Cover Image: Lethal Game

Lethal Game

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Member Reviews

Fast paced and tense it is the story of a strategic board game played out in real life.  Full of twists and turns this book is a real page turner that kept me up late into the night so that I could finish it. Hope to read more books involving DI Joel Norris.
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I didn't realise this was the second book in the series but not having read the first, I don't think that was a problem - this book stands alone well.  It's a really interesting read with good characters and a clever storyline..  I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely go back and read the first in the series.  Recommended.
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Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wow-what a ride-this This has to be one of the best books I have read all year. Fast paced full of suspense, scary, sad. Fabulous. Recommended Five Stars.
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I really enjoyed this book and was hooked from the first chapter.  The story is told from the point of view of both the victims, who have been forced into playing a board game for real and from the lead Detective DI Joel Norris.

Two women are forced by a psychopath into taking part in a race for their lives as part of a board game and they are followed by two men forced into the same situation.  The victim’s families are threatened so that they don’t call the police and the killer seems to know a lot about their families ensuring they comply. 

DI Joel Norris and DS Lucy Rose are assigned the case and together with analyst Eileen quickly realise they have a serial killer to track down but the killer always seems to be one step ahead.  I expected the new Detective Chief Inspector, Jim Kemp to play more of a part in the story but I’m guessing he will be more involved in the next book

A fast-paced page turner with a good ending.
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Oh my goodness, that was absolutely brilliant!! What a fantastic story!!!! 
I wish there were more than 5 stars to give!!!
Extremely captivating, and quite scary too!! 
Someone is playing a real 'Escape' game with real people, but not in a nice way at all!!! 
So very real, and a very clever person who sets it all up!!
It scared the living daylights out of me, but I absolutely, thoroughly enjoyed it!!!!
Such a super way of writing, it certainly makes you think what people could be capable of!! Especially, if an author gets an idea in their head, and puts it in writing!!!!! Wow!!!!! Brilliant!!!!
Can't wait for the next one!!!!! That's if my heart can take it!!!!!!
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Thank you to @Gloriouscharlie and @AvonBooksUK for this advanced copy of Lethal Game in return for an honest review.

Description 🔖

DI Joel Norris and DS Lucy Rose are assigned to investigate the murder of a young woman. She has been found in a phone box on a quiet country road. DI Norris and DS Rose aren’t in the least bit prepared for what is to follow.

This killer has decided to play a game of strategy and escape with real people, putting lives at stake. He has made the rules and has already decided how the game should end. He is now using DI Norris and DS Rose as pawns in his twisted game. Can they beat this killer and save the people chosen for the next round before more innocent lives are taken?

General Thoughts 🤔

I had no idea what this book was going to be about before I started reading it, I just knew that I would likely enjoy it given the fantastic reviews and publicity it was receiving. I was not wrong. This was such a good read and I was hooked from the very first page. I was awfully confused when I read the first couple of chapters and there is nothing that I like more than when a book catches me off guard and makes me work right from the get go.

I’ve done it before and I will no doubt do it again; I read this book not knowing that it was the second in a series. I am a nightmare for doing this. I appreciate a lot of people wouldn’t be bothered, but I love a good series and I like to follow the characters from the start. However it cannot be helped and I only have myself to blame. The good news is that Lethal Game can definitely be read standalone without any confusion and after having read it, I definitely want to go back and read the first.

Characters 👭👬👫

The two investigators; DI Norris and DS Rose were the main characters in the book and it was obvious to me that they had some kind of relationship problem during the first book. However I felt like I jumped in at a point where the two were trying to learn to work together successfully. It was a really interesting dynamic between the two of them.

I really liked DS Rose. She was strong minded to the point of being a little stubborn but determined to do her job and do it well. She had her own personal problems but I got the impression that she was keen to draw a very clear line between that and her work. I did like DI Norris too, however I wanted him to learn how to share the workload a little more and realise that he didn’t have to carry the whole investigation on his own shoulders.

Writing Style ✍️

I was a little blown away by the way this story was crafted and put together. Just when I thought I had it all sussed out and thought I’d be waiting for it to unravel, a curveball would fly in from nowhere and destroy everything that I thought to be true. I quickly learnt that this writer was not going to allow me to feel complacent and settled in for the rollercoaster.

With a storyline with as many twists and turns as this one, I was happy that the structure of the book was linear and simple to follow. The story was split into days and I loved that they weren’t short. Every time a new day started I was reminded of how much had happened within the previous day and how fast this case was moving.

