He knows your name. Where you live. The car you drive.
If you don’t play, your family will die. If you lose, you will.
When DI Joel Norris and DS Lucy Rose begin investigating the death of a young woman, murdered on a quiet country lane, they can’t imagine what lies ahead.
This killer uses his victims like chess pieces in a life-sized contest, with the highest stakes imaginable.
Now Norris and Rose are pawns at the mercy of a twisted rulebook.
Can they beat him at his own game before the next round begins and more innocent lives are taken?
A totally addictive, edge-of-your-seat, crime-thriller that will leave you breathless. Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter, Ian Rankin and Stuart MacBride.Readers are gripped by Charlie Gallagher:
‘OUTSTANDING! STUNNING! THRILLING!’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Unputdownable!’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Nail-biting, can't-put–it-down thriller!’ Goodreads reviewer,⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘I was gripped from first page… So many unexpected twists…FANTASTIC THRILLER!’ Goodreads reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 57 members
Well this book certainly did not disappoint. The first chapter had me wondering what it was all about. The story line is a unique idea which is followed through the book. Another real page turner as the plot developed and you were left wondering who and why the next victim would be. The story line left you guessing nearly to the end as who to believe. Joel and DS Rose were excellent throughout and it was good to see the start of their characters developing. I always make sure my diary is clear for a couple of days before I start one of Charlie Gallagher’s books as they never fail to keep you turning the pages until it is finished. Perhaps the best one yet.
Good grief………….where to start reviewing this one, Charlie Gallagher! I remember commenting on The Friend, the first book in the Norris & Rose series that it started differently, a bit more slowly………..well trust me this one certainly does the opposite. Book two starts with Joel Norris and Lucy Rose literally waiting for some jobs for the fairly newly set up Serious Crime Investigation Team. The team has expanded with a new DCI Jim Kemp (who I took to straight away) and a brand new to policing intelligence officer/analyst who is a quite a character, extremely efficient, quite bossy and disapproving but in a likeable way. Then a job comes in……………………. I’m not going to précis the book for you, that’s done by far better writers than me on the book itself! All I will say is that I cannot think of anything scarier than the scene that starts the book off! This book explodes into a nail-biting, breath-holding, scary ride that I loved every minute of! The pace continues at helter-skelter breakneck speed and the tension mounts as they realise they are involved in a real-life gruesome game. I didn’t realise who the perpetrator was until the moment it was revealed in the book! I love that! I love to be surprised! But even then the game isn’t finished and the tension just keeps on mounting! Charlie Gallagher is my favourite author in this genre, I can never get enough of his books and this one is right up there as quite possibly the best yet……………till the next one! My huge thanks go to Charlie and his publishing team, and to NetGalley for an advanced reader e-copy in return for an honest review. Absolutely my pleasure!
400 Pages 5 stars DI Joel Norris and his Sergeant Lucy Rose are two very competent and determined officers. Following the near-disaster of his last case, Joel finally gets a new case. The young woman is found stabbed and shot to death in a phone booth in an isolated area. She is wearing a sack-like dress. This doesn’t look right. At the same time, the police get reports of another young woman who looked beaten up and also wearing a sack dress. She boarded a bus, begging the driver for a free ride. They follow her with CCTV, but lose her. Finally identifying her, she has fled from her lodgings. What is going on? An intense investigation is undertaken, and clues begin to appear. They meet Margaret, the mother of the murdered woman and her next door neighbor. His name is Billy Easton. Billy is obsessed with a role playing board game. He designed it. He started a company to promote the game, but lost it. Time passes, more facts are uncovered and Billy Easton becomes the prime suspect. Joel, however, doubts that Billy is guilty. His demeanor just doesn’t match the situation. After intense questioning, Billy is released. The reader also is a witness to the first hand suffering of the “participants” in the “game.” Mr. Gallagher has a talent for coming up with original premises for his books. I have read his books since the first one, and the novels just keep getting better. I really like the way he paints pictures with his words. The writing is clean, without gore and gratuitous sex. The police team get along very well and I appreciate that very much. I also like the way we are shown snippets of Joel and Lucy’s home lives. It helps to flesh them out as people, without intruding on the story line. Extremely well done. Mr. Gallagher! Keep up the exemplary work!! There are a significant number of typos which I assume will be corrected before publication. There is also a problem with a couple of transitions toward the end of the book. The transitions from the police to the victims are squashed together and it’s a little jarring. I want to thank NetGalley and Avon Books UK for forwarding to me a copy of this most entertaining and exciting book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed here are solely my own.
