The Game

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Pub Date 31 May 2022 | Archive Date 21 Jun 2022

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To save their life, you have to play.

‘Exciting and original’ Simon McCleave
‘A twisty page-turner’ Liz Lawler
‘Chilling, packed with intrigue’ Dan Malakin

Across the globe, five strangers receive a horrifying message from an unknown number.


To save them, each must play The Game – a sinister unknown entity that has a single rule: there can only be one winner.


But what is The Game – and why have they been chosen?

There’s only one thing each of them knows for sure: they’ll do anything to win…


A breakneck thriller filled with non-stop suspense, perfect for fans of Harlan Coben, Mark Dawson and Terry Hayes’ I Am Pilgrim.

Readers love The Game:

‘This was an absolute belter of a book!’

Wow! Can absolutely see this book being made into a film. . . The whole book pulled me in straight away and I couldn't put it down. Full of twists from start to finish, twists that I never saw coming!’

‘Had me gripped . . . I couldn't breathe until I finished it

‘This is one of the most original stories I've read for a while. Just read it! You won't regret it.’

‘What an utterly terrifying thriller this was! It doesn’t get scarier than this…’

‘Horrifyingly credible . . . This is a fast-paced, menacing and dark read. Grips from the off and doesn’t let go until that very last page.’

‘This book was chilling and tense and will have you on the edge of your seat.’

‘Unique, cinematic and fast-paced. Unputdownable and thrilling page-turner. Highly recommended.’

‘I love a story that is a bit different and unique and this certainly was. A thought provoking story that chilled me to the bone . . . Will have you up all night. Such a cleverly written story

‘Fast-paced, tense, atmospheric and so full of suspense . . . I didn’t know what to expect when. I couldn’t put this book down it was completely gripping.’

‘From the first few pages the adrenaline rush never lets up.’

To save their life, you have to play.

‘Exciting and original’ Simon McCleave
‘A twisty page-turner’ Liz Lawler
‘Chilling, packed with intrigue’ Dan Malakin

Across the globe, five strangers...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9780008395483
PRICE $12.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 63 members

Featured Reviews

I haven't been this hooked to a book in awhile.
The Game is the type of story I've been waiting for!

The book is centered around five strangers who each receive a terrifying message from someone unknown. Someone they love the most is terrible danger.
And the only way to save them is they each much play THE GAME.
A ominous unknown that has one single rule: there will only be one winner!
If you lose, yYOUR LOVED ONE is dead!
Why are these five the chosen ones? And what the hell is THE GAME?
One thing is for sure they each will do anything to win....
So welcome to The Game. You've also started playing!

Wow. I picked this up and could not put it down that I read in a day.
His brilliant plot and well-written characters take you on roller coaster of twists and turns that keep you riveted from page one.
Kershaw's writing is so descriptive.
A captivating psychological suspense that plays a game unlike anything I've ever read.
Join the game to finish this wild ending!

“I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.”

Harper 360|HQ,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
I will post my review to my platforms, blog, B&N and Waterstone closer to pub date.

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OMG!! You have to read this book! The Game was an explosive, knock your socks off, intense, non-stop action helluva thrill ride! I still can't believe that it's a debut!! So well written! Well, I just added another author to my "must read" list! -Where have you been hiding Scott Kershaw?!- I absolutely loved every minute of it and couldn't put it down! Screw dinner and chores....I had to finish this tonight! I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up becoming a movie. It's that good folks!!


Five players from around the world find themselves immersed in a twisted game. The rules are simple; play the game or your loved one will die. Do not call the police. Do not tell anyone. If you lose, your loved one dies. Only one can be the winner. Your time starts now!

The story proceeds alternating between the POVs of the five players with some added segues here and there. I liked all of the characters except for one, but that's ok. There's always a d-head! My heart was literally pounding out of my chest as these players raced against time to complete the obstacles. None of them could be trusted, so I had no clue how this would end. Until it did! Great job, Scott Kershaw! Can't wait to get my hands on your next novel!

