The Family Game by Catherine Steadman

Published: October 18, 2022

Ballantine Books

Pages: 332

Genre: Psychological Thriller

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Catherine Steadman is an actress and author based in London. She has appeared in leading roles on British and American television as well as on stage in the West End, where she has been nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award. She grew up in New Forest, Hampshire, and now lives in North London with her husband and daughter.

1. Listen carefully
2. Do your research
3. Trust no one
4. Run for your life

Harriet Reed, a novelist on the brink of literary stardom, is newly engaged to Edward Holbeck, the heir of an extremely powerful family. And even though Edward has long tried to severe ties with them, news of the couple’s marital bliss has the Holbecks inching back into their lives.

As Harriet is drawn into their lavish world, the family seems perfectly welcoming. So when Edward’s father, Robert, hands Harriet a tape of a book he’s been working on, she is desperate to listen.

But as she presses play, it’s clear that this isn’t just a novel. It’s a confession.

A confession to a grisly crime. A murder. And, suddenly, the game is in motion.

Feeling isolated and confused, Harriet must work out if this is part of a plan to test her loyalty. Or something far darker. What is it that Robert sees in her? Why give her the power to destroy everything?

This might be a game to the Holbeck family—but losing might still prove deadly.

“Actions must have repercussions.”

Harriet is an author in love, living in New York. She’s far from home, but since her parents died in the accident, Harriet doesn’t have a home. She had Edward, the oldest son of an extremely wealthy and influential family. A family that can control any narrative and erase the facts if necessary. Coming into this family could cost Harriet her life.

This was a slow burn. There was a lot of build-up and a lot of explanation. The intensity starts at a solid seven and holds there for a large portion of the book. There are increases, but on average, the plot moves along slowly.

The characters were deeply complicated, and each had more layers than an onion. As the plot moves along, we get to know the various characters through Harriet’s perspective. Harriet is also a deeply layered character, though she is not nearly as complicated as the rest of the cast.

I enjoyed how this story was told and how the past was tangled in with the present; it was reminiscent of a volcano. The pressure slowly starts to build up more and more, and as we begin to anticipate the eruption- things shift unexpectedly.

The twist in this novel was well placed, well played, and took me completely by surprise. I enjoyed the twisted methods in this book. This would make an excellent tv show if it were done correctly.

The intricacies, the deceit, and the will to survive will keep you glued to the pages of this book.

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