Thanks to NetGalley and Bookcouture for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Imagine you are having lunch at an exclusive restaurant, filled with Hollywood’s hottest stars.
And a masked gunman walks in and takes everyone hostage.
You must bargain for your life against a twisted individual who knows everything about you.
He also has a bomb set to detonate if his heart rate changes.
If he dies. You die.
You have four hours to stay alive.
What would you do?
Holy Mother Of God! The Killing Game is the first book I’ve read by Carol, but after staying up way too late–again–because I couldn’t tear myself away, it definitely won’t be my last. This is the type of book that immediately grabs you and never lets go. It actually reads like a pulse-pounding action movie and I have to admit I was completely stressed out reading it. The characters are so well-written that I felt as though I was there, trapped in the restaurant with this madman while he played these horrific cat-and-mouse games with his victims. More than once I found myself fearful to turn the next page. The chapters alternate between four characters: JJ and Alex King who are trapped in the restaurant, and Rob and Seth, who are part of a news station covering the story. This gives you a well-rounded perspective of everything that’s unfolding. I actually welcomed the outside scenes because they provided a much needed respite from the tension inside the restaurant. As the body count rises, the mystery of why the killer is doing all this becomes a huge part of the story. He’s extremely unpredictable and it’s impossible to guess what he’s going to do next, let alone what his endgame is. There is more than one twist and I was actually surprised when the motive behind his actions was finally revealed.The only criticism I have is that I wish some of the characters had been a little more developed. I really liked JJ and Alex, and found myself completely invested in them emotionally, but Seth and Rob for the most part came off as your stereotypical tabloid journalists who would do just about anything to score a scoop. I also wish some some of the other hostages had a little more backstory, but honestly, the story is otherwise so well written that these are minor complaints. In the end, The Killing Game is a nail-biting thriller that I guarantee you’ll be hard pressed to put it down once you’ve started. I highly, highly recommend this to fans of thrillers and suspense novels.