the novel, I thought I wouldn’t enjoy Isa because she had a baby stuck to her side the entire time, however I came to enjoy that characterization and how it motivated her. The reader comes to understand Isa and Kate intimately, however Thea and Fatima remain underwritten. Thea and Fatima seemed like interesting characters, so it’s a shame that they were so underutilized. The last 3/4 of the book is slower than the rest making the ending feel sluggish and slightly unsatisfying. All the questions are answered and the mystery is solved. Despite the sluggish pace, the final moments of the novel are full of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. I thought I had the ending pegged, but, to my delight, I was wrong. Overall, The Lying Game is the perfect novel for fans of Pretty Little Liars who are looking for a quick read that features a mystery seeded in friendship, lies, and deceit.
Date published: 2017-07-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from stupid book Had to give up on this half way through. Just kept waiting for something to happen.
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Who is telling the truth? If you love psychological suspense, you're going to love Ruth Ware's novels. Her third book, The Lying Game has just released and yes, I loved it! Isa, Kate, Thea and Fatima all attended the same seaside boarding school. While there, they played what they called The Lying Game. They lied to everyone but adhered to the one rule they laid down - never lie to each other. But their game and their time together abruptly comes to an end when something tragic occurs. Expelled and split up, they go their own ways, except Kate, who stays in Salten. Now grown with careers and families, they only sporadically stay in touch. But, when Kate sends a text with the words 'I need you' to the other three, they immediately come back to Salten. You see, the past can only stay buried so long - and an omission is as good as a lie.... I am a huge fan of 'unreliable narrator' tales - I love trying to suss out what is actually the truth. This time we have multiples - four self proclaimed liars. Isa is our lead character. We see both the present and the past through her eyes and memories. More of what I love - that back and forth only heightens the tension of a book. We know something has happened in the past - unclear references hint at something terrible, but it is never completely spelled out. (And is only finally revealed in the last few chapters.) I need to know what the secret is! The book then switches back to the present - another sure fire technique for keeping me up late reading. The Lying Game has a mystery at its core, but it is also an exploration of female friendship and familial relationships. These four wouldn't seem to be drawn together as friends - they're all very different in personality and temperament. Ware does a wonderful job portraying and exploring the bonds of friendship, loyalty and time. The same goes for the family piece - what defines a family and where does loyalty lie? The setting is perfect - a remote coastal town, an isolated school, a ruin of a building that has housed family, friends and secrets for many years, as well as a surrounding village filled with distinctly contentious inhabitants. All of this just adds a great atmospheric backdrop for the all the possibilities, scenarios and questions I came up with. The Lying Game is a character driven novel with a secret at the heart of it. A secret that changes the course of many lives. It's an addictive read - one I didn't want to put down - and one I finished far too fast again. This reader will be waiting for book number four.
Date published: 2017-07-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Lying Game keeps you on your toes I’m a huge fan of Ruth Ware! I loved “In A Dark, Dark Wood” and “The Woman in Cabin 10”. Ware’s latest novel “The Lying Game” has a different feel than her previous books. I was really excited to get my hands on an ARC of the “The Lying Game” and may have set myself up for disappointment. I didn’t love the characters in this book. I don’t think their characters developed much between high school and 17 years later. It didn’t feel like the girls learned their lesson about The Lying Game at all. Additionally, there is a weird feel to a brother/sister relationship that left a weird taste in my mouth. That being said, “The Lying Game” kept you guessing until the very last page. Every time you thought you knew, Ware threw you for another loop. I love a good page turner and I absolutely love a surprising ending. All in all, I’d give “The Lying Game” a solid 4-stars.
Date published: 2017-06-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good Well written and good throughout!
Date published: 2017-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Cannot wait Pre-ordered this book, cannot wait to read it.
