The Murder Game (Stephanie King #2) by Rachel Abbott | Blog Tour Book Review #TheMurderGame

Publisher: Wildfire
Available in ebook, audiobook, hardback (16 April 2020) | paperback 29 October 2020
416 pages
Source: Copy received from publisher for review


A year ago today, we all gathered for Lucas’s wedding at his glorious Cornish home overlooking the sea.

But no one was married that day.

Now Lucas has invited us back to celebrate the anniversary. But the anniversary of what? The wedding that never happened, or the tragedy that occurred just hours before the ceremony was due to begin?

He’s told us that tonight he has planned a game. We have our costumes, we have our parts, and everyone must play. The game, he tells us, is about to begin.

What does Lucas want from us? What are we not being told? And what’s going to happen when this terrible game is over?

(Published in the US as ‘The Invitation’)


Welcome to my turn on the tour for The Murder Game. I’m a big fan of Rachel’s books and my thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invitation to take part and to the publisher for the copy to review.

Lucas Jarrett has a privileged background and is filthy rich. He invites his four closest friends to celebrate his forthcoming wedding to Nina at his gorgeous property Polskirrin on the Cornish coast however due to a tragedy, the wedding celebrations never take place.  

Exactly a year later, the same friends and their partners, as before, are invited back to Polskirrin; this time to celebrate an anniversary. What on earth is Lucas playing at. Because of their long history and the influence Lucas has over their lives, none of the friends feel they can refuse his invitation. However Lucas has a plan. He has a macabre game in mind which everyone has to play.

A beautiful house. A stunning location by the ocean. The perfect setting for Lucas’s twisted game.  The tragic event of 12 months before has affected him deeply, he wants answers and he won’t listen to anyone.

This is the second outing for Detective Stephanie King, last seen in And So It Begins. Her personal life has moved on since then however this can easily be read as a standalone if you haven’t read the first book. She isn’t really the focus of this book at first, her appearance at Polskirrin with DI Gus Brodie is almost incidental to the story but she picks up on the strange vibes when she interrupts a dinner party at the house and her interest is piqued.

Much of the story is told from the perspective of Jemma Hudson, wife of Matt, one of Lucas’s friends. Jemma has no history with Lucas and unlike the others is not in thrall to him. Her marriage to Matt has never been the same since they were at Lucas’ house a year before and she wants to understand why.  She was one of the few characters prepared to stand up to Lucas and I liked her for that but I also felt sympathy for the way she was being treated by Matt.

The Murder Room is an addictive and suspenseful read and with just a single location it has that closed in vibe that I enjoyed so much with Agatha Christie stories. As the story progresses and backstories revealed and secrets hinted at, I felt that there was something off about most of the characters and I had no idea who could really be trusted. It seems that everyone has their secrets and certain people are determined that they should never be revealed.

This was one of those books that you know from the very start that you will enjoy and I and raced through the book in no time, resentful of every moment I had to put it down. If (like me) you’re a fan of Rachel’s Tom Douglas series, then do add this series to your reading pile.  This new character of Stephanie King may be a new addition to the books by Rachel Abbott but it is shaping up very nicely to be another series to follow.


Rachel Abbott began her career as an independent author in 2011, with Only the Innocent, which became a No.1 bestseller on Kindle, topping the chart for four weeks. Since then, she has published eight further psychological thrillers and sold over 3 million copies. She is one of the top-selling authors of all time in the UK Kindle store, and her novels have been translated into 21 languages.

Rachel splits her time between Alderney – a beautiful island off the coast of France – and the Le Marche region of Italy, where she is able to devote all her time to writing fiction.

Author Links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Where you can buy it (independent book stores also):
Waterstones | Amazon UK | Hive


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