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The Family Game Review: Back-of-Book Description

“A powerful family and a deadly game. Be prepared for a nail-biting, roller-coaster of a ride” (B. A. Paris, author of Behind Closed Doors), from the New York Times bestselling author of Something in the Water, Mr. Nobody, and The Disappearing Act

 

“The Holbecks are what you might come up with if you took the Roys from Succession and blended them with the Murdochs, the Macbeths, and the Borgias. . . . Let the fun begin!”—The New York Times Book Review (Editors’ Choice)

 

THE RULES

1. Listen carefully

2. Do your research

3. Trust no one

4. Run for your life

 

It’s the holiday season and 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 sever ties with them, news of the couple’s upcoming marital bliss has the Holbecks inching back into their lives with one invite after another.

 

As Harriet is drawn into their lavish world, the family seems perfectly welcoming . . . even if some of their traditions, like a “Christmas demon” called Krampus, seem creepy at best. 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 could still prove deadly.

 

READY OR NOT, HERE THEY COME . . .

The Family Game Review: My Thoughts

I found this book on Book of the Month a couple of years ago, I think it was an October 2022 pick. I remember liking the premise and my friend also chose it.

Fast forward a while and I was looking for a thriller to read around the holidays. The Family Game seemed perfect, as the first chapter lets you know the date is around Thanksgiving.

My initial thoughts on this book were that it really reminded me of a movie I had seen – Ready or Not, a thriller about a young bride who joins her eccentric, rich husband’s family and they play a deadly game. I mean, the similarities in the descriptions alone are wild right? And certain plot points had me thinking that the book was just a longer version with more back story.

But alas, that was not the case. The Family Game is for sure different than that movie. I enjoyed them both, but I think the insane similarities made this book feel kind of unoriginal. 

Anyways, moving past that. I liked the notion that the main character was a British transplant and a writer, who had moved to America for a relationship. It felt like a cool set up. I also think the premise of a rich and mysterious family had a lot of promise. 

The rich, mysterious family aspect held up through most of the book and the characters felt in line with that idea…for the most part. There were times that some of things and behaviors described felt a little over the top and unrealistic. I suppose I am not in a rich family, so I can’t really be sure. lol

The relationship between the main character and her fiancé felt a little strange to me at times, too. Mostly because of the lack of communication. I mean, if you agreed to spend the rest of your life with someone, I would think you’d discuss certain things, like including details about them in your book? The fiancé actually feels largely absent through most of the story, which also results in his character feeling pretty flat. 

Besides those small flaws, it was an enjoyable, easy read. The writer did a pretty good job building suspense and keeping the reader interested in reading more. 

 
Favorite Quotes from The Family Game

“..you can’t underestimate the overwhelming power of someone swooping in to save you after a lifetime of having to save yourself.”

 

“Games reveal our most basic instinct: the instinct to survive.”

 

“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.”

 

“As every writer knows, even if a story is pure fiction, there are truths hidden in there, about the writer, about the time it was written – that are incontrovertible.”

 

“It’s only natural to forget when remembering hurts so much.”

 

“Sometimes it’s easier to understand the truth of our lives through stories.”

The Family Game Review: In Conclusion

While this book felt a little unoriginal at first, I was quickly sucked into the story and found myself wanting to find out what happens. I’m going to go with 3.5 stars for The Family Game. No major flaws, really and it was enjoyable… just not at the top of the charts.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes thrillers, family dramas, or even people who find the world of rich, famous families fascinating, as those elements are all involved here. It might make a good holiday gift since it takes place around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Furthermore – I would also definitely recommend the movie Ready or Not because its similar… but better actually. 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this review of The Family Game – feel free to share! Check out my other book reviews here and pin or share your favorite quotes below. 

“..you can’t underestimate the overwhelming power of someone swooping in to save you after a lifetime of having to save yourself.”
“Sometimes it’s easier to understand the truth of our lives through stories.”
“Games reveal our most basic instinct: the instinct to survive.”
“It’s only natural to forget when remembering hurts so much.”
“As every writer knows, even if a story is pure fiction, there are truths hidden in there, about the writer, about the time it was written – that are incontrovertible.”
“Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.”
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