A Deadly Game – Joanne Griffiths
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.
DS 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 person responsible.
Who is killing these women and why?
Can Jim apprehend the twisted killer before more innocent women are murdered?
My thanks to Sarah Hardy and the team at Bloodhound Books for a review copy and the chance to join the blog tour.
A serial killer story where we get to see lots more of the killer than you may normally expect. We see him at home, we watch his rage peak and calm, we see how he treats his family and we see him growing excited with his successes as he plays out A Deadly Game.
The story opens by introducing Kate Palmer, she has been finding life tough but has decided to return home to her parents and try to recover some control of her future. But before Kate can follow through on her plans she encounters a killer – a man who has decided to push his fantasy to the next level and take a life.
What made A Dangerous Game different from many serial killer books is that Joanne Griffiths takes time to focus on the victim, the killer and also the survivors. The family or loved ones of the victims get much more visibility than we may normally expect to see and it really reinforces the horrific nature of the killer’s actions.
After a life is taken we are taken to the killer’s home. He is married, has a young child but is not satisfied with how the birth of his baby changed his wife – he feels that she is a disappointment to him and he makes her life a misery. As the killer’s wife is a key character to the story we also get to follow her narrative (and it is not a happy one).
The story switches from the killer, to his wife, to the police and then to a victim – then the cycle begins anew. The stakes are raised each time as the killer gets more cocky, his wife more unhappy and the police more frustrated. A frustrating sense of helplessness for the reader – you want to reach into the book and stop the victims from making the mistake which will place them in danger or to tell the killers wife to get the Hell out of the house.
There were some unexpected twists and plenty of dark moments to keep me reading A Dangerous Game and it is definitely one I enjoyed.
A Deadly Game is published by Bloodhound Books and is available in paperback and digital format. You can order a copy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deadly-Game-Joanne-Griffiths-ebook/dp/B072KN4LZ9/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1498346011&sr=1-1