From time to time, various folks at Penumbra Publishing read books (that we didn't publish!), and are happy to post reviews. Sometimes these books are provided by the authors requesting reviews, and sometimes they are free or 99-cent downloads, and sometimes they are books purchased for personal reading. When possible, the reviewer will note the source and format. Reviews are strictly the opinion of the individual reviewer.
THE DEVIL’S GAME
By S.L. Pierce & Maren Kaye
(Ebook provided by the author as a contest prize)
Review by Willa Kaye Danes, author at Penumbra Publishing
This story about a girl and her stalker – and her stalker’s stalker intent on ending things badly – was highly suspenseful and kept me guessing to the end regarding the real culprit. A well written psychological thriller with great characterization and pacing, The Devil’s Game switches scenes from an ambition-driven psychiatrist and her patient (Patient X), obsessed with following stalkers, to the rather hapless but likeable victim, Rachel, alone in the big city, and not sure who she can trust to turn to for help when mysterious gifts begin appearing inside her apartment. Later, the gifts are accompanied by threatening messages, but poor Rachel is at a loss to figure out how the culprit is gaining access to her apartment. There are plenty of suspects to choose from, and some deliberate misdirection that makes it continually impossible to figure out who the real stalker is. It is intense reading, and the characters are all very believable and well drawn. The dialog is crisp and realistic, and I found myself instantly drawn into Rachel’s world of worry and woe.
On a technical side, there were a few instances of point-of-view mixing I felt should not have been there, but they were unobtrusive enough not to mar the reading of the story. Another issue is that the authors give us snippets of almost everyone’s point of view, but conveniently leave out clues I felt should have been dealt with a little more fairly in the story. That is the main reason it was so hard to figure out who the stalker and the stalker-stalker were, because things were kept from the reader in such a way that it didn’t seem quite logical, given that we are seeing everyone’s thoughts. Overlooking this, one can still become quickly absorbed in the story and empathize with Rachel throughout the whole ordeal. The ending wraps up nicely, and overall the story is very entertaining and riveting.
I would rate it 5/5 but for the bit about the holding back of clues when in the POV of the ‘guilty parties.’ With that, it earns a 4.5. out of 5.0. Well done, and recommended.