Thank you to the author, Harper 360, and NetGalley for allowing me to preview this eARC in exchange for my honest review!

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ARC book provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

“The Game” opens up with the gathering of five strangers whose lives are turned upside down when the person they each love the most disappears. The strangers receive a message on their phones revealing their loved ones have been abducted. With that, the game has begun.

Each person is assigned a title ranging from “Player One” to “Player Five.” Instructions are given and are clear on one point: call the police or otherwise ask for help and you’ll never see your loved one again. As the players are drawn together and given explicit instructions on what to do next, questions arise. What is “The Game?” Who is behind it? Why have the players been chosen? How is “The Game” going to end? After all, there can only be one winner.

I greatly enjoyed this book. I ripped through the story in less than a day, drawn into the thrilling intensity. The writer’s style was easy to read, sucking me right in and taking me along for the ride. The characters are believable and their reactions to the situation, albeit all different, are also believable. I wasn’t sure if I’d like this novel as the book’s description sounds like many stories I’ve heard before, but this book was original and engaging. Best of all, I never saw the end coming. I’m usually pretty good and figuring it all out, but this book caught me by surprise. Kudos to the author for an original storyline with a truly surprising twist of an ending.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. It’s a great story for any fans of thrillers who love a good twisty ending. This is a fast-paced enjoyable book with an original storyline that will please most readers. The book is not your standard formulaic novel about a game amongst strangers under duress. This book was original enough and entertaining enough to earn a five-star review from me, which I was honestly not expecting from the book’s simple description. Pick up a copy of this book and enjoy the ride!

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Thank you to Netgalley and Harper 360 for this ARC of The Game by Scott Kershaw.

This book was an intense one. I honestly almost gave this one less star after finishing until I went back to reread some earlier chapters to try to verify remembering what I thought I read. I was upset that yet another author basically lied earlier on to try to instill the shock factor better. But, I was wrong. This author so meticulously worded this one in a way that I was second guessing myself and what I thought I remembered. Which made this so much better and honestly, genius. The plot was original and the intensity was unreal. Brilliant writing and I definitely recommend this to my fellow thriller readers.

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This book reminded me of the Saw movies, and was delightfully horrific and thrilling! I could barely put it down.

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Someone takes Maggie's son and she is shocked as she lives in Minnesota things like this don't happen here. She gets a text telling her if she contacts police or tells anyone he will die. As a parent this pulls at your heart strings as you would do anything for your child. She is player 1. She is given a certain amount of time to get to secret destination and if she fails she is out of the game. There can be only one winner.

This scenaria happened to four other people. Each fearing for their loved ones lives. Then they must all work together to find player six. Then all things come to a head as who is behind the game and why? The big reveal that I didn't predict.

I liked how it portrayed Maggie as Minnesota nice. I liked how I had no clue who was behind the game or why. The fear you felt for each person as they wanted to save their loved ones and panic along the way. The ending that I didn't predict made this one gripping read.

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First off let's start this with a round of applause for Scott Kershaw. What a debut novel. Just brilliant.

This story features different players being forced into playing "The Game". We learn of each person's involvement from chapters from their own POV. Sometimes books with too many differing POV can get messy or make you want to get back to a specific chartacter. Not with this book; every POV could have been it's own novel because equal of how GREAT each POV was. I truly enjoyed each character's time being the narrator.

The uniqueness to each person's story was a big draw with this book. They were all experiencing the same thing but in drastically different ways. The character development and their individual histories being unraveled was fantastic.

It is a twisty mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end.

Side note: don't be fooled by the summery of the book giving Saw or Squid Game vibes; it is truly a unique story.

A big thanks to Harper360 and NetGalley for the chance to read this one early. Make sure to get this one added to your TBR list asap!

