September 21, 2017

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Ware's novel emotionally fraught

Honesty is the best policy. Or so we’re told as we’re growing up. We learn trust is earned, and telling lies destroys the trust we build with others.

But let’s be honest — we all tell lies. Most are little white lies, harmless and often without consequence. We sometimes do it subconsciously, to frame ourselves in a better light or to twist circumstances to suit us. Other lies we tell to protect others; we can justify the intention behind them, forgetting lies can be dangerous and that there are serious consequences if we’re ever found out.

From the bestselling author of the blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes The Lying Game, an addictive mystery that reminds us how lies can come back to haunt us, even when we think they’re long buried.

In London author Ruth Ware’s third novel, Isa Wilde comes face to face with a secret she’s kept for 17 years. It all starts with a text in the middle of the night saying, “I need you.” That’s all it takes to trigger deep-seated fears, old habits and sinister memories.

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Honesty is the best policy. Or so we’re told as we’re growing up. We learn trust is earned, and telling lies destroys the trust we build with others.

But let’s be honest — we all tell lies. Most are little white lies, harmless and often without consequence. We sometimes do it subconsciously, to frame ourselves in a better light or to twist circumstances to suit us. Other lies we tell to protect others; we can justify the intention behind them, forgetting lies can be dangerous and that there are serious consequences if we’re ever found out.

From the bestselling author of the blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes The Lying Game, an addictive mystery that reminds us how lies can come back to haunt us, even when we think they’re long buried.

In London author Ruth Ware’s third novel, Isa Wilde comes face to face with a secret she’s kept for 17 years. It all starts with a text in the middle of the night saying, "I need you." That’s all it takes to trigger deep-seated fears, old habits and sinister memories.

Packing up her newborn daughter, Freya, Isa heads from London back to the fictional southern U.K. town of Salten for the first time in years to reunite with her old school friends and confront what they’ve been meticulously hiding for nearly two decades.

When Isa arrives in Salten, she’s surprised by how much, and how little, time changes everything. Kate’s house, Tide Mill, where the girls spent so much of their time when they were boarders at Salten House school, now resembles a jumble of driftwood, sadly sinking into the beautiful estuary that is the Reach. The coastline has been eaten away by the sea, the tide chipping away at the dunes and uncovering secrets hidden in the sand.

Isa’s longtime friends, too, are the same and yet so different. Each has found her own way of masking what happened and coping with what they hid all those years ago: Fatima, a successful doctor, has embraced her faith and become a devout Muslim; Thea, a perpetual party girl, drinks pain and memories away; and Kate has stayed put, unable to distance herself from Salten. But their masks begin to slip when Kate reveals the news that brought them all together: human remains have been found in the Reach and their story might now surface.

A grown-up Pretty Little Liars, The Lying Game reminds us that lies — no matter how pure and good the intention behind them, and no matter how deeply we think they are suppressed — are treacherous and can be revealed.

Ware is a poetic wordsmith and a master at creating atmosphere. That said, while The Lying Game comes to an explosive conclusion, the story is light on thrill and heavy on emotion.

An absorbing summer read perfect for a stormy night out at the lake, The Lying Game will capture your attention and hold it until the very end.

Katrina Sklepowich is a lover of all things literary, and creator of the Literally, Katrina podcast and blog at LiterallyKatrina.com.

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