reviewed by Pam Guynn
Lethal Game by Charlie Gallagher is shocking, suspenseful, and heartbreaking. It has aspects of both a crime thriller and a police procedural. Detective Inspector Joel Norris and Detective Sergeant Lucy Rose are assigned the case investigating the death of a young woman murdered in a rural area in England. The killer is playing a game with people’s lives. Can Norris and Rose catch him before more innocent people die?
Joel and Lucy along with analyst Eileen Holmans are likeable characters that are easy to connect with quickly. Joel and Lucy have more depth and are featured more in the novel. Readers get insight into their personal lives as well as their professional lives without detracting from the investigation. They seem to balance each other professionally. Joel is more headstrong and fiery and Lucy is more controlled most of the time. Both have flaws and strengths that affect their interactions and lend believability to the story. The secondary characters are a good mix and provide the needed professional and personal conflict or support. How will the new Detective Chief Inspector Jim Kemp affect the team dynamics? The antagonist is crafty and evil, reveling in anticipation of the victims’ fears and struggles.
What a prologue! Will you guess what happens next? It hooked this reader immediately. This author knows how to pull readers into a story and keep them turning the pages. The plot is well developed, the pace fast, and the story line is action-packed. The twists and turns take readers on the journey with Joel and Lucy. Will you guess who the killer is and what his motivations are or will you go down the wrong path? Everyone in the novel experiences a variety of emotions from frustration, disdain, fear, and anger to hope, excitement, and glee. Readers may be surprised by who is experiencing which emotion and why.
This book is exactly what you would expect from a well-written crime thriller. It’s dark, clever, and gripping with great good and evil characters as well as a tense and twisted story line. Readers should be aware that there are some gruesome details and some chilling and emotional scenes. The author’s experience as a U.K. police officer lends realism to this novel.
Overall, this book was suspenseful, intense, riveting, fast-paced, action-oriented, and entertaining. If you enjoy crime thrillers and police procedurals that have both strong male and female characters, then this may be the novel for you. While this is the first book I have read by this author, it is the second book featuring DI Norris and DS Rose. I can’t wait to read the first one and continue with the series.
Avon Books UK – Avon and Charlie Gallagher provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is currently set for November 11, 2021.
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