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Hooky, fast-paced, and entertaining, this will be a great beach thriller. A recommended purchase for collections where the genre is popular.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced thriller. It kept me on the edge of my seat. I was highly invested from the first page and couldn’t wait to find out what happens next. I certainly did not predict the mind blowing ending. If you’re looking for a page-turner, I highly recommend this book.

Thank you NetGalley and Harper 360 for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to preview The Game.
Wow - this is an original story with plenty of surprises
Five people get notified that someone close to them will die if they don’t play “the game”. Each person has someone close to them disappear. Rules are simple - tell no one and follow instructions that will be given to them. Why were these five people selected? Why is the question.
So they play and the plot begins.
Truly original and different.
Kept me reading into the night. Very good. 5 stars!!!

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The Game hi Scott Kershaw is about five players Maggie, A woman who gave up her son in an open adoption, Brent a man who although in a long-term relationship with a woman is secretly in love with his best friend Craig, Sara addicted to online bingo and after struggling with infertility it’s two small children, Linda a woman who is glory days or behind her she struggles to be close to her teenage daughter and then there’s Noah, he is a man who wants to do the right thing for his fiancé Sophia, but always seems to be coming up against a brick wall. They will all lose the person closest to them by kidnapping and most played the game according to the rules and the first rule is is contact no one and throw away your real phone. There sent coordinates to the lonely Moores in England and Mas all get there by Tuesday afternoon. Maggie and Brett must get there from America, Noah is coming from France but doesn’t have a passport Sarah cannot pull her self together until she does and makes a beeline for the mowers and then there’s a Linda she is adamant come hell or Highwater she’s getting her daughter back. this is the best book I have read and I don’t know how long. I usually can predict or figure out what’s going to happen and I must say I couldn’t with this book not until the end. The clothes they give you throughout the book do not clued you in at all and that makes for an awesome thriller. I am so glad I ask for this book and I am so glad they let me read it. If you love hard drama and thrillers that are unpredictable you’re going to absolutely love this book it borders on horror. I was given this book by Nat Gally and I am leaving this review voluntarily. please forgive any grammatical or punctuation errors as I am blind and dictate my review but all opinions are definitely my own.

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The Game by Scott Kershaw

5 complete strangers. Across 3 different countries recieve the same text message.
" Welcome to the game "
They must navigate their way through seemingly ridiculous, and impossible tasks in order to save the ones they love .
There can only be 1 winner. But theres so much more to this game than any of them can fathom .

At first. I thought. Cool ... a book based on the popular movie " saw " . . . " I WANT TO PLAY A GAME " . But this first thought was so far removed from what actually came of this book . The book was well thought out and imagined . Everything means something, so don't skim or skip anything . Lol
The characters were my only issue . A few of the ' players ' were so unbelievably unlikable. However it made it easier to root for an outcome . . As harsh as that sounds given my prior synopsis. You will understand what I mean when you read this one .

I liked this one so much . It was a strange fast paced puzzle . Trigger warnings include strong gore. Scenes of r*pe and sexual assault. Animal death. Kidnapping . And su*cide . But warnings aside thats what made the book come together. .
If your looking for a quick read than consider the Game . .

How far are you willing to go for the one you love the most ?

Thank you @netgalley and @harper360 for the ARC of THE GAME

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This one starts with a bang! Maggie Dawson, a young mother, wakes up to discover her child missing and then as she is freaking out she receives a mysterious text inviting her to play a game. But Maggie is just the first of five people ‘invited’ to play a game with the chance of saving the life of their loved one. Who is running the game and why were these people chosen to play? The Game is a fast-paced, gripping thriller and one heck of a debut from author Scott Kershaw. This would make a really good Netflix miniseries.

Thanks so much to Harper 360, HQ and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an eARC of The Game.

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I couldn't put this book down! I was pulled right in from the beginning and the twists and turns kept me guessing right up to the end.

