Review: The Killing Game by J.S. Carol

Monday 17 October 2016
Title: The Killing Game
Author: J.S. Carol
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 13th October 2016
Pages: 359
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
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?

I first became hooked on this genre a number of years ago when I first picked up one of Simon Kernick's books from the library and since then I have been an addict of thrillers that take place pretty much in real time and which focus on people in life-threatening situations that they seemingly have no way of getting out of. As soon as I read the blurb for The Killing Game I knew it was a book that I just had to read, and then the reviews began rolling in and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. To put it quite simply, it was amazing.

What impresses me most about authors writing in this genre is when they come up with a different spin on things than what's been written before. This is a genre with a huge amount of similar stories and scenarios but the one here in The Killing Game was original and incredibly exciting to read and  you might just hear your heart beating whilst you read this book, tense is not the word. A masked gunman storms a restaurant filled with the biggest stars in Hollywood and takes them all hostage. Not only that but strapped to his chest is a bomb that will explode should his heart rate change. Armed with the secrets of those inside the restaurant, he clearly has an agenda, but what is it and how far will be go to achieve it? This book really makes you wonder just what the hell you would do in a situation like this and once the action starts, it's hugely thrilling.

There's a brilliant mixture of characters here for you to love and hate (all those egos in one room?) and it isn't just those within the restaurant that we follow but also the media outside who as we know only too well from real life news stories are desperate to get that story and they will do anything to get it and if this story happened in real life, it would obviously be massive all over the world. Who the bomber is and what he wants really gets the brain working and given that the hostages are all big players in Hollywood, it's safe to assume that they majority of them probably aren't whiter than white and any of them could be the reason why this person has taken them all hostage, or is it for a different reason entirely? James Carol has really captured the world of Hollywood, it's glamour and it's seedy side incredibly well and the split personalities of those that inhabit it's overly decadent world and I imagine he must have had a lot of fun creating some of these characters, don't expect to feel sorry for all of them and I'll say no more than that. It's a really unpredictable read as you never know just what is around the corner, or what the final outcome is going to be for these characters. Just know that you will not be able to read quick enough to find out.  I really hope that James Carol continues writing books like this because it is a first rate thriller that delivers on everything that it promises.

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