DI Joel Norris is starting to get used to his new role, but with very little to do still isn't gaining much on the job experience. All that is about to change when his new boss introduces himself early one morning and gives him details of a new case the team have been assigned. Although team might be stretching it a bit as there are just the three of them, Joel and Lucy having been joined by Eileen, an analyst who wears her carpet slippers and hand knitted cardigan at the office! Now, with a crime scene in the Kent countryside and an unidentified victim on the slab, Joel knows they are once again up against the clock to find a ruthless killer but nothing could prepare him for what is discovered next. As the victim is finally reported missing it becomes clear they're up against someone with an agenda so twisted none of them can even begin to guess at what is to come. This is so good! Charlie Gallagher writes from experience and it shows. The second Joel Norris investigation happens at breakneck speed and with periods of enforced inactivity, both adding to the tension and Joel's frustration which is palpable. There is also an opportunity to learn more about DS Lucy Rose which added a lot to her character development and why she behaves the way she does. The culprit is also expertly crafted twisting and turning their way to the end and I was completely drawn in the entire way from start to finish. After his previous successful series it is clear Charlie Gallagher is onto another winner with Norris and Rose. As in his Maddie Ives series the action is written in such a manner it leaps from the page and I was very sorry to finish a book which is easily one my favourites so far this year. I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the opinions expressed are my own. This is absolutely excellent, I recommend reading book one first and prepare for enjoy another brilliant series from an expert crime writer.
Charlie Gallagher has definitely scored another hit involving Inspector Joel Norris and Sgt Lucy Rose. Right from the first page you are taken on a roller coaster ride of emotions - willing the characters on to beat the game that has been set, knowing it could end in death - for someone. A race against time when the connection to the deaths and missing characters is recognised as following the same pattern as a board game. I couldn’t put this down once I’d started it and highly recommend this and any Charlie Gallagher books if you are new to this author
Another fabulous crime thriller from one of my favourite authors, Charlie Gallagher. This is a very intense story, one that focuses on a human contest, betting one person as pawns against each other. The stakes are high and the lives of you and your family are balancing on the edge and there is really no way out, you have to play the game. Sound like this scenario will keep your attention? Well it truly kept mine, what a thrilling ride this was. Lots of actions and deep breaths wondering where this is going and how any of the characters will come out alive. Fast paced, full of tension and suspense, I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves an addictive crime tale, you will find yourself glued to the pages. Five stars.
Thank you Avon Books UK and NetGalley for this intriguing new story from Charlie. Lethal Game is and extremely enjoyable story that held me captive till the very end of this book! What I enjoyed most were the characters they were intriguing and so interesting. The writing was phenomenal in every way possible. The plot.... Man this plot was everything! An atmosphere of spine-tingling malevolence permeates the pages with heart-pounding, terrifying suspense. This gripping story will have you on the edge of your seat. And its one you won't want to miss!
I found it enjoyable, entertaining and very cleverly plotted. Don't be fooled, just because Charlie Gallagher is an ex police officer this is not true life crime, but more of a puzzle to work out, centered around an adult strategy board game. Its a quality read with interesting characters, who have intriguing background. Very well written. I am looking forward to seeing how the characters develop and progress.
