From the author of The Woman in Cabin 10, a psychological thriller about four women, childhood friends from boarding school in England, who are brought back together when a terrible secret from their past resurfaces.
Ware sets her psychological puzzle in a crumbling old mill on the Reach, where a marshy river meets the glimmering sea. It’s the home of Kate, who summons her old friends Isa, Thea and Fatima when the discovery of a human bone in the shifting sand threatens to reveal misdeeds from their boarding-school days 17 years earlier ... Ware further complicates the guessing game with the disclosure that the teenagers once played a game of their own invention, awarding points for telling convincing lies to taunt their classmates ... Capable as she is, Ware hasn’t worked out all the kinks of believability ...for the most part, The Lying Game makes good on its premise that tall tales have consequences, especially when they’re exposed to the glare of truth.
Ware masterfully harnesses the millhouse’s decrepit menace to create a slow-rising sense of foreboding, darkening Isa’s recollections of the weeks leading to Ambrose’s disappearance. Previous blockbusters guarantee popularity for Ware’s latest thriller, and, with arguably her most complex, fully realized characters yet, this one may become her biggest hit yet.
This story stays scrupulously within the lines: to the degree it satisfies, it does so because — like a Lifetime movie — its premise, setting and characters are so comfortably broken-in. There’s even a haunted house, a dark and stormy night, a baby in peril and climactic trials by flood and fire ... Ware’s style here is as routine as her plot. For instance, when faced with an awful revelation, Isa feels 'a shiver of cold run from my neck, all the way down my back, prickling at my skin.' In other scenes, like many a thriller heroine before her, words scream inside Isa’s head ... The Lying Game rallies in its second half, making a few unforeseen detours off its well-worn narrative road before inevitably returning to that perilous half-submerged footbridge to wrap things up. As long as readers are ready to surrender to the pleasures of the predictable, Ware’s latest thriller is enjoyable enough.