A Deadly Game Review - Blog Tour

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Rating: 4/5
Source: ARC from Bloodhound Books as part of a blog tour

Kate Palmer, an undergraduate student, discovers that she is pregnant and makes the decision to drop out of university. However, on the evening before she returns home, her body is discovered in Aston park. She is the first victim of several murders that will rock the city of Birmingham.

Detective Sergeant James "Jim" Wardell, who has his own issues to contend with, is given the case.

When Eddie Carter, a popular talk show host on Birmingham's Radio Station, is contacted by someone claiming to be the killer, it is the start of a cat and mouse game between a deranged killer and the police.

After a second body is discovered the pressure mounts on the police to capture the man responsible.

Who is killing these women and why?

Can Jim capture the twisted killer before more innocent women are murdered?

Firstly, thank you to Bloodhound books and Joanne Griffiths for my early copy of the novel, it's much appreciated and thank you to Sarah Hardy for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour. Now onto the review!

I can't believe this was a debut novel, I've read crime novels by seasoned authors before that weren't this good. It's not just the quality of writing, but the sophistication of the plot that kept me surprised till the end of the book. This review will be spoiler free so you'll just have to trust me that the whole thing is very clever. 

The story is told from the POV of several characters, a trend in the crime fiction world, and one that I think keeps the reader thoroughly gripped in the story. We hear from the police, the family of the victims and more unusually, the killer. I think this was a really well done feature of the book, often we learn about the killer from an unsympathetic detective - I'm not saying I sympathise with serial killers, this person is horrible, but it was better learning about their personality from the source. 

If anything I think Joanne Griffiths made her villain sound even more twisted by allowing them to introduce themselves, rather than letting the police piece together the character. He's living a double life and goes to work like a normal man, despite the awful things he's doing in his free time. As well as being a killer he's incredibly abusive and that's always something that really speaks to me in a novel. All the characters felt very real, which is just as important as the plot in a crime novel, if I don't believe the people are real, I can't believe the story could be real. 

There isn't really a dull moment in this book, it's fast paced and the changes in perspective cover all areas of the story, in a way that keeps things exciting without being confusing or hard to follow. I'll look forward to seeing what comes next from Joanne Griffiths after this amazing debut. 

I would recommend this book to fans of gritty crime and thriller novels. Seasoned crime readers won't be disappointed with the twist towards the end.

Thanks for reading!

I was hooked on crime fiction after reading an Agatha Christie novel when I was a teenager. I loved the way the story unfolded, trying to work out the plot before the reveal. 

Since reading that first book, my dream of becoming a writer would often take centre stage over the years and I would spend some time working on my manuscript before the idea was shelved again. 

Time was often a factor. As a single parent with two young children, I returned to studying, completing a BSc (Hons) with the Open University. After graduating, I worked with SEN children who were at risk of exclusion from main stream school due to behavioural problems. I then spent several years with children outside of the school system, which kept me busy. 

Following a serious health issue in 2014 though, I began to focus on what I still wanted to achieve and the desire to become a writer featured highly again. Dusting off my manuscript, I finally finished A Deadly Game and I am currently working on my second novel.

If I'm not writing, I enjoy reading and always have a book on the go. I also enjoy watching many of the police / detective / thriller series on television, still trying to work out the plot before the story's conclusion. 


Twitter:  @Tazer129

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