I couldn't wait to read this the second in the DI Joel Norris series. The first is the series The Friend, is my favourite Police Crime thriller I've read this year. It starts with a bang, a young woman tethered to the wall in a farm building, preparing to race for her life, knowing the winner lives and second place dies. The characters are excellent and refreshingly human and fallible, there is some very nice characters development in the characters we already know. The plot is original and the plotting is complex, multi-layered and unpredictable. After the initial race to survive I found it took a while to build up momentum, but when it did I was completely hooked. As always, ex-Police Office Charlie Gallagher writes the Police aspects with a convincing, easy confidence and once again builds up to a nerve-shredding tense action finale. Strap yourself in for another dark, twisting and deeply unpredictable thriller. Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins
LETHAL GAME is eerie and heart-racing from the very start, followed by a gruesome discovery. Terror rises in a nightmarish scene. Secrets and lies complicate the cryptic mystery raising tension. It's like a sinister and diabolical rollercoaster ride into a house of horrors. Another grisly find precedes a hellacious maze of mirrors making this mystifying conundrum unsolvable. When new information comes to light, a fast paced, action packed race against time ensues. Spine-chilling, edge of your seat suspense permeates every page keeping them flying by right through to the hair-raising dynamite, explosive finish. DO NOT MISS THE CHILLING AND INNOVATIVE LETHAL GAME!
Charlie Gallagher never let's you down. This fast paced, electric thriller races from page to page and keeps you guessing until the very end. Strong lead characters and a brilliant plot. Everything you could ask for in abook
Firstly a massive thank you to net galley for a chance to read this early in exchange for an honest review. This is the second in the series and after reading the first i knew i had to read the second. I really enjoyed the first book, and i wasnt disappointed with the second. I spent the whole book wondering who was responsible and when i thought id got it, i was proved wrong, then i was proved wrong all over again . This definitely left me on the edge of my seat. A brilliant thriller, which did not disappoint at any time. If you are a fan of detective thrillers, then i definitely recommend this as it has it all, the suspense, the tension, and all the detective content of a great detective thriller. Another great 5 star from Charlie Gallagher. Roll on book number 3 as id love to see whats next for the joel and lucy. Great read, well done Charlie
I’ve only discovered Charlie Gallagher books this year and this one is another page turner. To have a criminal so twisted to make people play out a survival board game in real life! I had to keep reading to find out what was going to happen next. Thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. I noticed a number of spelling errors but I’m sure these will be corrected before the book is finalised.
Imagine waking up in an unknown location, tied to the wall and told that you will be running for your life. Win the race and you win your freedom. If you lose? You die. If you refuse to play? Your family will die instead. This is the dilemma that faces the unlucky participants of a sick game - one in which they cannot afford to lose. When the body of a young girl is found in a rural phone box, with signs of torture and multiple stab wounds, DI Joel Norris and DS Lucy Rose are sent to investigate. The one witness to the crime has disappeared, leaving them clueless but pawns in a game much bigger than they realise. Can they find and stop a killer who always seems to be one step ahead and just using them as pawns in their sick game? This is a really good book - one I requested on a recommendation from a friend, and I'm very glad I did! The crack team of Joel, Lucy & Eileen are very warm and likeable and it was a very easy read. I did manage to work out who the perpetrator was around about halfway through the book, but the author cleverly subverted my expectations so that I was never 100% confident until the official reveal! An easy 5* choice for me.
I haven't read the first in Gallagher's series, but I was able to enjoy this great read despite that. A fantastic gripping opening chapter that made me question what on earth was going on. Then slowly drip fed the answers through a very well researched police procedural. Norris and Rose have great energy between them, and I was kept guessing up until the final few chapters. Fab. Thanks to Avon and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review
This certainly did not disappoint, second in the series following DI Joel Norris this was a fast moving thriller packed for of unexpected twists. Joel and his sergeant, Lucy, are sucked into a game they definitely don't want to be a part of. Cleverly written, I raced through this! If you're a fan of a thriller I would recommend, and definitely check out the previous series too!
A fabulous page-turner of a book! Full on action from the first chapter, and a fabulous thriller that kept me guessing right up to the very end. Really enjoyable read and thoroughly recommended.
Yet another fantastic read from Charlie Gallagher, full of intense moments , a plot like no other, couldn’t put it down at points . So many twists and turns, when you think you have it all worked out it twists again. Highly recommended.