Conclusion & Scoring 🎖️

After a short reading hiatus, Lethal Game was the perfect way to throw myself back into books. It had everything that I love about a thriller and kept me racing through each page looking for answers. I will definitely be going back to read the first book in this DI Joel Norris series in anticipation of a third being in the pipeline. I highly recommend this book and the good thing is, I’m late reviewing so you can already buy it for yourself!
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I was drawn into this tale from the first page and the tension remained throughout. Running alongside this twisty plot which takes place over just a few days there is the interesting back story of DI Joel Norris and DS Lucy Rose and add to that  their different attitudes as to how the case should proceed this is a fast-moving story. A very definite page turner and I will certainly search out and read the first story in this series.
Many thanks to Netgalley/Charlie Gallagher/Avon Books for a digital copy of this title. All opinions expressed are my own.
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I really enjoyed this book! My first outing with Charlie Gallagher, and this has definitely whetted my appetite with his books. 
Great characters, who I supported from the start. Not reading the earlier book in the series did not hamper my enjoyment of this one, and it was easy to follow the background stories that I had missed. 
The plot of the 'game' was excellent, and so unique! One of the things I love about thrillers is wondering where the authors get their plot ideas from, and this did give me the same thoughts. 
There's not many thrillers that can hold my attention in the entirety of the novel, and this did falter a little, but not for long! Within a couple of chapters, the author grabbed me straight back into the story. 
I can't wait to read more of Gallagher's work.

Also posted on my Facebook Page and Instagram accounts- Curling Up With a Coffee and a Kindle
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Thank you Avon Books UK and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘Lethal Game’ by Charlie Gallagher in exchange for an honest review.
This is the second book featuring DI Joel Norris but can easily be read as a standalone. The story line had me gripped from start to finish. This is a well written story with likeable characters, looking forward to the next instalment.
I will defiantly recommend this book and reading Charlie Gallaghers other books.
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My thanks to NetGalley and publisher Avon Books UK for the electronic copy.

Oh My Goodness!! What an ingenious, dastardly, complex and unique plot! This is an amazing, fast-paced read with twists and turns you don't see coming; red-herrings and mis-direction; tension, suspense and a touch of horror when it's edge-of-your-seat time.

Someone has devised a way to use humans in place of virtual characters in this Lethal Game and it all starts off, set in Kent, when a dog walker discovers the body of a young woman in a remote phone box - dead from horrific injuries.  DI Joel Norris and Sgt Lucy Rose investigate, with the backing of their new DCI Jim Kemp, against a backdrop of impending police restructuring.

Margaret Marshall reports her daughter Kelly to be missing, but both Joel and Rose doubt the story they're being told.  
.As the body count rises Joel and Rose need to get ahead of the game - but who's behind it and why.

All will be revealed in this excellent police procedural/ thriller.
Great characters and believable dialogue.  So well-written.
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I said in my review of 'The Friend ' by Charlie Gallagher ':

I wonder if DI Joel Norris and his crime fighting partner may feature in a future story?

In answer to my own question,  the answer is yes.  Lethal Game, from the outset grabbed my attention.  In this book DI Joel Norwich and DS Lucy Rose are traipsing around Kent on the tail of somebody who appears to have turned a board game into something much more sinister. 

I won't go into detail about the storyline because I don't want to spoil the narrative. All I will say is that the author has managed to create a story with a multi layered plot which steadily ramps up the tension. 

Just when you think you know where things are going, there are twists and turns to make the reader think again. 

I give my thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books for a copy of this book in exchange for this review
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There really are sick people in the world. I had my suspicions about the suspect about a quarter into the story and I was right. But it was a long, twisted way for the police to find the right person.
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I’d not read the first instalment in this series but pleasingly Gallagher gives new readers just enough background to explain where the central characters are in the lives and careers that this was not an issue. The opening is terrifying watching two women we don’t know in a battle for their lives, and we can feel from the start an oppressive horror which the team of DI Joel Norris and DS Lucy Rose need to stop before more harm is done. It an intriguing mystery and juxtaposed with the countryside of Kent made more unusual and disconcerting.

This is very much a procedural and you get a lot of explanations for procedures and team dynamics that support an investigation and these scenes plus the way witnesses and suspects are talked to is all very much with a feel of an author very much giving the tale a feel of reality. Norris is a maverick trying to be now a team leader and Rose is learning to trust him with her life and secrets. This very much felt a story where the two leads are now learning to settle and work with each other with still moments of tension. 

