Saturday 27 January 2024

Audiobook Blog Tour - We Play Games

My first blog tour of 2024! Feels like I’ve not done one of these in a while, and we start with a domestic thriller with a twist. 

Title and Author: We Play Games by Sarah A Denzil
Publisher: Audible
Bought, Gifted or Borrowed: Gifted by Midas Campaigns on behalf of Audible for review in exchange for an honest review/reaction. 
Listen from (Non-Affiliate): Audible 

Ben and Effie have moved to the beautiful yet exclusive Ivy Oaks and they look like there are the perfect couple. Beautiful, wealthy, friendly. But behind the smiles, both Ben and Effie are dark hearted and like to play games. Games that will hurt other people and rip communities apart. And Ivy Oaks seems like the perfect place to do one of their games. 

The couple has two rules: no lies, no ties. But Ben has broken these rules and Effie is beginning to realise that. Soon, not only are the pair scheme and manipulate the people around them, but they are doing it to each other. 

For this game is their final. Losing isn’t an option for either of them. Let the games begin…

I am going to be honest with you. When I started this, I wasn’t sure which way I was going to go with this. The main reason is that both our leads, Ben and Effie, are so unlikeable. That’s the point - they are not nice people. They enjoy hurting people and causing trouble in exchange for money, sex and (most of all) power. 

Plus, I wasn’t exactly a fan of the first hour or so of this story. The pace was slower than I was expecting and we (the listeners) were going told all the time by Ben and Effie how smart they were and that they are bad people ALL THE TIME. Show us that these are despicable people, don’t tell us. 

However, around the two hour mark, something changed and you realise that the slow pace at the start was to ease you in. Yes, it’s start with petty suburban politics and the couple just wanting to cause trouble within the community and within a marriage to lure you in and the pace gets up and runs.It turns to a cat and mouse game between the couple and the rest of the community as it’s revealed how dangerous one half of the couple truly is. 

You know what this story reminded me of: another domestic thriller that I audiobook last year. The Doctor’s Wife by Daniel Hurst. It has the same elements - a marriage that looks perfect from the outside, a partner lying and thinking they are smarter than their other half when we, the readers, know that this isn’t the case and the consequences of this isn’t going to end well… 

As you can expect, this domestic thriller does touch on dark subjects - blackmail, threats of revenge porn, invasion of privacy, finance - but the biggest that this story tackles is coercive control and how subtle it begins and slowly, over times, gets bigger and more dangerous. If you want more information or are affected, please go to RefugeRespect, Galop or Samaritans

With a fabulous acting cast (Billie Piper, Dan Stevens, Shane Zaza, Avita Jay, Felicity Duncan, David Holt and Sarah Whitehouse), I did enjoy this dark, twisty thriller (once I got over the slow start). This isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea as you have to suspend your belief on a few occasions, but if you want a twisty domestic thriller with unlikeable characters, this might work for you. 

No comments:

Post a Comment