It felt like a game to me…
A Game For All the Family
Hodder & Stoughton
Justine thought she knew who she was, until an anonymous caller seemed to know better…
After fleeing London and a career that nearly destroyed her, Justine Merrison plans to spend her days doing as little as possible. But soon after the move, her daughter Ellen starts to seem strangely withdrawn. Checking Ellen’s homework one day, Justine finds herself reading a chillingly articulate story about a series of sinister murders committed at the family’s new house. Can Ellen really have made all this up, as she claims? Why would she invent something so grotesque, set it in her own home and name one of the characters after herself? When Justine discovers that Ellen has probably also invented her best friend at school, who appears not to be known to any of the teachers, Justine’s alarm turns to panic.
Then the anonymous phone calls start: a stranger, making accusations and threats that suggest she and Justine share a traumatic past – yet Justine doesn’t recognise her voice. When the caller starts to talk about three graves – two big ones and a smaller one for a child – Justine fears for her family’s safety. If the police can’t help, she’ll have to confront the danger herself, but first she must work out who she’s supposed to be…
Unfortunately this was not a book that I particularly enjoyed- in fact I had to force myself to finish reading it, ever the optimist thinking which each page I read it might redeem itself, it didn’t. I loved the premise and the introduction was brilliant…a hint of mystery that needs unravelling, Deja vu perhaps, a little bit eerie. However I was unable to suspend my disbelief and go along with the ridiculousness of the convoluted plot and the only likable character in this book was Figgy the Dog. I really felt like I was sitting round a camp fire, every person in the circle charged with adding more to a story, the story growing weirder, stranger and sillier as it was passed along. This one is not for me but I see others have been enchanted by it. Oh well each to their own.