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About the book(from goodreads)
Imagine you are having lunch at an exclusive restaurant, filled with Hollywood’s hottest stars.
And a masked gunman walks in and takes everyone hostage.
You must bargain for your life against a twisted individual who knows everything about you.
He also has a bomb set to detonate if his heart rate changes.
If he dies. You die.
You have four hours to stay alive.
What would you do?
The Killing Game by J. S. Carol is a fast-paced thriller where the suspense starts right from the first page. It starts with a normal day at a restaurant before a gunman walks in and suddenly everything changes.
There are multiple narrators in the story. Jody (JJ) is one of the hostages and the main narrator. What I loved about her narration is that we not only get to see the situation from her perspective but we get to know the characters through her. She has worked in Hollywood and knows almost all the key players and hence is acquainted with most of the hostages. A second narrator (who shall remain unnamed) is also inside the restaurant but manages to hide from the gunman. This angle added so much tension to the story. My heart was racing as I read these sections.
The book has another interesting perspective in form of the media. The news channels are covering the crisis and the gunman decides to give the exclusive to one of the little known media houses. It was interesting to see the different ways in which the media decided to cover the crisis. I liked the fact that they included experts in the news story. I also liked the commentary by the new anchors and reporters. As someone with a background in media and public relations, this book intrigued me in many ways in addition to the mystery aspect of it.
I liked how the author developed the characters and the plot so well that it all seemed real. This made the story emotive because it felt like the characters were real people. I sympathized with them and grieved over each loss. In addition, the villain was such a sadist that it was easy to hate him and hence root for the hostages.
The book had me hooked from the fast page. The gunman is so twisted and so I kept dreading his next move. He seemed to pick his victims at random and at the slightest provocation. He acted without much thought and it was hard to guess what he would do next. I also couldn’t guess his motives until the final reveal. The unpredictability of the story definitely made it unputdownable.
The setting added a great twist to the story. It reminded me of The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. It was the kind of setting where the characters are trapped. The gunman had them all in the restaurant and they had no choice but to participate in the nightmare that he created. It really doesn’t get darker or twisted than that.
The ending was just as twisted as the whole story. It was unexpected yet satisfying. I couldn’t have imagined a better ending than that. The Killing Game by J. S Carol is one of my best books this year. If you like fast-paced, heart-pounding thrillers with a number of twists and some very memorable characters then I highly recommend that you get this book.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
About the Book
Ps: I hope this is made into a movie soon. I would definitely watch it!