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Friday, August 4, 2017

A Game For All The Family

The thing about psychological thrillers is that you will undoubtedly get fans who love it or will be stuck like a deer in the headlights, not quite sure what just happened. That is to be expected. On the heels of such novels like The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl, fans of this novel by Sophie Hannah, A Game For All The Family will be one of two. Either you will love it or you will be completely lost by what happened. That's what makes things like this novel work. You aren't supposed to make sense of it sometimes.

So how to describe this novel without giving too much away. You have a family that has sold their home and is moving into a new one complete with a new future ahead. For Justine Merrison, she has walked away from a career in the entertainment industry and is beginning a new one. One doing absolutely NOTHING. As she likes to explain. No where to be, no deadlines, no one to report to. Even the simple task like taking her daughter Ellen to school is an option, not required as the bus can take her to the prestigious school they have picked out. For her husband Alex, he travels quite a bit, so having a place in any one city is not a necessity. Another option.

But now enter the unexplained which readers hope will be explained later in the novel. Don't want to give it all away too soon right? They pass by a row of houses that don't look like the place anyone would ever want to live. They are run-down and in the midst of a busy freeway as well. But for some reason, Justine feels a pull to a particular house without understanding the reason why. Her daughter and husband think she has lost it, and soon once it is long gone in the rear view mirror, things begin to get back to normal. The family moves into a home called the Speedwell House as most homes in London don't really have house numbers but house names instead. Everything is as it should be and soon they all settle into what some would call a routine sense of normal. Until Ellen arrives home four months later from school with her latest assignment for English, writing a story. It is what is in the story that has Justine puzzled, as most readers would simply laugh it off as a fictional tale. But it is something about the names and the way she has laid out a family tree, that begins the tale of "what is going on?" in the novel.

Ellen begins to be withdrawn and her mother, wonders that is going on. She is definitely not the same daughter that she had more than four months ago. After countless attempts to discover what is going on, she learns that her best friend has been expelled from school under a misunderstanding about a coat she loaned him. As Justine goes to confront the head administrator at the school, she learns that no such child has existed at this school, therefore, no expulsion of a student she claimed was her best friend, George. Readers will then toggle between the story Ellen has written over time, in succeeding chapters, about a family of 5 that lived in this house and in which one of the daughters has murdered a childhood friend.

I received A Game for All The Family by Sophie Hannah compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, you should assume that every book reviewed here at Reviews From The Heart was provided to the reviewer by the publisher, media group or the author for free and were received, unless specified otherwise. Don't get lost dear reader, hang in there til the end, where as most great novels, it all begins to make sense. You are taken back to look at everything and now see it with a different perspective but that is where things begin to accelerate until the end. I wasn't too happy with how it ended, leaving me wanting more than just what happened. But I let you make the decision for yourself. I would give this one a 4 out of 5 stars and the book does contain some strong language and a same sex storyline with one of the characters which some readers may not care for. One must disclose this if you are going to do an honest review right? I mean that is what I look for when reading a book review.

For more information about A Game For All The Family, Sophie Hannah or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:

You can find Sophie Hannah on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on A Game For All The Family, please visit William Morrow's website. 

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