At first I thought Charlie had fallen into an old plot line used by many others; sadistic rich men hunting weak sex slaves. Silly me. I had not taken into account his love of the twist. The first one settled my nerves and had me on edge at the same time. This was cruel and, yes, sadistic. Two young women, perfectly matched, facing off against one another. To quote Highlander "There can be only one". I never have liked claustrophobic red telephone boxes but now they are on my list of things never to use, along with electric knives and scuba diving gear. Closely following the women came the men. But they had a plan. They would turn the tables on the bad man. Most women know that men are useless at following plans. these two ran true to form and Charlie provided the details. Bloody, gory details (add scissors to my list). Charlie Gallagher's talent grows with every book. I gave five stars to his first so now he has so many out in the sky making his own astral body. Forget Orion's belt this guy is providing a full set of armour. Fair warning this book is gruesome in places and emotional in others. If you live near a telephone box in the country this may not be for you 😐
Brilliant book. Kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Charlie is one of the best crime writers around.
Oh my goodness! What a brilliant thriller. I held my breath so many times, it was just so scary. The plot is original and the malevolence of the perpetrator of the terrible crimes leaps off the page. Absolutly love the all police team, but I have developed a real soft spot for Eileen and her slippers. Charlie Callager is a writer I have followed from his first novel and he just gets better.. His police experience helps him to create the best thrillers.possible and he never disappoints. I highly recommend this book, quality reading from a writer at the top of his game. My thanks to Charlie, his publishing team and to NetGalley for an advanced reader e-copy, absolutely my pleasure!
A non-stop thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. You will not want to put this one down! The plot and the characters are well developed and makes you feel as if you are there. Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
With many thanks to Charlie Gallagher, NetGalley and Avon for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange my honest review. Charlie Gallagher is my favorite author and I love this book very much. You won't put it down till the end. It's another excellent case for DI Joel Norris and his DS Lucy Jones. The plot and the characters are very well-developed and it just gave you feel you would there with the detectives. It's really fast paced with action-packed race, and tensed with lots of twists and turns. It kept you at the edge of your seat. You are hooked from the beginning. You couldn't predict what would happen next and this book is real dark, twisting and gripping thriller. The characters are intriguing and interesting. You definitely love those characters. If you are a fan of detective thrillers, I highly recommend to you. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
What I enjoy best about Charlie Gallagher’s stories is the sense of realism that he creates and lines the plot with an element that I refer to as the believability factor. LETHAL GAME is his latest gripping crime thriller, and to get straight to the point this is great stuff - I couldn’t put it down. So, a deadly race against time is, in fact, a race in which two innocent victims are forced to run for their lives in a “winner lives” race. No one can afford to lose. Winning is a life-saver. Detectives Norris and Rose assigned to investigate the case find themselves being played in a twisted adaptation of a disturbing board game that has come to life with fatal consequences for the loser. Sharp and engaging, LETHAL GAME lived up to my expectations and I am certain you too will find it to be a rewarding good read. I highly recommend it to fans of the suspenseful, spine-chilling good yarns. .
Gripping, dark and sinister. This is a unique crime thriller and police procedural that will leave you chilled by what people are capable of. Lethal Game is the second book in this new series by Gallagher, and it picks up shortly after that of The Friend ends, with ramifications of the last case looming over Norris and Rose. I particularly liked the deeper dive we were able to get into Rose’s background. Both Norris and Rose continue to evolve as this series finds a comfortable footing. A game is supposed to be fun. This one gets taken way too far and comes with dire consequences. And it’s a gritty, jaw clenching game. Just when the police think they are understanding the rules, they become pawns in this escapade. There are a lot of moving pieces that will keep you guessing. The sense of foreboding is heavy in this new book. With years of experience in the criminal justice system, Gallagher lays out a complex yet believable, edge of your seat thriller. It’s well executed and obviously steeped in insider knowledge. Thank you to Charlie Gallagher, Avon Books UK, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of this book.
Another great book by Charlie Gallagher. A fast paced storyline with some twists and turns to keep you engrossed. The characters are very strong and you can’t help but like them. They are dragged into a game they most definitely don’t want to be a part of and all the action that comes with it. I highly recommend this book and author.
