Four women, innumerable lies, one secret. One morning, three women in London get a text message saying only “I need you” – and all three know at once what to do and where to go. The women were schoolmates and best friends at an out-of-the-way boarding school years before, and their penchant for making a game out of lying to their peers and teachers made them fast friends while isolating them from those around them. Now, a secret in their shared past is threatening to come out.
It sounds like this could be the twisty, dark spiritual successor to Gone Girl.
Unfortunately, it isn’t. It’s frustrating to read a book that has so much promise and yet feels so…well, I wish I could insert that *sad trumpet sound*. I liked a lot of the things about the writing – there’s some lovely passages and turns of phrase, and the way the story is written manages to make it better than it really ought to be. The main character, Isa, is the least interesting and hardest to sympathize with, and Kate, the sender of the mysterious text message, does feel underwritten. (I wished I could have heard the story from the much more interesting and likeable Fatima’s perspective).
I really wanted to like this book, but truth be told, I was bored. At a first glance, this book has a lot going for it. In the end, though, I was ahead of the twists at every stage, the ending was limp, and the mystery seemed to peter out. I think I like Ruth Ware’s writing, but I’m not wild about her plotting.