For me it never really clicked aa read though and that was not the fault of the writing but just a story I found myself never clicking in its entirety. People placed in deadly traps felt a little closer to a type of horror I don’t enjoy and finding it in a thriller didn’t make that feeling any better.  A solid police procedural those who enjoy action and twisting turns should enjoy.
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Lethal Game is my fifth book by Charlie Gallagher as I've read books two to four from his series featuring Maddie Ives, as well as the first one in the DI Joel Norris series). This thriller has a fantastic plot, fascinating characters, and plenty of drama and twists.

The story opens with an intriguing prologue and from this point, I was totally engrossed in the story. This clever, emotive and dark tale crackles with tension and dysfunctional behaviour and the writing flows effortlessly with a well-structured narrative as it spirals its way towards a satisfying end that contains a great twist. I read Lethal Game with zeal and I recommend it highly. I look forward to reading book three.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Avon Books via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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Suspend disbelief just a little and there’s so much to enjoy in this fast-paced, imaginative detective story set across parts of Kent I am familiar with. Two young women are pitted against each other in an apparent fight to the death but who is The Welder, pulling the strings in this macabre game? As the plot unfolds, the reader enjoys a succession of thrilling scenes across a seven day period and some excellent, well crafted twists.

I’d never read anything by this author before - it didn’t matter this was the second in a series of books. The references back to book one were unobtrusive but added to the back story of the main characters and left me keenly awaiting book three.

Thanks to NetGalley for a free copy in exchange for a fair review.
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A very good read. Great characters and well written. Suspenseful and thrilling, kept you turning pages. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion
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This is a brilliant read.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believable.
Great suspense and found myself second guessing every thought I had continuously.
Can't wait to read what the author brings out next.
Recommend reading.

I read a complimentary advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.
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Another brilliant page turner from Charlie Gallagher. Always keeps you on your toes right to the end. Charlie’s books never disappoint . Loved it
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This was my first encounter with Charlie Gallagher and this book’s main character, Detective Inspector Joel Norris of the Maidstone Police Force; but I understand that there is an earlier book “The Friend” by the same author which introduces DI Norris and which I now want to read.  I am sorry to start with a bit of a spoiler about this book but The Lethal Game of the title is based on a popular board game called “Escape” which pits pairs of game players against each other in a bid to escape from whatever zone of the game they have been imprisoned. In the game the loser of the escape bid loses a life!  This is, of course, harmless fun, until someone decides to turn the game into a real life or death event and the book opens with Kelly and Shannon in a race to be the winner of who gets to a phone box first; Shannon wins and Kelly ends up dead!  With Kelly’s body found near the phone box in an isolated village, the police are called and DI Norris and his team set to work to find the murderer.  Gradually, with well described police work, the team start to pull together the threads of the mystery with Margaret, the murdered girl’s mother, and Billy Easton, her helpful next-door neighbour being at the centre. But, at this stage, not knowing about the game connection, or the fact that there had been a survivor (Shannon) the trail runs cold. From there on the plot has numerous twists and turns which kept me wanting to read “just another chapter”. Adding to the story line, we also learned a little about some of the other members of DI Norris’s team, particularly the interesting but dysfunctional relationship of Detective Sergeant Lucy Rose with her father. Then, on several occasions, just when I thought I had the solution, that story line took a sharp turn in another direction and I had to think again. Eventually the book comes to an exciting and rather tragic end about which I can say no more without giving away the whole plot. All in all, this was a really enjoyable read, with a most unusual story line, that I thoroughly recommend, and I now want to read more of ex-policeman Charlie Gallagher’s books, starting with The Friend, being the first story featuring DI Norris and the Kent police force.  My thanks go to the Avon Division of Harper Collins and NetGalley for providing a copy of The Lethal Game for review.
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I was given an ARC copy of Lethal Game in exchange for an honest review. Crime thrillers, police crime books, are not usually what I’d choose to read, however, I decided to give this one a go as a less taxing read to what I normally enjoy. I’m so pleased that I did as I could not put this book down! I was pulled in from the start. Written from a detective’s perspective, I was enthralled and horrified at the extent to which an individual would be prepared to go to in exacting revenge. Fast-paced and, for me, unforgettable, I bought the entire box series!
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