The Game – Scott Kershaw

Published By: HQ
Pages: 400
Released On: 12/05/2022

Across the globe, five strangers receive a horrifying message from an unknown number.

THE PERSON YOU LOVE MOST IS IN DANGER.

To save them, each must play The Game – a sinister unknown entity that has a single rule: there can only be one winner.

IF YOU LOSE, YOUR LOVED ONE WILL DIE.

But what is The Game – and why have they been chosen?

There’s only one thing each of them knows for sure: they’ll do anything to win.

WELCOME TO THE GAME. YOU’VE JUST STARTED PLAYING.

*****

Thanks to NetGalley and HQ for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

It’s hard to believe this is Scott’s debut book, it is so accomplished, I can’t wait to see how he develops as a writer.

There is definitely a sense of “Squid Game” and “Saw” about it which means I think it’ll be rather successful – as a species we seem to enjoy and be fascinated by the idea of death and murder and risk and what we are willing to do to escape and save the ones we love.

Whilst not particularly fast paced, it is exhilarating in its simplicity, in its tentativeness. Nothing is a mistake, everything cleverly placed to add tension and keep you on the ride.

The stories of the different ‘players’ are all handled perfectly. They are all well rounded and individual, not overlapping until about half way through so you get time to invest in each one.

For me this is more a psychological thriller as opposed to a blood and guts horror; it really plays with your mind from the beginning to the end, before culminating in a shock of a finale.

My only slight complaint is that it very quickly goes from a tense, sort of journey, to action and resolution. I think I would have liked it to be a bit gradual rather than suddenly coming to an end, but that’s my personal preference.

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