I liked In a dark dark wood so of course you're going to give her another chance---won't do that again
So long, draggy, slow, slow, slow, first 100 pages and it wasn't even interesting yet
Another book that goes from present to past over and over, gets so tiresome
Overlong boring descriptions that aren't necessary and don't care about, got to the point I kept thinking 'get to the point' over and over
I don't think Ware will make it to my 'must have' list
I enjoyed Ms Ware's previous books, but this one did nothing for me. It was slow and boring and I just didn't like the characters. I quit reading it on page 100.
Isa, Kate, Fatima, and Thea were the best of friends for a year in boarding school. Thick as thieves, they kept to themselves at Salten House, bonded by a game they invented (The Lying Game), where they came up with increasingly higher stakes lies for a series of points and boasting rights. The girls spent much of their time at The Mill House, Kate's childhood home--a quick walk across the marsh from their boarding school and home to Kate's father, Ambrose, and stepbrother, Luc. But all that changes when Ambrose, an art teacher at Salten, dies; a scandal is uncovered; and the girls are expelled. Years pass without the four women seeing each other, until they receive a text from Kate: I need you. Isa--with her baby daughter in tow, Fatima, and Thea return to The Mill House, where Kate still lives, to help their friend. But what exactly happened all those years ago? And are the women still playing The Lying Game?
So I probably enjoyed this novel more than I should have, considering it's rather predictable. There are so few characters in the book as a whole, it seems, for the ending to be that grand of a surprise. It's also a slow-moving mystery where much of the drama could be avoided if the characters would just talk to each other or tell the truth - ever. The main character, Isa, puts her baby in danger far more often than a reasonable parent would, and for what? Even worse, while Isa is a fairly well-developed main character, her three best friends seem to be more of cliches or stereotypes than fleshed out characters.
Still, Ware has had this hold on me on each of her two previous novels--and she did it again here. The book is just oddly readable, and I found myself drawn to it, despite its flaws, so I have to give that to her. I read it rather quickly, despite being swamped at work, and found myself sneaking away to finish it on my lunch break. It's very descriptive, just like her first two books, and you can easily picture the eerie setting. Even if you're not fully invested in what's happening or you're pretty sure what's going to happen, or who was involved, there's just something compelling that makes you keep reading. The novel is told from Isa's point of view, unfolding in the present, but flashing back to her memories of the past. It's a rather effective technique, as we only figure out plot pieces as she does and can discern bits and pieces of the story through Isa's perspective alone.
Overall, I'd hoped for a bit more, and I probably enjoyed Ware's first two novels as a cohesive whole more than this one. But I won't deny that I found this book intriguing and that it kept me reading. There's certainly a lot in the novel that requires you to suspend some elements of disbelief. Still, I'll definitely continue to read anything Ware writes--she just has a fascinating style.
More at http://justacatandabookatherside.blogspot.com.
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 LondonâFatima, Thea, and Isabelâreceive the text they had always hoped would NEVER come, from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique, Kate, that says only, âI need you.â
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 otherâever. 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-footedâwhich has now become Ruth Ware's signature styleâThe Lying Game is sure to be her next big bestseller. Another unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.
I liked this book better than The Woman in Cabin 10. I think the characters were better developed and the plot was a little more interesting. It was a fast read and held my interest but the ending was a bit predictable. The story was told with flashbacks from the present to the past and showed the power and guilt of telling lies. The setting was described very well and made you feel a part of the story. The pace of the story was a little too slow in the beginning but moved faster with twists and turns towards the ending. I would, however, recommend this book to those who like to read about secrets kept from the past.