The Lying Game The Reach is wide and quiet this morning, the pale blue sky streaked with pink mackerel-belly clouds, the shallow sea barely rippling in the slight breeze, and so the sound of the dog barking breaks into the calm like gunshots, setting flocks of gulls crying and wheeling in the air. Plovers and terns explode up as the dog bounds joyously down the river bank, scampering down the runnelled side, where the earth turns from spiky grassy dunes to reed-specked mud, where the water wavers between salt and fresh. In the distance the Tide Mill stands sentinel, black and battered against the cool calm of the morning sky, the only man-made structure in a landscape slowly crumbling back into the sea. "Bob!" The woman's voice rings out above the volley of barks as she pants to catch up. "Bob, you rascal. Drop it. Drop it, I say. What've you found?" As she draws closer, the dog tugs again at the object protruding from the mud, trying to pull it free. "Bob, you filthy brute, you're covered. Let it go. Oh God, it's not another dead sheep, is it?" It's the last heroic yank that sends the dog staggering back along the shore, something in its jaw. Triumphant, he scrambles up the bank to lay the object at the feet of his owner. And as she stands, looking dumbstruck, the dog panting at her feet, the silence returns to the bay like a tide coming in. Excerpted from The Lying Game by Ruth Ware All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.