This was my third book by Ware, and even though I liked The Woman in Cabin 10 a bit more, this one is a close second.

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is The Lying Game by Ruth Ware. Thank you so much to Simon and Schuster Canada for providing me with an ARC of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

The book follows a group of friends who are meeting back up after not seeing each other since they left school seventeen years ago. After bones are found on the beach by Kate's home, she calls the group back. Thea, Fatima, and Isa all come running - dropping everything in their lives. Because they know what is at stake. It's been almost two decades since they last played the Lying Game, around the time of Kate's father's disappearance and the girls' expulsion from the boarding school they all attended. Now the past is coming back to catch up with them and the girls don't know how to untangle themselves from the lies they spun so carefully years ago.

The book is told in Isa's point of view. She is a mother and a lawyer now. I thought it was an interesting choice to not have the story told from Kate's perspective since the story follows her life and family so closely. But I think because of the secrets each of the girls have, Kate especially, that Isa was a more neutral choice for a narrator.

Going into this book I knew it was going to be a slow burn. I had heard a couple things from other reviewers that said Ware takes this one slowly so I was prepared. I think if I hadn't known that going in, I would have been more annoyed with it than I was. However, this pacing creates an atmospheric and eery backdrop. There were some details of the mystery that Ware was forthcoming with and others that were held back, creating not necessarily a suspenseful read in the traditional sense, but more of a slow-burning anticipation.

In regards to the mystery itself, I was pleasantly surprised. I think Ware did a great job of playing her hand close. She didn't give away many details and I wasn't able to guess the ending. Some of that may go hand-in-hand with the slower pace of the story, but I found the build up well thought out and well planned.

There were many things about this story that I liked. There was a bit of diversification with a Muslim character, a great seaside backdrop and a close-knit town where everyone knows everyone's business. But by the same token, there are some things I didn't love. I felt like the Lying Game was a bit much. The girls would tell lies and give each other points. I thought it was a bit childish and I think the story would have been just about the same if they didn't have the reputation as liars. And the idea that because they lied as children means they are liars as adults - really?

The only thing I didn't love and the only reason I didn't give this one a full five-star rating was because of the ending. I think because of the slower pace, I was anticipating a big reveal in the end. And while we did find out what really happened, I just feel like everything got wrapped up a little too nicely. We never really see what the consequences are, both with the mystery and with Isa's personal life. I felt like the drama with Owen just kind of popped up sporadically and wasn't really resolved at the end. I think this book really could have benefited from an epilogue or something that left us hanging a bit more. It's good to wrap things up, but not so perfectly that everyone ends up unfazed.

Overall, not as good as some of Ware's others, but not my least favourite either.