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I could not put this book down. The summary reminded me of The Chain but I enjoyed this book so much more and the overall premise was different. I wasn't sure who to trust the entire time and was very surprised by the ending. I recommend this one if you enjoy thrillers/mysteries.

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I really enjoyed this. I thought the first two-thirds of the book were brilliant. I thought the premise was well set up, and my biggest complaint would be that it ended too quickly.

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This would make a great movie! Five strangers receive a mysterious text that a loved one has been kidnapped and they must now "play the game" and one winner can save their loved one. Challenges are horrible and the suspense and action is nonstop. Highly entertaining!

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The Game was a surprisingly well-detailed story about a group of five people who must face incredible odds to save the person they love the most. The ways through which their lives are unknowingly connected will rock your world. The final resolution was tragic and more than a bit surprising. Overall, this is a quick read that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an ARC. This review contains my honest, unbiased opinion.

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I was given this book by NetGalley for an honest review - - What a book!!!
Five strangers receive a message - someone they love is in danger and to save their life they must play this game.. What kind of game is this? How can they win? Can they save their loved one? They want to do anything they can to win but will it be enough?

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I love a good thriller and this book peaked my interest. The premise, five strangers have a loved one abducted and they must vie against each other or their loved one will die, sounded promising. Add in that there will only be one winner in this game of life or death, and I was there. I am pleased to say that the execution of the premise is nearly faultless and that this fast-paced book captured me from the start and held me to its satisfying conclusion.

Maggie, Brett, Sarah, Noah and Linda all have one thing in common: a person they love has been abducted. They each receive an untraceable text message warning them against contacting the police and giving them a deadline to reach a remote inn in England. Maggie and Brett live in the United States, Noah in France and Sarah and Linda in England, so for some this is the first major challenge in what the puppet master refers to as The Game. They are referred to only by a player number and told explicitly that they must win the game or their loved one will die. This seemingly pits them against each other but they quickly learn that collaboration is rewarded, thus they form an uneasy alliance as they try to figured out just what exactly the game encompasses.

In this somewhat gritty but utterly suspenseful book, Scott Kershaw draws the reader in, puts the pedal down and never lets up. Like the characters, the reader is also trying to figure out why this is happening and what the characters have done to deserve this. As the book progresses and more is learned about each character, the shadow of the person pulling their strings looms large. Who could be capable of pulling off such an elaborate plan and why, are questions that kept me turning pages.

Thank you NetGalley and Harper 360 HQ for an advance copy of this book.

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SO when does the series come out? It is that good and original.

5 people to play, but 5 people will not stay and he leaves y9ou with a LOT MORE than 5 answers.

Thank you for a worthy read!!

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The Game was book that I could NOT put down. Each character gets a chapter and each character was so captivating but every time I finished their chapter I NEEDED to get to their next chapter. It was a rotation of never wanting to put this book down. The characters being thrown into the game to save the person they care about the most is terrifying and so interesting to read about. Each chapter I never knew where it was headed. I totally recommend checking out this book that will make you wanna never stop reading!

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Five people in different countries and different circumstances are notified that they have had a loved one kidnapped. The only way to PR their safety is to play The GAME. Following mysterious clues the five are brought together and sent on a mission to find a 6th player. Through a series of backstories we meet each player and choose who to root for.
I could not put this book down! I love the intricacies of the game and the plot. I think the one dimensional cover leads you to think this may be a flat or cookie cutter book. The Game is not that! I guarantee you will not guess the ending. If you like killer thrillers, game-based play and dying for a mystery that you can't solve - The Game is for you! #NetGalley #TheGame #ScottKershaw

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Five players all pulled into some sick game taking one of their loved ones hostage to force them to play but there can only be one winner. The big question looms throughout the tense story of who is behind the whole thing. I didn't connect with all five characters but most of them. This story got a bit slow in the !Middle but the ending was quite a twist.

