Four friends. One promise. But someone isn't telling the truth. The twisting new mystery from bestselling phenomenon Ruth Ware.
The text message arrives in the small hours of the night. It’s just three words: I need you. Isa drops everything, takes her baby daughter and heads straight to Salten. She spent the most significant days of her life at boarding school on the marshes there, days which still cast their shadow over her.
At school Isa and her three best friends used to play the Lying Game. They competed to convince people of the most outrageous stories. Now, after seventeen years of secrets, something terrible has been found on the beach. Something which will force Isa to confront her past, together with the three women she hasn't seen for years, but has never forgotten.
Theirs is no cosy reunion: Salten isn't a safe place for them, not after what they did. It’s time for the women to get their story straight…
This books reads very differently from the previous novel by Ruth Ware "The Woman in Cabin 10". It begins with Isa receiving a text saying "I need you" and that is enough for her to take off back to Salten where her old boarding school was.
We then have some flashbacks to how Isa met her three friends Kate, Fatima and Thea on the way to Boarding school and who basically became a version of mean girls, with their little clique and their "lying game". This aspect of the novel turned me off and I wasn't comfortable with some of the antics they got up to. Did I really want to read about a pack of spoilt brats.
However the book comes back to the present day and Isa now has a 6 month old baby Freya who I feared for whilst reading the book - she really has a few harrowing experiences as well as being hawked around on various trains and all manner of people looking after her.
The tension of the book for me began to build when the friends realise that they may lose their careers over what happened 17 years ago and most of all that Isa could lose Freya. Coupled with the house they are staying in basically being swallowed slowly by the sea and sounding like something out of the Hounds of the Baskervilles with all the dark marshes around them.
Unfortunately because of the "lying game" I didn't have much sympathy for any of the characters and the book was beginning to drag on. Then suddenly there was a game changer for me and I actually needed to find out who did what and why. The book unexpectedly exploded with unspoken deeds from the past that began to shape a different path than the one I originally thought the book was taking.
I'm giving this book 4 out of 5 stars and my thanks go to Netgalley for a copy of the book for review.