Book Review: A Game For All The Family by Sophie Hannah

August 28, 2015 Book review 7 ★★★★½

This book is the ultimate mind game!  Are you determined enough to filter through all the puzzling details and solve it before the reveal?  I know I was up for that challenge!

Balancing the books is a quick fire review where I list the assets and liabilities of a book (as I see them)and leave you decide if you think this book is worth investing in.

balancing the books


Book Review: A Game For All The Family by Sophie HannahA Game for All the Family by Sophie Hannah
Published by Hodder & Stoughton General Division on August 1st 2015
Genres: Mystery, Psychological, Suspense, Thriller
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: Bookbridgr
Buy on Amazon

'One of the great unmissables of this genre - intelligent, classy and with a wonderfully Gothic imagination' - The Times

Justine thought she knew who she was, until an anonymous caller seemed to know better...

After escaping London and a career that nearly destroyed her, Justine plans to spend her days doing as little as possible in her beautiful home in Devon.

But soon after the move, her daughter Ellen starts to withdraw when her new best friend, George, is unfairly expelled from school. Justine begs the head teacher to reconsider, only to be told that nobody's been expelled - there is, and was, no George.

Then the anonymous calls start: a stranger, making threats that suggest she and Justine share a traumatic past and a guilty secret - yet Justine doesn't recognise her voice. When the caller starts to talk about three graves - two big and one small, to fit a child - Justine fears for her family's safety.

If the police can't help, she'll have to eliminate the danger herself, but first she must work out who she's supposed to be...

The Assets of A Game For All The Family by Sophie Hannah

  • Interesting characters: Justine has moved her family to the countryside and is resolute in her new-found determination to do nothing!  This once frazzled career woman now wants a schedule free day.  I can empathise so much!  I don’t know if I could actually do nothing all day, every day but I’d give it a good shot!
  • There is a story within the story: Justine’s daughter is writing her own murder mystery in the book and how this fits with the main story just gripped every ounce of my attention.
  • Perplexing mystery!  I spent the whole book thinking “what, WHAT, why, WHAT!”
  • Clever foreshadowing:  This put the wind right up me for what lay ahead.

“There are some stories so unimaginably horrifying that no normal imagination could produce them.”

  • Pure Entertainment: I really, really enjoyed it!  I felt the fear, I loved all the perplexing details and cared about the characters.  For sheer entertainment this was easily 5 stars for me.


The Liabilities of A Game For All The Family by Sophie Hannah

  • As much as the book mystified and intrigued me as I read it, I felt a little bit flat at the conclusion of the story within the story.  I thought it was obvious to all and wanted it to be more of a curve ball.

Investment potential: A Game For All The Family by Sophie Hannah

Go for it!  If you love complex characters, lots of red herrings and a baffling mystery; then this one is more than worthy of your time and/or money.  Fans of Sophie’s previous books should enjoy this one.  I think if you enjoy books such as The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins, The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth or The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty then I think you might also appreciate this one.

Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-half-stars


Thanks to Bookbridgr and Hodder & Stoughton Ltd for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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7 Responses to “Book Review: A Game For All The Family by Sophie Hannah”

    • trish

      I’d highly recommend any of Sophie Hannah’s books Grace. Most of part of a series but this one is standalone so it’s a good one to try.

  1. Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library

    I’m really looking forward to reading more Sophie Hannah. I have Woman with a Secret and I enjoyed the writing of The Monogram Mystery but I think I didn’t enjoy it as much because I was constantly comparing it to Agatha Christie. I think in her own setting with her own characters Hannah will be absolutely fantastic.
    Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…Friday Linkups: Harbor Island

    • trish

      For some reason all the Sophie Hannah books have different names in the US so I don’t know which one Woman with a Secret is! I hope you love it though, I’ve read all her books (except The Monogram Mystery) and I’m a huge fan of her writing.

  2. Cayce

    Oh, this sounds good but I’ve read The Monogram Mystery and… didn’t like it 🙁

    But these seem to be “original characters” so maybe I’ll give her another chance.
    Cayce recently posted…Croatian Sunsets…

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