Date published: 2017-05-12

Read from the Book

The Lying Game The Reach is wide and quiet this morning, the pale blue sky streaked with pink mackerel-belly clouds, the shallow sea barely rippling in the slight breeze, and so the sound of the dog barking breaks into the calm like gunshots, setting flocks of gulls crying and wheeling in the air. Plovers and terns explode up as the dog bounds joyously down the river bank, scampering down the runnelled side, where the earth turns from spiky grassy dunes to reed-specked mud, where the water wavers between salt and fresh. In the distance the Tide Mill stands sentinel, black and battered against the cool calm of the morning sky, the only man-made structure in a landscape slowly crumbling back into the sea. “Bob!” The woman’s voice rings out above the volley of barks as she pants to catch up. “Bob, you rascal. Drop it. Drop it, I say. What’ve you found?” As she draws closer, the dog tugs again at the object protruding from the mud, trying to pull it free. “Bob, you filthy brute, you’re covered. Let it go. Oh God, it’s not another dead sheep, is it?” It’s the last heroic yank that sends the dog staggering back along the shore, something in its jaw. Triumphant, he scrambles up the bank to lay the object at the feet of his owner. And as she stands, looking dumbstruck, the dog panting at her feet, the silence returns to the bay like a tide coming in.The Lying Game The sound is just an ordinary text alert, a quiet beep beep in the night that does not wake Owen, and would not have woken me except that I was already awake, lying there, staring into the darkness, the baby at my breast snuffling, not quite feeding, not quite unlatching. I lie there for a moment thinking about the text, wondering who it could be. Who’d be texting at this hour? None of my friends would be awake . . . unless it’s Milly gone into labor already . . . God, it can’t be Milly, can it? I’d promised to take Noah if Milly’s parents couldn’t get up from Devon in time to look after him, but I never really thought . . . I can’t quite reach the phone from where I’m lying, and at last I unlatch Freya with a finger in the corner of her mouth, and rock her gently onto her back, milk-sated, her eyes rolling back in her head like someone stoned. I watch her for a moment, my palm resting lightly on her firm little body, feeling the thrum of her heart in the birdcage of her chest as she settles, and then I turn to check my phone, my own heart quickening slightly like a faint echo of my daughter’s. As I tap in my PIN, squinting slightly at the brightness of the screen, I tell myself to stop being silly—it’s four weeks until Milly’s due, it’s probably just a spam text, Have you considered claiming a refund for your payment protection insurance? But, when I get the phone unlocked, it’s not Milly. And the text is only three words. I need you. • • • IT IS 3:30 A.M., AND I am very, very awake, pacing the cold kitchen floor, biting at my fingernails to try to quell the longing for a cigarette. I haven’t touched one for nearly ten years, but the need for one ambushes me at odd moments of stress and fear. I need you. I don’t need to ask what it means—because I know, just as I know who sent it, even though it’s from a number I don’t recognize. Kate. Kate Atagon. Just the sound of her name brings her back to me, like a vivid rush—the smell of her soap, the freckles across the bridge of her nose, cinnamon against olive. Kate. Fatima. Thea. And me. I close my eyes and picture them all, the phone still warm in my pocket, waiting for the texts to come through. Fatima will be lying asleep beside Ali, curled into his spine. Her reply will come around 6:00 a.m., when she gets up to make breakfast for Nadia and Samir and get them ready for school. Thea—Thea is harder to picture. If she’s working nights she’ll be in the casino, where phones are forbidden to staff and shut up in lockers until their shifts are finished. She’ll roll off shift at eight in the morning, perhaps? Then she’ll have a drink with the other girls, and then she’ll reply, wired up with a successful night dealing with punters, collating chips, watching for cardsharps and professional gamblers. And Kate. Kate must be awake—she sent the text, after all. She’ll be sitting at her dad’s worktable—hers now, I suppose—in the window overlooking the Reach, with the waters turning pale gray in the predawn light, reflecting the clouds and the dark hulk of the Tide Mill. She will be smoking, as she always did. Her eyes will be on the tides, the endlessly shifting, eddying tides, on the view that never changes and yet is never the same from one moment to the next—just like Kate herself. Her long hair will be drawn back from her face, showing her fine bones, and the lines that thirty-two years of wind and sea have etched at the corners of her eyes. Her fingers will be stained with oil paint, ground into the cuticles, deep beneath the nails, and her eyes will be at their darkest slate blue, deep and unfathomable. She will be waiting for our replies. But she knows what we’ll say—what we’ve always said, whenever we got that text, those three words. I’m coming. I’m coming. I’m coming.The Lying Game I’m coming!” I shout it up the stairs, as Owen calls something down above Freya’s sleepy squawking cries. When I get up to the bedroom he’s holding her, pacing back and forth, his face still pink and crumpled from the pillow. “Sorry,” he says, stifling a yawn. “I tried to calm her down but she wasn’t having any of it. You know what she’s like when she’s hungry.” I crawl onto the bed and scoot backwards into the pillows until I’m sitting against the headboard, and Owen hands me a red-faced, indignant Freya who takes one affronted look up at me and then lunges for my breast with a little grunt of satisfaction. All is quiet, except for her greedy