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The twisting new mystery from bestselling phenomenon Ruth Ware, author of Sunday Times bestsellers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10

It isn’t a game when somebody dies . . .
The text message arrives in the small hours of the morning. 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. It’s time for the women to get their story straight.

‘Thank goodness for Ruth Ware . . . You won’t be able to put [The Lying Game] down’


Both better written and more subtle than her previous two bestsellers… To read this novel is to have your nerves slowly but inexorably shredded as, over and again, the tension builds and then evaporates until the final, unexpected denouement


Ruth Ware is one of the best suspense writers out there and The Lying Game is her strongest book yet. A gripping, unpredictable narrative that shifts like sand underfoot, and a plot that turns like the tide.

Erin Kelly, bestselling author of HE SAID, SHE SAID

Thank goodness for Ruth Ware, a contemporary crime writer who’s successfully extracted the integral elements of the genre’s classics… and repackaged them for the modern reader… Ware weaves a nicely knotty, and more importantly, plausible mystery that as well as delivering the expected twists, turns and tension readers will be looking for, also showcases the thorny tensions and loyalties at work in the friendships between her main characters… a book that’s gripping enough to be devoured in a single sitting

Lucy Scholes, Independent on THE LYING GAME

Atmospheric, mysterious, gripping.

Marian Keyes on THE LYING GAME

Another heart-stopping belter of a thriller from an epic talent

Isabelle Broom, Heat on THE LYING GAME

Cancel your plans for the weekend when you sit down with this book, because you won’t want to move until it’s over.

Kirkus, Starred Review

Ruth Ware has done it again! In this exceptional thriller, we are in marshland, where nothing is certain and the deadly secrets we kept with our best childhood friends may be about to resurface. Intriguing to the very last page, this is a superb exploration of friendship, family and a page-turning top-notch mystery that is guaranteed to keep you reading into the wee small hours. I loved it!

Liz Nugent, bestselling author of LYING IN WAIT

There can be no complaints about the fizzy present-day narrative, with the interplay between the women particularly well-handled.

John Dugdale, The Sunday Times

A slow-burn novel full of layers that builds and builds until you have to know what happens next even if it means missing out on sleep

Sarra Manning, Red Online

A light but suspenseful read

UK Press Syndication

A brilliant read

Nina Pottell, Prima

Ruth Ware has established herself as queen of the twisty, psychological thriller… Her third book delves into the caustic side of female friendship and opens with an unexpected invitation to revisit the secrets of the past… If you’re after a book that’s impossible to put down, look no further

Alexandra Newson, Upcoming

The revelation of just how different the girls have become is as psychologically riveting as the surprising twists of the plot. The quiet unease that pervades the story never lets up

Christina Appleyard, Daily Mail

A brilliantly original and atmospheric book


Pacy and claustrophobic... Ware perfectly captures the overwhelming, heart-wrenching intensity of female teenage friendships, which lie at the very core of the of the novel, as well as the universal experience of love, betrayal and grief

UK Press Syndication

The Lying Game is a masterclass in setting an unsettling scene and building tension, the stakes cleverly raised by Isa having little Freya in tow

Charlotte Heathcote, Daily Express

Fans of the mystery author who just won’t quit will recognise Ware’s singular ability to bait and switch in this wholly original story

Marie Claire

Well drawn, complex characters and the delicate, merciless filleting of tensions and loyalties will keep you turning the pages


Can you imagine something you did as a teenager coming back to haunt you 17 years later? That's the journey The Lying Game takes you on. Four friends from high school bound together by a dark secret get pulled back together with one cryptic text. Will someone find out the truth? Will one of the women break the pact? So many questions... Until the very last page! Needless to say, I could not put this book down.

Reese Witherspoon

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    March 19, 2018


    RRP $26.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Trade Paperback


    June 19, 2017

    Harvill Secker

    384 pages

    RRP $37.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Hardback


    June 15, 2017

    Harvill Secker

    384 pages

    RRP $40.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Also by Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10
In a Dark, Dark Wood


Make Me
The Girl on the Train
The Thirst
The Store
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Handmaid's Tale
Don't Let Go
Line of Fire
After the Fire
To Kill A Mockingbird
Two Nights
The Child
A Stranger in the House
Final Girls
A Gentleman in Moscow
I Am Pilgrim
The Golden House
The Word Is Murder
Dragonfly In Amber