Delighted to host a stop on the blog tour for The Murder Game by Rachel Abbott on publication day! My thanks to Jo at Headline for the fab review copy and to Anne Cater for inviting me to join the tour.
Author : Rachel Abbott
Title : The Murder Game
Series : Stephanie King #2
Pages : 404
Publisher : Headline
Publication date : April 16, 2020
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
A year ago today, we all gathered for Lucas’ wedding at his glorious Cornish home overlooking the sea.
But no one was married that day.
Now Lucas has invited us back to celebrate the anniversary. But the anniversary of what? The wedding that never happened, or the tragedy that occurred just hours before the ceremony was due to begin?
He’s told us that tonight he has planned a game. We have our costumes, we have our parts, and everyone must play. The game, he tells us, is about to begin.
What does Lucas want from us? What are we not being told? And what’s going to happen when this terrible game is over?
| MY THOUGHTS |
One year ago, a bunch of childhood friends gathered in Cornwall for a wedding. But tragedy strikes and the wedding never happens. Now, the same guests have been invited to return. But to what purpose? Surely there isn’t anything to celebrate! Yet, their host, Lucas, has a plan and it all will be revealed while playing a murder mystery game.
Ah, party games. They’re not really for me. Just shove me in a corner somewhere with a drink (or two) in my hand and I’m good to go. That said, I used to think a murder game sounded like an absolutely fantastic way to spend an evening with friends. Costumes, a part to play, clues to find and a mystery to solve …. fun times, right? Hm, maybe not so much. It’s not entirely clear at first what Lucas’s objective is with his particular murder game but it sure is obvious that he forgot to bring the “fun” bit.
The Murder Game is the second instalment in the Stephanie King series and while I enjoyed the previous one, I have to say this one is even better! To begin with, the location is sheer perfection. A big mansion near the ocean in Cornwall with extensive grounds to wander around, luxurious rooms to relax in, yummy food and wine … where do I sign up for this? This idyllic place stands in extreme contrast to the awkward and, quite frankly, dysfunctional friendships the reader encounters. Not to mention the tragedy that prevented the wedding from going ahead.
These friends couldn’t be any more different from each other if they tried. Most of them aren’t even particularly likeable, nor should they be because that just adds to the mystery aspect. Can any of them be trusted? There are secrets and lies that need to be uncovered but whose? And once everything is out in the open, how will the various relationships be affected? You may not quite warm to these characters but they are most definitely extremely intriguing!
The Murder Game is cleverly split up into two parts. Part one deals with the events that happened a year ago, while part two deals with the present. The story is mostly told through the eyes of Jemma. She is married to Matt, one of the childhood friends. Like the reader, Jemma is an outsider. She doesn’t know these people well at all and is the only one who’s not afraid to take a stand against the bullying tactics of Lucas. It is through her that we must try and fit the pieces together. The clues are there, you just need to find them! Ultimately they lead to quite a devastating and shocking revelation
I don’t want to give too much away. I will say this : like many of you I’ve been struggling with my reading these last few weeks but I absolutely FLEW through The Murder Game! It is incredibly well-paced, full of suspense and intrigue, completely and utterly immersive and addictive. It provided me with that much needed escape from reality and distraction that had been lacking lately.
Suddenly all this self-isolation wasn’t so bad. Why, yes, the wine helped too. 😉
I’m a huge fan of Rachel Abbott’s books. Her books never fail to be immensely gripping from start to finish and they always read more like super tense psychological thrillers than actual police procedurals. Stephanie King obviously does make an appearance but she is not the be all and end all in these stories. To me, she feels more like a “tool” (lack of a better word) to move the story along, to kick things up a notch and expertly guide us to a most satisfying conclusion. Cleverly plotted and perfectly executed, The Murder Game is an absolute treat and I have no doubt fans of Rachel Abbott will love it!
The Murder Game is out TODAY!
| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |
Rachel Abbott began her career as an independent author in 2011, with Only the Innocent, which became a No.1 bestseller on Kindle, topping the chart for four weeks. Since then, she has published eight further psychological thrillers and sold over 3 million copies. She is one of the top-selling authors of all time in the UK Kindle store, and her novels have been translated into 21 languages.
Rachel splits her time between Alderney – a beautiful island off the coast of France – and the Le Marche region of Italy, where she is able to devote all her time to writing fiction.