Charlie Gallagher creates some brilliant reads, characters that you become invested in and unique story-lines. This latest Joel Norris installment is no exception. A great, slightly disturbing, premise for this one. I am very much enjoying the developing characters and their growth, both individually and as a new team. The new DCI seems great and I love the formidable Eileen and her carpet slippers. Looking forward to more from this team. Thank you Charlie.
This is the second book featuring DI Joel Norris and DS Lucy Rose and it doesn’t disappoint. A fast paced action packed thriller which keeps you gripped from start to finish. I am looking forward to more from this author.
This is the second book in the series, and Joel is given another case to solve with DS Rose. Once again, although a new DCI is introduced to the team, we don’t see hide nor hair of him much throughout the book, there is a new team member who is an analyst, Eileen, and various members in the background, but apart from learning a bit more about Joel and Lucy, we do get a little more insight at the end, and I, personally like descriptions of the characters and their lives outside police work. I think it adds dimension to the story, and gives you an insight into their behaviour. Noel can be a tad hot headed, but Lucy seems to sort him out! However, this is a cleverly written tale, based on a gaming idea. Now, I for one, have never played computer games, so it was alien to me, but those who have will thoroughly enjoy this book. It’s a race against time as two opponents are pitted against each other, and it’s just nail biting tension as to who survives. The climax at the end is brilliant and I could feel for all those involved but won’t say anymore in case I give the game away, excuse the pun! I think with a bit more detail to the characters and a few more police operatives that we could get to know, this will be an excellent series, as the stories are well thought out and descriptive. I have to say though I did love Maddie Ives and I wish Charlie would bring her and her team back. My thanks to Charlie, Netgalley and the publishers for the ARC.
This book was fantastic, the second book in the Norris and Rose series, on the crime investigation team Joel and Lucy, that I so enjoyed, so much better than the first I just couldn't put this down, there's so much action, packed with oh my god moments this author has written a proper nail-biter, Reader's are going to love it, you wont be disappointed and the characters work so well together, well done and thank you to Charlie for this read that has left me a happy contented booklover. 5stars***** from me.
As an avid reader of Charlie Gallagher’s books I’ve been looking forward to this book and I wasn’t disappointed. It had me hooked from page 1. Lots of twists! A real thriller! I love the way Charlie makes you care about the characters too. I thought I’d miss Maddie and Harry from an earlier series but I’m really enjoying Joel and Lucy. Thank you Charlie and Net Galley for the ARC.
This is the second book in the DI Joel Norris and DS Lucy Rose series and it is every bit as thrilling as the first installment. In this book the detective's start by trying to solve the brutal murder of a young woman and unravel the secrets her mother is keeping. When another body is discovered it soon becomes clear the killer is living out a real life board game which results in gruesome murders. The team need to find the killer and save others victims before they encounter the same torture and suffering. In this book we discover more about the team's home life, especially Lucy's which I particularly enjoyed. We also get introduced to new team members including DCI Kemp and police analyst Eileen, who I believe has the potential to be developed into quite a favourite character in this series. This author has written some fantastic crime thriller series, and this is just as good, if not better. Be warned though, it's not for the faint hearted as he does not hold back in the gruesome details. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, a definite 5* read and I highly recommend it.
After the best part of 5 years I have decided to give up reviewing books prior to publication. In that time I have reviewed over 300 books and I'm so pleased that my last review, Lethal Game, is up there with the best I have read, The above is I guess of little interest to anyone scanning this review but during this time I have been very fortunate to read all of Charlie's books before they were published. I have to admit that, for me, the first series about George Elms will always be the best. It has lots of police team sarcasm and wit as well as lots and lots of twists. For once the title, Lethal Game, actually summarises the book rather than a typically two word title that could have been concocted from a random page turn in the dictionary! This book is superb, the characters are extremely well detailed - both goodies and baddies - and you do feel a part of the book. So, thoroughly recommended, to any prospective reader who loves crime novels with a bit of bite and depth. Thanks Charlie
I was given this book by NetGalley for an honest review - - What a book!! What a game!! A killer who moves people like pieces in a game. Detective Norris and Lucy investigate the murder of a young woman and discover the game. Can they find the murderer before the next game?