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Oh em gee!! 🤯 This book had me hooked from the very beginning. I sacrificed sleep to read this book. It was tense and addicting! It is told from 6 vastly different POVs. It comes together at the end so there are no major unanswered questions. The first 3/4 of the book is so fantastic it makes the last 1/4 seem just good. Which really that last 1/4 is far from good it's great. Does that make sense? I didn't guess a single twist or turn. I could have never guessed the ending. Absolutely must read!!

I'm still floored this is his debut novel! I can't wait for his next book!!

Read this book if:
🎮 you like books where you can't figure out the whole story until the end
🎮 you love a story to mess with your mind
🎮 you love fast paced thrillers
🎮 you love a book that you can't put down and blows your mind!
🎮 you trust my recommendations 😆

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This was the most decent twisty, OMG thriller I have read in a long time. Five strangers all forced to play a love one will suffer and die. I like how as reader I really got a sense of how each characters was playing, many having their own secrets and the sense of panic each had throughout this book. Once I really got into this book, I could not put this down. I like how the book concluded and it was not predictable at all.

A highly recommended thriller beach read. I am definitely getting this on the publishing or soon after. I look forward to reading more by this author in the future if it is as good as this book was.

Thanks to Netgalley, Scott Kershaw and Harper 360 HQ for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Available: 5/31/22

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I would like to thank the publisher for an ARC of this book. I really enjoyed this book. At first, it started out slow. I have to admit I was sometimes confused about the different stories of the characters. We follow five players and hear their perspective of The Game. We also get perspectives of other people. I would have to sometimes remember who was who. However, the ending. Wow!! This threw me for a loop. I never would have guessed the ending. I was thinking that something else was going on. I think this would be best not to know anything about this book. Just go in and play the game.

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Would you play a deadly game to save your loved one? Well this author would. In this book 5 people mysteriously get a text that there love ones are in danger and to save them they must win this game. And it goes from there. This was a fast read amd kept you intrigues the entire time. I will definitely read from this author again.

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Fast paced thriller that does it's job.

The book focuses on seemingly unrelated set of people who have a loved one taken away from them and are forced to play a dangerous game to free them.

The book alternates between various PoV of the players and keeps the tension high. You kind of know how such stories will play out but that does not take away from the reveal.

All in all, good fun!

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Thank you to Netgalley and Harper 360 for this ARC of The Game by Scott Kershaw. This was a very original book.. 5 People in a game to get the ones they love back alive, how far are you willing to go for the one you love the most? Let's have a film about this.

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Wow 😯 This book is crazy. It’s the story of 5 people, located all over the world that are pulled together to play The Game. Each is assigned a player number and given directions to follow if they want to save the person they love the most. It took a little bit for the book to take off, but I could tell that once it did that the story would be wild. I was right…I never saw anything in the ending coming. My head is still spinning!

Thank you to #netgalley for the ARC of this book! I loved it and can’t wait to recommend it in my bookstore!

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Thank you to Netgalley and Harper 360 for this ARC of The Game by Scott Kershaw.

Across the globe, five strangers receive a horrifying message.


To save them, each must play The Game – a sinister unknown entity that has a single rule: there can only be one winner.


Like several other people have said this was very SAW like in the way it was setup. This was about all I knew going into it. The chapters jump from player to player and you get time to learn more about them. It starts off strong and is a fast paced thriller that kept me entertained the whole time. It takes a while to get to figure out how the "players" lives are tied together and it didn't disappoint.

I highly recommend this book. Considering this is a debut novel from Scott Kershaw, I look forward to other books to come.

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Ugh, talk about a psychological thriller that will have you holding your breath....

The Game, is the type of book that if you do not already suffer from anxiety, you will. This is an action packed book that will have you biting away at your fingers and begging for Mercy.

The storyline is completely unique and gave me "Saw" vibes, but yet completely different. A group of people are forced into playing "a game" , if they choose not to play one of their siblings will be killed off ( see I told you, this book is insane!!!) .

