A Haven for Book Lovers

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Book Review: The Killing Game by J. S. Carol

killing-gameAbout 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

  • Title: The Killing Gamekilling-game
  • Author: J. S Carol
  • ebook, 380 pages
  • Published October 13th 2016 by Bookouture
  • Cover: LOVED IT
  • My Rating: 5 stars

Ps: I hope this is made into a movie soon. I would definitely watch it!



22 comments on “Book Review: The Killing Game by J. S. Carol

  1. Fabulous review Diana! I’m so glad this was a win for us!💁🏻

  2. Yvo
    October 25, 2016

    Great review! This definitely sounds like one I would love as well; I’m glad you enjoyed it. 😀

    • Diana
      October 25, 2016

      Thanks Yvo.Give it a try when you get a chance 🙂

      • Yvo
        October 26, 2016

        I’ve just requested it at Netgalley even though I probably shouldn’t. 😉

  3. itsbooktalk
    October 25, 2016

    I have this waiting in my Netgalley stash, can’t wait to get to it. Great review!

    • Diana
      October 25, 2016

      Thanks.I hope that you will like it as much as I did

  4. rantandraveaboutbooks
    October 26, 2016

    I have an ARC of this I started reading. I’m so glad you loved it. Makes me want to read the book I’m reading now faster to get to it. The premise reminds me of the movie Speed. Wonderful review! 🙂 We usually like a lot of the same thrillers. I’m thinking I’ll like this one as well.

    • Diana
      October 27, 2016

      I speed the one with ‘ There is a bomb in the bus?’ I had forgotten about that movie but yes the premise is similar especially once you find out the conditions that the bomber gives in the book. I really hope that you will enjoy this book. I look forward to your review once you are done.

  5. Annie
    October 26, 2016

    Oh, twisted endings ❤ I'm on the fence with this one because it's more of a thriller than psych-thriller, so I don't know… But you've all loved it so 😀

    • Diana
      October 27, 2016

      Check it out Annie:-) Yes its more of a thriller but it has all the good stuff. Hidden motives, secrets, suspense..Get it if you get a chance 🙂

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  7. Donna
    October 26, 2016

    Your review and this book scream TENSION. All the way. It sounds more like a thriller than a psychological thriller, but I have never read a hostage situation book so I’m curious and will add it to my wish list! Some action is good sometimes too 🙂

    • Diana
      October 27, 2016

      I definitely recommend this one.I also picked it because of the Hostage situation which was new to me bookwise. Its quite interesting though. Let me know if you decide to read it 🙂

  8. inked biker
    October 27, 2016

    Can’t wait to read it. Thumbs up on the review.

    • Diana
      October 27, 2016

      Thanks Malibu. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did.

  9. Grab the Lapels
    October 28, 2016

    Why is there a four hour time limit? That’s mentioned in the synopsis, but I don’t get the significance. Does the crazy guy snap after that? Eek!

    • Diana
      October 28, 2016

      haha he was crazy and he had his own timelines and set of demands so that is what he refers to. Its an interesting book with so many twists and a lot that takes place within those hours.

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