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Psychological Thriller

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The Family Game
By Catherine Steadman

Review: The Family Game

 

A novelist discovers the deadly games at play within the wealthy family into which she’s marrying.

Bestselling author Harriet (Harry) Reid is newly engaged to Edward Holbeck, the heir of the powerful and incredibly private Holbeck family. Edward is no longer close to them, but with Harry in the mix, the Holbecks hope to use their impending nuptials to bring Edward back into the familial fold.

Harry feels initially trepidatious at meeting the family, but to her surprise, she finds them warm and welcoming. Harry and Ed are soon lured into lavish family get-togethers which get stranger and stranger. At one point, Edward’s father, Robert, entrusts Harry with a tape of a book he’s been working on—a book she discovers is a shocking confession to a grisly murder.

And with the confession, a deadly game begins…

Harry is inescapably pulled into Robert’s sinister machinations, as she tries to decipher his intentions. Is the confession real? Is sharing his confession a rite of passage to ensure she can be trusted? What game is at play and most importantly how will it end?

Every interaction with the family becomes increasingly alarming and it soon becomes clear Robert knows far more than she imagined… including a secret she’s hidden her whole life.

Losing in this game is not an option, especially when it means her entire life could be destroyed.

I was rapt from the very beginning. The secrets of a powerful family. The façade of perfection. The macabre games and gothic atmosphere. Steadman expertly weaves these elements to construct a narrative that’s uniquely alluring and deeply unsettling. Reminiscent of the TV show Succession with eccentric characters who hunger for power and hide many a secret, this novel is one I couldn’t help but binge. I loved it.

The game unfurls during the holiday season, so this is the perfect time to devour this deliciously addictive thriller.

 

Note: I combo read and listened, and think this is an especially good Audible choice (as we also listen to the cassette recordings).

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