I found it hard to believe that this is Scott Kershaw's debut novel as the characters were well developed and the plot was executed with precision . This is not a book for the faint of heart but if you are into psychological thrillers as much as I am you are going to be obsessed!

Out May 31, dont wait! You do not want to miss this one !

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Five strangers with nothing in common find themselves in absolute terror. All have had a child, fiancée, or best friend go missing. A text tells them there is only one way to save their loved one. They must play—and win—The Game…

This book is such an adrenaline-filled rush that I barely had time to focus on the unlikeness of the plot. Just like the show it resembles, Squid Game, be prepared to enter an alternate reality. However, it is hard not to picture yourself stuck playing The Game to save your loved ones too. If you want a thrilling ride, don’t miss reading this book. 4 stars!

Thanks to Harper 360 and NetGalley for a digital review copy of the book.

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Rating: 3.5/5 stars.

This book was so fun to read! You're following five characters playing this dangerous life or death game and each has their own story and secrets. I really enjoyed reading this and think it would be perfect to turn into a movie. It was thrilling and keeps you on the edge of your seat, and the ending was totally unexpected.

However, I wasn't able to connect with some of the characters and that sometime made reading from their perspective a little boring and slow, and that's why I rated this 3.5 stars.

Overall, this was a very entertaining and fun book to read with lots of twits and turns that will keep you guessing up until the end. It's definitely worth the read if you like thriller books that are based on twisted games and following different POVs.

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Although concepts like this strain credulity, I love this sort of thing. I will take a bold, propulsive plot over endless talk about feelings any day. ANY. DAY.

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This book goes by at a furious pace. There is many different narrators that fill you in on the story as it moves along. Expertly plotted, it’s hard to believe this is the author’s first book. And, like 5he best boos that make you think, there is @ message to the reader at the end as it really makes you think. 5 stars. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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What a unique plot and executed really good! Definitely wouldn't want to be part of this game but enjoyed reading the book. Well written and keeps you hooked

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I have had my eyes on Scott Kershaw's debut novel, The Game, for quiet awhile before it was released. The synopsis was not my normal type of read, yet I found myself intrigued and wanting to read this book. There are A LOT of trigger/content warnings in this book that I will not list in my review, but readers that are sensitive to triggers and content should beware.

To start we have five strangers from three countries who have all received the same message "The person you love most is in danger." In order to save their person, they must play The Game, if they lose their person dies, if they seek help they lose, if they go to the police they lose. In the end there can be only one winner.

WOW! The Game sounds equally intriguing and horrifying, and let me tell you, IT WAS!

The Game kept me turning the pages in anticipation, driven to to know what The Game was and who this unknown entity that was so cruel could be and why these specific players and their loved ones were chosen.

I was a little disappointed in the ending, with how hooked I was through the entire book to get to the conclusion, while it works and makes sense, it felt a little lackluster, but overall it was still a great read.

Oh, and as that micro Gen-X/Millennial generation, I absolutely lost The Game, which receives a call out in the book, after being on a winning streak for so long! (If you know, you know ;-))

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The Game is a dark, twisted, psychological suspense novel that plays out like a game. Beware - readers will be hooked! Imagine receiving a text message from an unknown number saying you must participate in a game and win or the person you love most will die. There can only be one winner. To what lengths would you go to keep the person you love most alive? The most horrifying scenario plays out like a nightmare. The characters are fantastic and the writing will hook you. Highly recommended!!

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This has to be one of the best mystery thriller books I've ever read! One of the things I loved the most was the multiple povs. Not many people can write it well, but this author did it easily. It was very easy to tell which character was talking at all times. The only part I didn't like as much was the ending. I just felt like there was a lot of buildup to something that wasn't that exciting after all. I still enjoyed getting to see the aftermath of the game. I can't wait to check out more from this author.

- major gore
- animal death
- drug and alcohol use
- mentions of rape

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