suckling. Owen yawns again, ruffles his hair, and looks at the clock, and then begins pulling on his underwear. “Are you getting up?” I ask in surprise. He nods. “I might as well. No point in going back to sleep when I’ve got to get up at seven anyway. Bloody Mondays.” I look at the clock. Six a.m. It’s later than I thought. I must have been pacing the kitchen for longer than I realized. “What were you doing up, anyway?” he asks. “Did the bin lorry wake you?” I shake my head. “No, I just couldn’t sleep.” A lie. I’d almost forgotten how they feel on my tongue, slick and sickening. I feel the hard, warm bump of my phone in my dressing gown pocket. I’m waiting for it to vibrate. “Fair enough.” He suppresses another yawn and buttons up his shirt. “Want a coffee, if I put one on?” “Yeah, sure,” I say. Then, just as he’s leaving the room, “Owen—” But he’s already gone and he doesn’t hear me. Ten minutes later he comes back with the coffee, and this time I’ve had time to practice my lines, work out what I’m going to say, and the semi-casual way I’m going to say it. Still I swallow and lick my lips, dry-mouthed with nerves. “Owen, I got a text from Kate yesterday.” “Kate from work?” He puts the coffee down with a little bump, it slops slightly, and I use the sleeve of my dressing gown to mop the puddle, protecting my book, giving me time to reply. “No, Kate Atagon. You know, I went to school with her?” “Oh, that Kate. The one who brought her dog to that wedding we went to?” “That’s right. Shadow.” I think of him. Shadow—a white German shepherd with a black muzzle and soot-speckled back. I think of the way he stands in the doorway, growls at strangers, rolls his snowy belly up to those he loves. “So . . . ?” Owen prods, and I realize I’ve stopped talking, lost my thread. “Oh, right. So she’s invited me to come and stay, and I thought I might go.” “Sounds like a nice idea. When would you go?” “Like . . . now. She’s invited me now.” “And Freya?” “I’d take her.” Of course, I nearly add, but I don’t. Freya has never taken a bottle, in spite of a lot of trying on my part, and Owen’s. The one night I went out for a party, she screamed solidly from 7:30 p.m. to 11:58, when I burst through the doors of the flat to snatch her out of Owen’s limp, exhausted arms. There’s another silence. Freya leans her head back, watching me with a small frown, and then gives a quiet belch and returns to the serious business of getting fed. I can see thoughts flitting across Owen’s face . . . That he’ll miss us . . . That he’ll have the bed all to himself . . . Lie-ins . . . “I could get on with decorating the nursery,” he says at last. I nod, although this is the continuation of a long discussion between the two of us—Owen would like the bedroom, and me, back to himself and thinks that Freya will be going into her own room imminently, when she turns six months. I . . . don’t. Which is partly why I’ve not found the time to clear the guest room of all our clutter and repaint it in baby-friendly colors. “Sure,” I say. “Well, go for it, I reckon,” Owen says at last. He turns away and begins sorting through his ties. “Do you want the car?” he asks over his shoulder. “No, it’s fine. I’ll take the train. Kate will pick me up from the station.” “Are you sure? You won’t want to be lugging all Freya’s stuff on the train, will you? Is this straight?” “What?” For a minute I’m not sure what he’s on about, and then I realize—the tie. “Oh, yes, it’s straight. No, honestly, I’m happy to take the train. It’ll be easier; I can feed Freya if she wakes up. I’ll just put all her stuff in the bottom of the pram.” He doesn’t respond, and I realize he’s already running through the day ahead, ticking things off a mental checklist just as I used to do a few months ago—only it feels like a different life. “Okay, well, look, I might leave today if that’s all right with you.” “Today?” He scoops his change off the chest of drawers and puts it in his pocket, and then comes over to kiss me good-bye on the top of my head. “What’s the hurry?” “No hurry,” I lie. I feel my cheeks flush. I hate lying. It used to be fun—until I didn’t have a choice. I don’t think about it much now, perhaps because I’ve been doing it for so long, but it’s always there, in the background, like a tooth that always aches and suddenly twinges with pain. Most of all, though, I hate lying to Owen. Somehow I always managed to keep him out of the web, and now he’s being drawn in. I think of Kate’s text, sitting there on my phone, and it feels as if poison is leaching out of it, into the room—threatening to spoil everything. “It’s just Kate’s between projects, so it’s a good time for her and . . . well, I’ll be back at work in a few months, so it just feels like now’s as good a time as any.” “Okay,” he says, bemused but not suspicious. “Well, I guess I’d better give you a proper good-bye kiss, then.” He kisses me, properly, deeply, making me remember why I love him, why I hate deceiving him. Then he pulls away and kisses Freya. She swivels her eyes sideways to regard him suspiciously, pausing in her feed for a moment, and then she resumes sucking with the single-minded determination that I love about her. “Love you, too, little vampire,” Owen says affectionately. Then, to me, “How long is the journey?” “Four hours, maybe? Depends how the connections go.” “Okay, well, have a great time, and text me when you get there. How long do you think you’ll stay?” “A few days?” I hazard. “I’ll be back before the weekend.” Another lie. I don’t know. I have no idea. As long as Kate needs me. “I’ll see when I get there.” “Okay,” he says again. “Love you.” “I love you, too.” And at last, that’s something I can tell the truth about.

Editorial Reviews

“Ruth Ware has written an exciting and amazing book that never stops circling the reader and clapping its cold hands over her eyes.”